The Baltimore Orioles evened their series with the White Sox by scoring a sweet 4-2 win tonight – a game where every part of the team contributed to the victory.
Scott Feldmanmake his first start for the Orioles with 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. So is he an answer as a regular and foundational fixture in the rotation for the rest of this season? I don’t think we know the answer to that yet. Feldman demonstrated some very outstanding breaking stuff, but he is simply not a power pitcher with a plus fastball. He had occasional nice cutters and sliders, but he appears to me to be another guy with margins of error narrow enough that he has to make his pitches and not miss.
But if your starter gets you through six innings with only two runs surrendered, you have to think you really should win the game. But the White Sox’ Hector Santiago was as good – actually better. There was a lot of nasty stuff thrown – seemingly getting better and better as the game went on. The Orioles used a first-inning walk to Nick Markakis and back-to-back singles by Manny Machado and Adam Jones to score a quick run. The Sox had the bullpen up, but Santiago got out of it; and the only other run the Birds could get off him was a 352-foot pop-up (no joke – easy swing) by Chris Davis for his 32nd homer of the year. Totaling 123 pitches, Santiago had to thankfully leave the contest after seven innings.
Though 6th innings have been difficult for Orioles pitchers this season, 8th innings have been excellent for the Birds hitters. With the contest tied 2-2, our old friend Matt Lindstrom gave up singles to Markakis and Jones, bringing Davis to bat against lefty Matt Thornton. Pitch #1 cleared the bases on a sharp line-drive double into the right-field corner – THE.GAME.DIFFERENCE.
Varied Birds Watcher Observations
- Nick Markakis has that locked-in look right now with his head down on the ball with every swing. He has five hits and two walks in the series. The Orioles tend to fly well when this happens.
- It is a game of inches and fractions of inches. J.J. Hardy just missed hitting a couple balls out of the park. And on defense, he went up the ladder on a Tyler Flowers line drive, appearing to hang in the air. Though it went off the top of his glove, he was able to get the force at second base on Gordon Beckham.
- Jim Johnson is not right, and has not been right for quite a while. There are times his stuff is the classic nastiness we’ve most often seen in recent years, but too often he is up in the zone and behind in the count. I do not doubt this will be solved eventually, but it remains a scary situation.
- I had to laugh at a simple thing that happened tonight. We tend to think that our twitter and texting technology is so quick and immediate, and it usually is amazing. I get texts from the MASN 292-92. Davis hit the two-run game winning double, and about 30 seconds after that happened, a text came that said, “Chris Davis coming to plate with 2 on and 1 out in the 8th inning of a 2-2 game…” Not any more!