First off, let’s be frank about the fact that Wei-Yin Chen had some struggles yesterday. Chen’s line: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K. I wouldn’t say that the Baltimore Orioles won despite Wei-Yin Chen, however it wasn’t his best outing. Far from his worst either. The O’s spotted Chen three runs when Nick Markakis and Delmon Young led off the game with back-to-back singles, followed by a Chris Davis sac fly-RBI. That brought Adam Jones to the plate, who promptly deposited his first round-tripper of 2014 into the deepest part of Yankee Stadium. New York got a run back in the last of the inning when Carlos Beltran sent an RBI-double to left field, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury. However the O’s put the lead right back at three in the second inning with Jonathan Schoop‘s RBI-double.
The O’s knocked NY starter Ivan Nova out of the game early in the fourth inning after a Nick
Markakis sac fly-RBI, and a Delmon Young RBI-single. Jonathan Schoop would later score on a Chris Davis infield RBI-single, and the Orioles were off to doing something they hadn’t done much of in 2014 – putting some distance between them and their opponent. And it’s a good thing they did, as New York took those three runs right back in the last of the inning (in a sequence that included an Alfonso Soriano home run). New York would also send a runner (Jacoby Ellsbury) to third base in the fifth, however Chen dug deep and got catcher Brian McCann to ground out to end the inning and the threat.
Chen finished the day with over 100 pitches through five innings. That’s been part of his problem overall in that he can’t go deep into games. In this case, he was only barely able to hold on and qualify for the win. BUT…the fact is that he put the team in a position to win yesterday, and they were able to come through. In all of the criticism of Chen yesterday, that fact was conveniently omitted. However the glare will always be on your starting pitching, regardless of whether you win or lose. While Chen was in line to get the win, his teammates guaranteed him of that win with a four-run sixth inning which included a Delmon Young solo homer.
Just for good measure, Matt Wieters decided to join the homer parade with a two-run home run in the eighth inning to put the O’s over the top (if they weren’t there already). When the final score is 14-5, it’s tough to say exactly when the finishing touches were put on, but needless to say they were there. And perhaps the best news in a game like this is the fact that the team doesn’t have to use it’s closer. The Birds got 2.1 innings of relief from Josh Stinson (who’s become very reliable coming out of the bullpen), .2 innings from Brian Matusz (who did surrender a late Kelly Johnson homer), and an inning from Darren O’Day. So the fact that nobody was overused really bodes well for the Orioles going into tomorrow night’s series finale, when in theory all hands can be on deck since the Birds are off on Thursday.
8The lone piece of negative news out of the Orioles’ clubhouse following the game was the fact that David Lough was going to the disabled list. Jermile Weeks is coming up from Norfolk to take his spot, however the roster move won’t formally be announced until later tonight as we get closer to game time. Lough will be placed on the 15-day DL for a malady that’s unknown at this time. However J.J. Hardy is hoping to be able to play tonight if he ends up having made the progress with his neck spasms that he made overnight on Monday and into Tuesday. The Orioles will face Masahiro Tanaka for the first time tonight in what will amount to his home debut. The Orioles will send Miguel Gonzalez to the mound, looking to improve on last week’s start in Detroit. And for the first time since what seems like 1999, the O’s will play a mid-week night game. I know I’m excited!
Be sure to check out Yankees tickets for their game against the O’s today.