Orioles keep it interesting on the Toronto carpet


Kevin Gausman throws his first major league pitch against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre Thursday. Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the faithful have established that Kevin Gausman‘s first Major League start was decent as far as it went Thursday, and a learning experience, which almost went without saying. One thing he may have learned was that when he gets in trouble, throwing his fastball harder is not the way out. It straightens out when it’s faster, and the hitter can eventually catch up to it. Hitting 99, while impressive, isn’t the be-all and end-all of pitching.

He changed speeds effectively through the Toronto lineup the first time through, but the 4th and 5th innings gave him trouble, and the bullpen caved from there in a 12-6 loss.

The Baltimore Orioles will give him more starts, beginning with, we presume, his next turn on Tuesday, and of course there is no way of knowing how they will work out, or how long he’ll stay with the team. Speaking of things that go without saying, if he improves, he will help solidify the rotation.

Steve Johnson went through one of the most adventurous trips to Toronto any promoted minor leaguer ever had. The Orioles called him after midnight Friday night to let him know they were bringing him up, according to MASN commentator Dave Johnson, his father and a former Orioles pitcher.

They called once to say they might, once to say they were not, and a third time to confirm they were doing it. They sent a car to Allentown, Pa., where Norfolk was playing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, to pick him up about 2:30 a.m. and drive him to Philadelphia. From there, his 4 a.m. flight to Toronto was delayed. The flight made it to Toronto just in time for the team bus to leave the hotel for the ballpark.

We hope he slept on the plane.

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