Ubaldo Jimenez struggled in the first inning of yesterday’s 2-1 loss to Minnesota. However the thing that stuck out at me is that things could have been a lot worse. Jimenez struggled to find the plate (and when he did find it he also seemed to find a bat), but he seemed to pitch around the struggles and got the Baltimore Orioles back into the dugout. Jimenez’s final line: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K.
Jimenez came back out in the second inning and sent the side down 1-2-3, which
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was good to see from the Orioles’ standpoint. (He also faced two hitters in the third without recording an out.) After the game he indicated that he wasn’t finished tweaking his delivery, a process that began last September. Ultimately for Jimenez, this start is a net improvement over his last outing. While he still struggled at times, there weren’t the glaring holes in the stat line that we saw earlier last week against Detroit.
Minnesota did play the opportunist while Jimenez wasn’t pitching well in the first. Back-to-back doubles by Jordan Schafer and Joe Mauer scored the lone run charged to Jimenez, and the Orioles trailed 1-0. Eduardo Nunez would score from second base on Eduardo Escobar‘s fourth inning RBI-double to put Minnesota ahead 2-0. Jimmy Paredes would provide the Orioles’ lone run of the day on an RBI-single to left field in the fifth inning.
This was a well pitched game all-around, and including Jimenez the O’s used five pitchers total. Tommy Hunter and Brad Brach looked really strong at the back end of the bullpen. Keep in mind that guys aren’t necessarily being pitched in the same parts of the games that they will in the regular season (especially at this point of spring traning). However the goal is to get as many guys as many quality innings as possible, and thus far it appears that Buck Showalter‘s been able to do that.
This afternoon should be a key game for the Birds, as Chris Tillman will make his spring debut when the Phillies visit Sarasota at 1 PM. Tillman of course has been a warrior for the Birds the past few seasons, and this will be our first look at him in 2015. Tillman will be opposed by Philadelphia’s Aaron Harang.