Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters walks off after a long day

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles got an RBI-single from Matt Wieters in the last of the ninth after a long day at the ballpark to defeat Minnesota 3-2 on Opening Day.

Opening Day turned into Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles and Matt Wieters. If you would have told me this morning that Chris Tillman would have only pitched two innings and the O’s would have only scored three runs, I would have said they would probably have been in trouble. But that’s the beauty of this game – it plays wild tricks on us.

Incidentally, this morning feels about as far back as the beginning of spring training at this point! After the Orioles finished with all the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day, the game promptly went into an hour and forty minute rain delay. The fans had waited six months for real baseball, what’s another 100 minutes?!

But once the game started, Chris Tillman was on. Tillman’s line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Yes folks, Tillman’s outing was perfect this afternoon. Unfortunately for him, the umpires called for the tarp again after the second inning. Following another hour plus delay, the game resumed – with two new pitchers. It was only two innings and it was only the first game – but Tillman was dominant. Five strikeouts in two innings is tough to do.

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  • Prior to the second rain delay however, new Oriole Joey Rickard collected his first big league hit. Rickard had about as good a day as one could have in his big league debut – 2-for-4 and a run scored. Rickard also had the luxury of having his name chanted by the faithful at the yard late in the game. If you’re going to write a scrip for your big league debut, that’s about as good of a game as you could have.

    Following the second rain delay, Adam Jones gave the O’s a 2-0 lead with a two-RBI double in the last of the fifth. The Orioles had brought Tyler Wilson in following the delay in relief of Tillman, which put him in line to get the win. However Minnesota battled back two innings later ith an RBI-double, and a sac fly-RBI to tie the game at two.

    That aforementioned sac fly-RBI went to left field, which is where Chris Rickard was playing. Rickard caught the ball in foul territory, leaving some folks clamoring that he should have let it go (since a run scored). With wto runners in scoring position and one out, if Rickard doesn’t take that out Minnesota has two chances to record a two-RBI single. Point being, you take the outs when they’re presented to you.

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    As we went to the last of the ninth the O’s were looking to end things with one

    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

    swing of the bat. Mark Trumbo, who went 4-for-5 on the day, followed a Davis walk with a single up the middle. Trumbo had some very professional at-bats in the game, however this one really took the cake when it was needed most. That allowed the Orioles to cover the corners, with Wieters striding to the plate.

    And yes folks, the rest is history. Wieters’ RBI-single scored Davis from third, and delivered the Orioles a 3-2 win on Opening Day. It took longer than anyone would have thought, and it had it’s share of weather drama, but the O’s are winners on Opening Day.

    Make no mistake about the fact that this is a huge win for the Orioles – and in a big manner at that. They were 0-8 dating back to 2014 against Minnesota, and thus they were swept against them last year. They would have had every excuse in the world to fall in this game, however the fact is that they hung in there and stuck with it. And they also exemplified one of the beautiful things about baseball – the home team’s advantage in getting it’s last at-bat. Ultimately at the end of the day, a win is always a win…but especially on Opening Day!

    Next: Baltimore Orioles open with Chris Tillman on the mound

    The Birds will have a much-needed day off tomorrow, which ironically was the rain date for the opener. However they’re back in action on Wednesday. It’ll be interesting to see if they re-shuffle the rotation due to Tillman’s short outing today, or if Tillman himself is a part of a re-shuffling. But first thing’s first…a day off!