Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman sharp in debut

Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Gausman battled in his first start of the season, but the Baltimore Orioles fell 2-0 to Tampa.

Kevin Gausman looked to be in mid-season form for the Baltimore Orioles tonight. He topped 100 MPH on the Tropicana Field radar gun on numerous occasions. However in a sense it was all for naught as the O’s fell to Tampa, 2-0. Gausman’s line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K.

A lot of folks will harp on the fact that he only threw five innings. However keep in mind that this was his first start of the season. In a sense, it was Gausman’s Opening Day. So all in all, if his first start was a test he passed with flying colors. When you strike out seven guys, you’re in good shape – no matter how many innings you throw.

Gausman started to tire in the last of the fifth when Tampa’s Casali smacked an RBI-double to give his team a 1-0 lead. In the next inning, Casali was hit by a pitch, and the O’s trailed 2-0. And the rest was all Tampa’s pitching, which shut down Oriole bats. And that’s your ballgame, folks.

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  • Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
    Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

    Gausman of course made one start in a “B-game” in spring training, before he was sidelined with shoulder pain. And that wasn’t easy for Gausman, after working all off season to get ready for spring training. But he worked even harder to get back into game shape during the remainder of spring training, which was to his credit.

    He reported to extended spring training, and then went out on a rehab assignment before turning up in Tampa this evening to make this start. And it’s tough to knock a guy strikeing out seven guys. The story of this game was that the bats could never get going. As prolific as the Orioles’ offense is, that’s going to happen sometimes.

    The bigger concern for the Orioles is that Adam Jones appeared to have possibly re-injured his rib cage during a ninth inning at-bat. We probably won’t know fully about that until tomorrow, as I suspect the Orioles won’t address it in too much detail tonight. However that’s something which could plague Jones all season, and possibly even signal a stint on the DL. 

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    Prior to the game the Birds made a surprise move in optioning Ryan Flaherty to Norfolk to make space for Gausman. I think most people (myself included) expected a reliever to be sent out. However I suspect that the O’s wanted to keep the eight-man bullpen. But needless to say, Flaherty is on his way to Norfolk. I suspect he won’t be there for long. 

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    The series continues tomorrow night with Ubaldo Jimenez heading to the mound for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi. Game time is set for 7:10 PM.