Ubaldo Jimenez actually produced a halfway decent start, but was ultimately done in by one bad inning as the Baltimore Orioles fell 10-2 in Anaheim.
Ubaldo Jimenez actually pitched better than his stat line indicates for the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. Jimenez’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K. He was strong for the most part – save for the third inning of the game. He fell apart, and it cost both him and the Orioles the game.
But while the game itself couldn’t be salvaged, it’s worth noting that Jimenez put it back together in a sense. There was a moment when it appeared that he wouldn’t make it out of the third inning. The scoring incidentally began with a leadoff walk – never a good idea. But he got out of the inning, and was able to pitch deeper into the game.
Oriole bats only put up two runs, which came on a Jonathan Schoop two-run homer late in the game. It seems that the way you shut down this Oriole team is to simly pitch lighter. Anaheim starter Weaver is not a hard thrower. Many of his pitches were topping out in the 60’s and 70’s in terms of MPH. We’ve already seen the Birds struggle against some other soft tossers this year, and we saw it again yesterday.
Call to the Pen
Jimenez actually gave up an RBI-single to Perez in the second, however as I said it was the third which did him in. Calhoun and Giavotella produced RBI-singles, and Giavotella and Cron RBI-doubles. Cron woudl later score on an E5 charged to Flaherty, which tacked another run on for Anaheim. Incidentally, that still went as an earned run charged to Jimenez. There was only one out in the inning, and since you can’t assume the double-play one run still would have scored.
However as I said, Jimenez got it together following that inning. I’m not sure how sometimes pitchers can totally fall apart and then put it all back together, but save for that second inning Jimenez was actually fairly decent. He issued the leadoff walk and surrendered a run in the second inning, but other than that he was strong in the first, second, fourth, fifth, and part of the sixth innings.
Schoop’s two-run homer in the seventh gave the O’s a little bit of hope, however Anaheim shut the door late. Giavotella’s RBI-single in the last of the seventh extended their lead to 7-2, and Perez smacked a two-run homer later in the inning to run it to 9-2. Jimenez was long gone by then, but it just drove home the point that he was starring another L square in the face.
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Keep in mind however that this isn’t only on Jimenez; Oriole bats couldn’t get the job done against Weaver. A hard-slugging team like the Orioles feasts on fastballs, but Weaver doesn’t really throw anything that looks like a fastball at this stage of his career. Oriole hitters get way out in front of slow pitches like his. It has to be kind of frustrating because there’s the semblance of doing less but actually doing more.
Again, the O’s have struggled mightily against a few pitchers such as Weaver this year. So does this send a message to the rest of the league in terms of how to beat the O’s? In a sense, yes it does – throw softer! However the Orioles’ saving grace is that there are very few pitchers in baseball who can pitch that slowly and that effectively. That’s not to say that all pitchers are effective fastball hurlers, however very few can throw in the 60’s and 70’s and mow guys down.
The O’s have now moved onto Houston where they’ll open up a series at Minute Maid Park. However not before an off day – today. Even with a tough loss like they suffered yesterday, they still took two-of-three in Anaheim. That’s really all anyone can ask in that you keep winning series’.