Hold onto your hats folks…because the Baltimore Orioles have won a spring training game. Yes, you read that right. Not only that, but Hunter Harvey made his spring debut in an Orioles’ uniform. Harvey’s line: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
Harvey’s outing wasn’t perfect. However the part that stuck out to me was that he minimized the damage. Tampa’s first two hitters recorded base hits in the game, putting runners at the corners with nobody out. However Harvey induced a double-play, which yielded a run. It also put two outs on the board and cleared the bases.
And that’s really the key in terms of evaluating pitchers in these spring games. How are they doing in situational cases? If this were a regular season game with Harvey on the bump, you take that every time in the first inning. The idea is to stay out of a big inning. Harvey did that.
Harvey felt good about the outing afterwards, although when asked where he needed to improve he was very up front (all quotes courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
Really, just controlling my body. I kind of felt a little crazy out there. I guess it was just the first time being out there in a long time. Trying to get my body back under me and just command the ball a little better.
Manager Buck Showalter was very complimentary of Harvey after the game, referencing the fact that he minimized the damage in that first inning:
Good, real good. Fun to watch. Happy for him, excited. It’s more than just the stuff, it’s just the way he carries himself. He’s got a lot of things you look for off-ball, so to speak. Other than just pitching. It’s going to be hopefully a fun year for him. I’m really happy for him. I think we were all excited in the dugout for him. But he wears it well.
He threw some good changeups, a couple good breaking balls. I like he didn’t implode in the first inning. A big double play on a breaking ball, and he got his work in. It was fun to watch.
That’s high praised coming from Showalter. The Orioles did lose a player today, as pitcher Chris Lee left the game in the middle of an inning after straining his right oblique. The Orioles don’t have much information about a timeline for Lee as of yet, only that he’ll miss time. You’d rather these injuries happen now as opposed to later.
The Birds got a solo homer from Garabez Rosa in the sixth inning, to tie the game at six. Reuben Tejada‘s RBI-single in the seventh gave the O’s a 2-1 lead, which held up as the final. None of the regulars for the most part played in this game, however make no mistake about the fact that the organization is happy to have gotten it’s first spring win. The flip side is that the Orioles’ roster of reserves beat many of Tampa’s regular players.
The Orioles return to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow afternoon to take on the St. Louis Cardinals – who will be coming from across Florida. Mike Wright will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by St. Louis’ Jack Flaherty. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.