Nestor Cortes has fared pretty well for the Baltimore Orioles thus far in the spring. A couple of bumps in the road, but not too bad. That ended this afternoon against Toronto. Cortes’ line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Cortes said after his outing that in his view he was leaving too many pitches in the strike zone (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I wasn’t making them hit my pitch and I think that’s what hurt me today. Too many pitches left over the plate and too many strikes.
Down in the zone. I think I left too many pitches in the zone and I felt like they felt comfortable standing on the plate, and I just need to make them chase my pitch.
Cortes went on to say that this outing was going to happen. Presumably, that’s him understanding that you aren’t going to have your best stuff everyday, even in spring training. However when you’re a Rule 5 guy trying to make the final roster, everything seems amplified when things don’t go well.
But all in all, this wasn’t the Orioles’ day. It wasn’t just Cortes, it was almost everyone who was just a bit off. The teams traded runs in the first, with that of the Orioles coming off of an RBI-single by Adam Jones. Toronto would put two more runs across by getting traffic on the base paths in the second and third, leaving the Birds trailing 3-1.
Toronto would put two more across in the fifth. One came on an RBI-double, and the other off of a Beckham fielding error at third base. They would also put two more across in the seventh, and one each in the eighth and ninth innings.
So the home team didn’t get the job done this afternoon. Save for perhaps one guy. Andrew Susac brought the O’s to within 9-3 with a two-run homer in the ninth. It’s easy to say that’s a garbage-time homer when the stakes were lower than low, however to a young guy like Susac who might have a shot at making the team it certainly meant something.
The Orioles will travel up the road to Dunedin, FL tomorrow for the first time this year to take on these same Toronto Blue Jays. Miguel Castro will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marco Estrada. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.