Baltimore Orioles: Could Aaron Brooks be an opener?

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to break their losing streak this evening at Fenway Park. They had dropped four straight (to New York) going into the game. Now you can make it five. Aaron Brooks got the start at Fenway Park this evening, but in my view he pitched much better than the numbers indicate. Brooks’ line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Brooks gave up an RBI-single to Devers in the first inning. Then he buckled down and kept their potent lineup off the board for awhile. There was a stretch where he was mowing Boston hitters down, allowing the O’s to tie the score at one on Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double in the third inning.

However an inning later Boston took the lead back on Benintendi’s RBI-triple. Moreland would add an RBI-triple of his own later in the inning, running the score to 3-1. At first it appeared that DJ Stewart had a play on the ball. However he misplayed it, and it fell in for a triple. However even in that inning, Brooks was able to limit the damage.

It didn’t unravel for Brooks until he hit a batsman in the sixth, and allowed an additional single. A sac bunt moved the runners into scoring position, and Owings’ pinch-hit two-RBI double opened the game right up. Boston would go on to tack on four additional add-on runs, defeating the O’s 9-2 at Fenway Park.

However keep in mind, Brooks was very effective after he settled in. He did however seem to fall apart all at once. That was due in large part to fatigue, however it was more abrupt than the Orioles would have liked.

So…might Brooks make an effective “opener?” I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of the concept of openers, only because I’m a purist and it’s foreign to me. However it’s not something that’s going away anytime soon. It’s probably a concept that’s here to stay.

And the idea is to bridge tougher innings to pitch; in this case opening innings. So if he continues to do what he did tonight, he could very well morph into an opener-type role. At this point, the Orioles don’t have much to lose.

The series continues tomorrow night at Fenway Park. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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