For the second straight game in Boston, the Baltimore Orioles had a starting pitcher who pitched much better than his numbers indicated. You might remember last Sunday against Houston that Asher Wojchiekowski certainly pitched well enough to win (in a game the Birds eventually won in walk-off fashion). Again his numbers tonight weren’t great, but they also aren’t indicative of how he pitched. Wojchiekowski’s line: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K.
When I say those numbers don’t look great, I’m basically talking about the innings pitched. Boston hitters worked Wojchiekowski in this game. But while that led to his early exit, he also got out of some big jams in the early innings. He showed an incredible amount of composure, and has attested for himself very well of late.
If you’re Wojchiekowski, you have to think that these are two consecutive starts in which you looked decent. We’re almost back in the spring training mentality at this point in that results are meaningless. I won’t go that far because these are still regular season games and yes they do count. However bigger than wins and losses is guys paving a way for themselves for the future. And it appears that Wojchiekowski is attempting to do just that.
Wojchiekowski started to struggle in the fifth when his pitch count creeped up. Holt smacked a solo homer, and Bradley would later score on a wild pitch before Wojchiekowski would leave the game. But again, a very decent effort by Wojchiekowski.
Boston would tack on two more on a two-run homer by Devers in the seventh. The frustrating thing about that for the Orioles was that the Birds allowed a double with two outs prior to the homer. The ball would have hooked foul, if not for Hanser Alberto making a valiant attempt at catching the ball, and having it tick off the top of his glove – making it fair.
Again, Alberto made a valiant attempt at catching the call on the fly. But had he not tried, that would have been a foul ball. Sometimes it comes across as circumstances taunting the Orioles. Had Alberto mailed it in, there.’a no two-run homer.
Perhaps the biggest moment for Orioles’ fans was Hunter Harvey pitching the eighth inning tonight, and making his major league debut. Harvey retired Boston without surrendering a run, and looked good doing it. (He gave up one walk.) He of course has struggled his way to the big leagues, between surgeries – among other things. However fans and personnel alike should be happy that he’s here now.
The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Fenway Park. Neither team has yet announced a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.