Baltimore Orioles: The opener worked

The Baltimore Orioles used Richard Bleier as an opener last night against Seattle. I’m not a fan of the concept, as I’ve said previously. However last night it worked flawlessly. Bleier’s line: 2.0 IP, 3 H 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

Aaron Brooks then proceeded to pitch seven innings of one-run ball. However Bleier had somewhat of a rough start before settling in. He gave up a two-run homer to Lewis in the first inning. However the O’s trailed for a very short time. Anthony Santander‘s three-run home run in the last of the first gave the Birds a 3-2 lead.

Later in the inning Austin Hays would ground into a fielder’s choice-RBI, extending the Orioles’ lead to 4-2. Nola would cut the lead to 4-3 in the fourth with a fielder’s choice-RBI of his own, however that didn’t rattle the O’s. The bottom of that fourth inning brought a solo homer by Hanser Alberto, extending the lead to 5-3.

And as I said, Brooks was superb in relief of Bleier all night. But again, I’m not a fan of this strategy. People ask me why not all the time.

First off it goes against the grain of traditionalism in a traditional sport. However pitching has always been about trying to get complete games. This makes it nary impossible to do so.

It takes the emphasis off of starting pitching. It also takes emphasis off of the concept of relievers. It devalues both roles in a way. However needless to say, it worked for the Orioles last night.

This was the Orioles’ 50th won of the year. While this far they’re only three wins better than next year, that does show progress. I would submit that getting out of the 40’s and into the 50’s in terms of overall wins is a psychological benefit for the O’s. And that’s one of the goals.

The series with Seattle continues tonight at Camden Yards. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Justus Sheffield. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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