Asher Wojchiechowski made his maiden outing of the spring for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon against Atlanta. And while the numbers themselves were mostly good, he did surrender a homer. But the pitch itself was a strike, which is what the Orioles would like to see here in the early spring. Woj’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
Wojchiechowski had dealt with a blister on his throwing hand, which put his spring in doubt at one point. However after leaving the game he seemed to indicate that today was a step forward:
Felt good. Focus was really just to throw strikes. First time out there you have that little self-doubt, when its been through the offseason. So, nice to go out there and execute pitches and just get back into the rhythm.
I made one mistake to d’Arnaud, first pitch of the second inning. I knew he was going to swing and just didn’t execute that pitch. But for the most part, just happy with how I felt. Looking to build upon each outing and get ready for the seasonQuote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
The O’s got on the board early with Hanser Alberto scoring in the first inning on a passed ball. Dwight Smith Jr. would score from third later in the inning on a wild pitch. I said this a couple of times last season, but if you get guys on base you never really know what’s going to happen. A wild pitch with nobody on base isn’t really a wild pitch – kind of like a tree falling in the woods and nobody hearing it.
That’s something on which the Orioles should try to focus this year – getting guys on base. Sometimes that can spook pitchers at times. If that happens and someone’s on base when a mistake is made, you can luck your way into a run.
Wjochiechowski surrendered a homer to d’Arnaud one inning later, which was the only run he surrendered. However keep in mind also that you can live with pitchers surrendering solo home runs. Solo shots aren’t going to beat you. Especially early in the game. Baltimore native Bruce Zimmerman, who made his Orioles’ debut, surrendered a solo shot an inning later to Ball, which tied the game.
Dilson Herrera led off the fifth with a double, and he was later singled home by Ryan McKenna, giving the Birds the lead back at 3-2. McKenna would later score on another wild pitch by Atlanta pitching, running it to 4-2. Atlanta would notch an RBI-single in the sixth to get to within 4-3, but the Oriole ‘pen shut them down the rest of the way.
With the win, the Birds improved their record to 2-4 on the spring (keeping in mind that yesterday was a split squad day and that technically they lost twice). Both wins of course have come at home. Again folks, wins and losses don’t matter per se. But if you’re going to play these games, you might as well try to win them.
The O’s will stay in Sarasota tomorrow, ending a three-game/day “homestand” as Pittsburgh comes to town. Tommy Milone makes his first (spring) start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Hector Noesi. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.