This has been a good camp for the Baltimore Orioles thus far. While the bats are coming along well, Oriole pitching has been really solid – to this point. Tom Eshelman got the start tonight in Tampa for the Birds against New York, and was true to form. Eshelman’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
New York has a decent lineup. Granted they have a lot of injuries right now (that will continue into the regular season), they still have a great lineup. Orioles’ pitching, led tonight by Eshelman, kept them at bay.
The O’s got on the board early in the first inning when Austin Hays scored from third on a wild pitch. He was followed to the plate by Dwight Smith Jr., who later scored on a pass ball. After getting two runners in scoring position the O’s netted two runs without a base hit.
And as I’ve written many times before, that illustrates why it’s good to have base runners. Sometimes quirky things like wild pitches happen. If they happen with nobody on base, in reality it never happened. But if it happens with guys on base, you can see runs scored, or runners moved up. Every little bit helps.
2019 Oriole-killer Voit smacked a solo homer in the second, bringing NY to within 2-1. But Oriole pitching shut them down after that. Miguel Castro followed Eshelman into the ballgame, pitching the fourth inning. He struck out the side, which bodes well for the Orioles’ pen this year.
However before Castro took the field, the O’s got a two-RBI single from Richie Martin which ran the lead to 4-1. They would also get an RBI-single in the ninth from Mason Willians, in what amounted to an insurance run. That’s also a good sign, because in a regular season game that could be big. While the Birds lost most of them, they played a lot of close games last year. An insurance run could be the difference between a win and a loss.
This game was also notable because it was the Orioles’ first game under the lights this spring. Most of the regular season games occur at night obviously, so getting in a few in the spring is always a good thing. As time goes on we’ll start seeing 6 PM starts at Ed a Smith Stadium sprinkled in as well.
Tomorrow the O’s head to Port Charlotte to take on the Tampa Rays. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Sean Gilmartin. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.