Thomas Eshelman is one of the most versatile guys in the Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen. He can pitch in relief, he can spot start (as he did tonight), and really just about be anything that is needed. It’s also a great way to stay at the big league level. While he goes as the loser tonight, he pitched valiantly. Eshelman’s line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
Freeman smacked an RBI-double in the top of the third, giving Atlanta a 1-0 lead. They doubled that an inning later when DuVall smacked a solo homer. Atlanta would also add three insurance runs in the ninth to run the final to 5-1 after the O’s added one in the ninth. And the lack of offense doesn’t fall on Eshelman.
However make no mistake that manager Brandon Hyde and company are happy with Eshelman in general. As I said above, he pretty much is ready to go whenever he’s tapped. Again, be it as a starter or in relief. And on short rest at that.
Granted tonight he started, however I suspect he wasn’t expected to go deep into this game. In other words, this was probably meant to be a “bullpen game” in general. To a traditionalist such as myself, that’s still a foreign concept. But is it really?
I would submit that Eshelman’s probably setting himself up to pitch the way that baseball might exist moving forward. We already know that the idea of a 20-win starter is gone. However the number of innings starters are going is getting to be fewer and fewer. That isn’t going to change.
It wouldn’t shock me if someone like Eshelman becomes the norm in Major League Baseball. Shorter outings, removing the emphasis on starters and relievers. This also would force people such as myself to in effect re-learn the game and how it’s approached. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Again, the onus in this game was on Orioles’ bats. They put up 14 runs last night, but couldn’t muster anything in this game. And that does happen. Incidentally, manager Brandon Hyde was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
The series concludes tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Keegan Akin gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Atlanta’s Cole Hamels. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.