Bruce Zimmermann struggled for the Baltimore Orioles this evening in the first of three with Cleveland. They jumped on him early and often. In fairness, Oriole bats were “off” also; the Birds didn’t get their first base hit until the sixth inning. But it all begins and ends with starting pitching. Zimmermann’s line: 5.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
As I said, Cleveland jumped on Zimmermann, swinging early and often. And Zimmermann was pitching to contact, as evidenced by the aforementioned ten hits, zero walks, and one strikeout. Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Miller.
Miller would come up to bat again in the third, and produced a two-RBI single, doubling the lead. Later in the inning Naylor added an RBI-single, and then an RBI-double in the seventh. Again as per Zimmermann’s line score referenced above, that last run wasn’t charged to him (he had already left the game). B
But the O’s did put up a fight. Trey Mancini smacked a two-RBI double, and Anthony Santander an RBI-single in the last of the eighth. However while these O’s don’t quit and they play until the end, Cleveland took game one of the series, 6-3.
In his last four starts (including tonight), Bruce Zimmermann has surrendered between 4-6 runs. That’s way up from the 0-3 he was giving up in the beginning of the season. So…what gives?
I would submit that in effect, the rest of the league has adjusted (or is adjusting) to Zimmermann. Which means that between now and his next start, he has to really buckle down with his coaches and come up with a plan.
When the league adjusts to you and your style, it’s incumbent on YOU to adjust also. Otherwise your stay in the majors won’t be long. If you keep your stuff and your game plan fresh, you can end up having staying power. So again, Zimmermann needs to work with his coaches between starts to tweak his stuff up so as to keep opponents guessing.
The series continues tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Tristan McKenzie. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.