Results tagged ‘ Aaron Brooks ’

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.

Baltimore Orioles with a pitcher’s duel in the Nation’s Capital

My personal opinion is that Aaron Brooks pitched his best game as a member of the Baltimore Orioles tonight in D.C. Brooks struggled just a bit out of the gate in the first inning. The only thing he was getting over for a strike was his changeup. But he settled in, and gave the Orioles a true quality start. Brooks’ line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K.

However the Orioles had the lead even before Brooks took the field. After the O’s put two on base early, Anthony Santander‘s RBI-double Gabe them a 1-0 lead. That left two runners in scoring position, and Jonathan Villar‘s sac fly-RBI put the Birds ahead 2-0.

And as I said, Brooks settled down. Unfortunately for Oriole bats, so did Washington’s starter Corbin. However with little doubt, this was a classic throwback type of game. A pitcher’s duel. Pitchers on both sides were mowing them down left and right. In this age of the home run ball and baseball’s wound tightly and juiced up, it was refreshing to see for once.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of the shift. That isn’t to say that there’s not a time and place, however when it’s newsworthy when teams pitch someone straight up, it’s gone too far. I recognize that the all-important analytics’ say that you have to play these shifts. But the game is still played by human beings.

Once again, we saw the Orioles in effect victimize themselves in this game due to the shift. In the last of the fourth with Rendon on first, the Orioles played a shift to the right side of the infield on Cabrera. Sure enough, Cabrera grounder out to the second baseman for the second out of the inning.

However Rendon had been in motion on a hit-and-run. Not only did Washington stay out of an inning-ending double-play, but with the infield shifted all the way over there was nobody covering third. Rendon took the opportunity to take third base.

The next hitter popped out and the inning was over. However it would stand to reason that Washington anticipated the Orioles’ shift, and put on the hit-and-run – thinking they could get the runner to third. Which they did. That’s where the shift hurts you, and at times it’s negatively affected the O’s all season.

With the O’s still leading 2-0 in the last of the eighth and Hunter Harvey onto pitch, we finally saw a Washington rally. They loaded the bases against Harvey with one out. However while Harvey managed to get himself into that situation, he also got himself out of it by striking out two to end the threat. In what was perhaps the first test of Hunter Harvey’s big league career, he managed to pass. As did the Birds, who beat the hottest team in baseball at their place, 2-0.

The series continues and concludes tomorrow night at Nationals Park. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Max Scherzer. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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