Bird’s House: Opening week, the Spaghetti Western version

Written by on April 9, 2014 in Orioles, Sports - No comments
Chris Tillman, shown here in 2009, is earning his keep. - Photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Chris Tillman, shown here in 2009, is earning his keep. – Photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

So, that wasn’t too bad I guess… The Orioles finished up their tough opening week going 2-4 against the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. While 2-4 isn’t so fantastic, against those teams it easily could have been worse.

The Good
Matt Wieters finished his first week batting .368 with a home run and two runs batted in. The Baltimore catcher also scored three runs.

Nelson Cruz immediately endeared himself to Baltimore fans by hitting a tie-breaking home run on Opening Day to help the O’s defeat the Red Sox 2-1. He wound up hitting two home runs on the week and driving in four runs. So far, three of his four hits this year have been for extra bases.

Tommy Hunter has put any questions about him closing out games to rest, saving both of his first two opportunities this year. During his two innings of work, he has struck out three and allowed only one hit so far.

Chris Tillman has pitched well in both starts. Although he was a little shaky on Opening Day, he escaped with a no-decision despite giving up only one earned run. He showed why he is the Orioles’ ace by defeating Detroit’s Justin Verlander on Sunday, pitching 8 1/3 innings and allowed only one earned run on five hits.

The Bad
Ubaldo Jimenez was not so fantastic in his Baltimore debut as he allowed four earned runs in six innings as Baltimore lost to the Red Sox 6-2 last Wednesday. Jimenez allowed two home runs that proved to be his undoing.

Nick Markakis didn’t exactly get off to a fast start this week, batting .240 with only one extra base hit in 25 at-bats. Last year Markakis impressed absolutely nobody by collecting just 34 extra base hits, so hopefully his start is not a sign of things to come.

The Ugly
Ryan Flaherty is starting the season batting .056—one for18—with seven strikeouts. Manny Machado, please come back soon.

Miguel Gonzalez was roughed up a bit during his first start, giving up seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings (18.90 ERA). He also allowed two home runs and nine hits during his start, which resulted in the O’s losing to the Tigers 10-4.

by Andy Mindzak
birds@baltimoreguide.com

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