Back in the off-season, the Orioles acquired Wei-Yin Chen and I – along with many fans thought – what he would bring to the table. They were in a desperate need for some pitching, and Baltimore needed to find some arms, so Dan Duquette – the new general manager at the time – decided to scour the Asian market.
There Duquette found Chen.
Ok, so he was probably watching him for a while and swooped right on in.
Well, during the 2012 season, Chen has become a rock of the Baltimore starting rotation. He was under the radar when it came to the free agent market, and so far it has paid some great dividends for the Orioles.
My friend – who is a Nationals fan – sent me a text at 12 midnight telling me to watch the game. I decided to flip on MASN and there I saw Chen two-third of the way into a perfect game. He would lose it off a homer by Seattle’s Casper Wells, and his team almost blew the game until Robert Andino’s homer in the ninth.
The record will show that the Orioles defeated the Seattle Mariners, 5-4, in a close game; however, my attention was solely faced on Wei-Yin Chen while watching the game. He served as a stopper for the Orioles, as they had lost three straight before Tuesday night.
Chen was in control for two-thirds of the game, striking out and using an array of pitches to stifle a Mariners team not known for their hitting. This was an opponent, the Orioles at 43-37 had to beat, and they did so.
The bullpen – mainly, Pedro Strop – nearly coughed up the game; however, Jim Johnson saved it and a win is a win in the record books.
How the Orioles do from here on out will depend on their pitching. If they could somehow get more starts like what we saw from Chen last night, they will go a long way to contending this summer.
Chris Tillman, who has made several journeys up and down between the majors and minors, will need to step up huge on Independence Day.