Last night for the Baltimore Orioles was huge as they defeated the New York Yankees, 3-2, thanks to a walk-off homer by Nate McLouth in the tenth inning to snap a painful six game losing streak.
As well, reserve outfielder Chris Dickerson hit two homers against his former team; however, more notable, closer Jim Johnson pitched again last night.
Unlike his previous three outings, he did not come into a save situation. He was entrusted to hold a 2-2 tie in the top of the tenth inning. He got three easy outs and his inning of work seemed to be no big deal; then again, it was a breath of fresh air to see him not endure any more drama.
Hopefully, the past week for Johnson was just a bump in the road. I’ve got to give him credit, Johnson spoke to the media after every game and it really didn’t seem to bother him – at least from what he projected.
I’m sure Johnson had a bit of a poker face on after being interviewed the past few days, but as a fan, it was nice to see him pitch a clean inning for a change.
The Orioles got strong performances on the mound from Miguel Gonzalez (in his first start off the DL) – who went seven innings and gave up two runs, plus Tommy Hunter’s two scoreless frames in the bullpen.
However, the biggest news from Orioles yesterday came very late last night and they will be getting help from the minors.
Last night, reports came out that Kevin Gausman will be promoted from Double-A Bowie and will start Thursday’s game on the mound as the Orioles travel off to Toronto against the Blue Jays.
Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi sent out this tweet last night:
Considering the precarious state of the starting rotation, the Orioles may not have had a choice. They need arms in a bad way, and dominant ones that can perhaps pitch with some consistency.
Here's this bit from Ken Rosenthal from his article on FoxSports.com this morning:
The Orioles will promote right-hander Kevin Gausman from Class-AA Bowie to make his major league debut Thursday against Toronto, major league sources told FOXSports.com.
Gausman is reaching the majors less than one year after the Orioles selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft. He is 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts for Bowie. Sources say the Orioles are comfortable with the move because of Gausman’s ability to throw three pitches for strikes, as evidenced by his otherworldly ratio of 49 strikeouts to five walks.
The Freddy Garcia’s of the world will only get you so far.
However, the Orioles could use a solid arm like Gausman’s in the rotation. Although Guasman has been a professional for less than a year, he has pitched well in Bowie and also turned heads during Spring Training.
Could they be rushing him up too soon? Who knows? At this point, the team needs a game changer and don’t forget they took a chance on Manny Machado last summer to fill void.
I’m sure that Buck Showalter, his staff and the front office will watch Gausman closely. I would not worry about him being overworked; however, there’s always a chance of a pitcher being injured, especially at his age.
Alas, it is the nature of the business.
The Orioles are in it to win now and there’s no time like the present to promote talent that will help this team improve.
Hopefully Gausman is ready for the next level.