Last night, in the sweltering heat of Charm City, the Orioles swept the Oakland Athletics in their three-game set, defeating them, 3-2.
Baltimore’s Zach Britton, who had struggled through May after making things look easy on the first month on the job, was solid once again.
The Athletics jumped all over Britton when he faced them on the West Coast; however, he stifled them, only giving up a run in 6 1/3 innings. He would receive the win, while the bullpen gave up an unearned run, and Kevin Gregg got the save.
Well, we all knew at some point Britton was going to struggle, considering his age, experience, and the fact that scouting is so sophisticated now. Everyone knows Britton’s stuff is extremely good and he is certainly going to be a solid major league pitcher; however, Britton struggled last month and the batters were starting to figure him out.
It is good to see that he has made some adjustments and maintained a level head. Britton looked confident last night on the mound and hopefully can build upon the start on Wednesday night.
The Baltimore offense did their job, scoring all their runs in the fifth inning. Mark Reynolds came through with yet another home run – a two-run shot – that made the difference. Considering how much he has struggled since the season began, it is good to see his power has started to make an impact for the Orioles this week.
Mark Reynolds, who was known as the ‘Sheriff’ or ‘Sheriff of Swattingham’ in Arizona was only acquired by the Orioles for one reason. He seemed to be a perfect fit for Camden Yards.
I had a conversation with my good buddy on Sunday and we spoke about him for a good bit.
My buddy remarked, “So, what do you think of Reynolds?”
I more or less replied, “He is what he is. Dude will not hit .300, but he can provide power and bring guys home.”
I added, “seriously, his average may not come close to his body weight; however, much like Adam Dunn, if he can walk and hit some homers, plus drive in runs, he will be worth it for the O’s”.
So far, Reynold’s numbers are nothing exceptional.
He has produced, but not even lived up to expectations – yet. The thing we should hope for as fans is that once the heat comes to the Mid-Atlantic for the summer, the ball will fly off his bat.
As long as he walks, drives the ball over the ball, makes productive outs and plays excellent defense, the Orioles can live with the strikeouts.
That being said, let us hope ‘The Sheriff’ can deliver.