The Orioles downed the Marlins, 9-7, thanks to a late rally and two home runs from Luke Scott, a homer from Ryan Freel along with a three-run home run from Ty Wigginton. Aside from the come-from-behind win, the huge story of the day was Jeremy Guthrie.
In his second spring training start after the World Baseball Classic, Guthrie struggled badly again in the first frame, but bounced back. He gave up six runs — all earned — on four hits with two walks in the opening inning; however, he setlled down and finally finished his day’s work in the 5th inning.
Here’s what he told MASN’s Roch Kubatko after the game:
“I felt really good,” he said. “I know I’ve said that a couple times, but I just made a poor changeup to Ramirez. I don’t know if it was the right selection. It definitely wasn’t the right execution of the pitch and he hit it.
“I was frustrated. I felt like I wasted a pitch. I tried to throw a changeup for no real reason. I wasn’t committed to it and I gave up a two-run homer. It’s frustrating. The guy (Emilio Bonifacio) got a nice bunt hit, then a two-run homer, and it’s just like the last game. I’ve thrown six, seven pitches and it’s 2-0.”
At least Guthrie came within an out of completing five innings after a horrendous start.
“It was very important,” Guthrie said. “Struggling like that, you have a tendency to continue to give up runs. I’ve suffered through that like any pitcher has. That was my first 1-2-3 inning of the year in the second. I had a chance in the third without the (Jolbert Cabrera) error. Putting up zeros was really important.
“I felt really strong today on three days’ rest. I didn’t have any soreness after Fort Myers. I told Dave, ‘Do you want me to go to 90 (pitches)?’ And he said, ‘Let’s go in the 75-85 range because it’s shorter rest and try to bump you up to 90 to 100 the next game.’ I felt strong from the first pitch all the way through. I didn’t have any hitter where I felt like I had to take something off to get through. I think that’s a good position to move forward.”
I guess he’ll have one more start before the season, and then he’ll be ready for Opening Day (he was named the starter today by manager Dave Trembley). It was good to see him bounce back after struggling, and perhaps this might serve as good luck heading towards April.