The Baltimore Orioles finished up their long ten-game road trip as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 3-2, in ten innings on Sunday afternoon.
They finished up their road trip with a 6-4 record – a good thing – considering how recent history has gone. Right now, the Orioles have a 9-7 record, and we all should enjoy it. The young players – especially Adam Jones and Matt Wieters have developed into possibly All-Stars and definite pillars this early season.
I’ve seen Jones play with a greater focus than ever, and also like the fact he is using his athleticism to be more aggressive on the basepaths.
Nick Markakis – who had been struggling as of late – came through with two clutch hits, one in the eighth inning to tie the game at two, and the other to decide the game in tenth. Of course, he could have been ejected – if not for Buck Showalter stepping in to protect him with grievances over ball/strike calls. The calls have been terrible this series, and I’m surprised the issue had not been brought up sooner.
Pedro Strop, despite giving up a game-tying homer to Howie Kendrick in the eighth inning earned the win, his second of the year; meanwhile, Jim Johnson got the save, his seventh of the season.
Wei-Yin Chen looked exceptionally strong on the afternoon as he went 6 1/3 innings and gave up a run on five hits. It will be intriguing to see how he acclimates to four days of rest, in comparison to five or six days rest – customary in Asia.
As well, as the weather gets warmer in the mid-Atlantic, I’d like to see how his body holds up. Koji Uehara seemed to not do well in the heat and seemed to need his rest, so I wonder if Chen will go through the same issue – or not.
Overall, Chen has been a very nice pickup for the Orioles. I’ll reserve any more optimism about him until he goes through the American League twice and observe if the hitters made adjustments.
Meanwhile, his counterpart on the mound – Dan Haren for the Angels – pitched extremely well, going 7 1/3 innings and giving up two runs; however, the bullpen faltered for the Angels.
Honestly, what should the Orioles do about Mark Reynolds? He is only hitting .125, been a butcher at third base, and has only driven in three runs with no home runs. Oh yeah, he has struck out 22 TIMES in 48 at-bats.
I do not know what to say. He will bounce out of this for sure, and was productive last year; however, how long can Showalter keep trotting him out there? I would think the Orioles would love to trade him – but can not!
I guess another player you can also shake your head at is Nick Johnson. He is now 0-for-23 with a .115 on-base percentage.