The Orioles’ bats woke up a little yesterday, but a pair of three-run homer allowed by the bullpen led to yet another loss. David Hernandez will try to help the team avoid a sweep, against a pitcher whose fastball is slower than his change-up – Tim Wakefield (born in 1966 and still pitching like a kid out there).
|Van Every, Jon||L||CF||.000/.000/.000||0|
Kid ’66 (nickname courtesy of Rob Neyer):
I hope he pitches forever, even if it is for Boston.
Wakefield’s going to flutter that knuckler up there on almost every pitch, and it’s not the easiest pitch to hit. He’ll try to surprise you with that “fast” ball once in a while, which seems to work given the very good run value he’s gotten with the pitch in recent years (via FanGraphs). After 63-65-64-57-61, a 73 mph fastball can look like it has a whole lot more giddy-up than it does. As the rule for hitting knuckleballs goes though; if it’s high, let it fly – if it’s low, let it go. The O’s hitters haven’t been great with the “let it go” part in general this year, so we’ll see how it goes if Wakefield actually has the pitch dancing.
I love Nolan batting lead-off. Might encourage him to use the whole field a little more, though – counter to what Brady Anderson said during the broadcast yesterday (though I thought he did a good job overall, despite a not ideal speaking voice for it) – Reimold isn’t pulling the ball more this year. He hit the ball to left-field 52% of the time in 2009, and 48% of the time in 2010. Now if Dave will just slide Nick and his .400 OBP up a spot, things will be more to my liking. I don’t love a flyball pitcher on the mound in front of that outfield defense though – yikes.
More strike-outs and fewer walks than 2009 are good, but no home runs allowed despite all those flyballs is a fluke (and the reason for the vast disparity between FIP and xFIP). He’s throwing that two-seamer, but it’s not getting many groundballs so far.