Game 18: Orioles 1, Twins 3

The Good:

  • Jeremy Guthrie scattered a few hits (and a couple HBPs – maybe Guthrie’s trying to pitch inside more; his number of HBPs almost doubled last year) pretty well. Final line; 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
  • Matt Wieters’ (apparently) new swing looks much better (more up-right, little larger leg-kick, keeping the top hand on the bat  a little longer maybe). He seems quicker to the ball, and like there’s more authority behind it.  Went 2-4 with a double in this one.

The Bad:

  • Having not seen Mark Reynolds before, I don’t know if he’s doing something different either. The broadcasters have said that he’s doing a better job making contact than he has before – which is true; his strike-out rate is down – bu there’s been a loss of power there too (as a result?). Reynolds striking out 30% instead of 40% of the time is good, unless that means he hits 20 home runs instead of 35.
  • More generally, Scott Baker shut the O’s offense down in this one. Birds had just one walk and four hits, whiling striking out 9 times against the Twins right-hander. They strung together some baserunners against the Twins’ pen, but were only able to push a single run across.

The Final:

Two game outburst of runs, then back to “normal”. Sometimes an opposing pitcher is just on his game though. The split leaves the O’s at 8-10 for when the Yankees come to town. So a sweep there would put them back over .500, I guess.