Fresh* of taking 5 of 6 in New York and Boston, the O’s come home to face off against probably the best team in baseball.
* Actually, probably not very fresh at all, given the marathon yesterday.
- Stu Pomeranz was called up before the game to add some depth to the weary bullpen (32 K’s to 2 walks in 19 minor league innings this year). I was impressed with what I saw from him in Spring Training, and he didn’t disappoint in this game; 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. He showed a good fastball at 93-96 (got 4 swings and misses with the pitch) and a decent curve. Actually, it might be the case that he has both a two-seamer and a four-seamer, since it looks like there was a distinct cluster of fastballs that had more sink and tail to them. In any case, I expect Pomeranz to be up again even if he gets sent down shortly, and he could be a solid reliever for the team.
- JJ Hardy stayed hot, picking three hits (including a double). He’s raised his average almost 50 points in the last two days.
- Robert Andino hit a solo home run (his 3rd of the season – he had 5 all of last year), and Wilson Betemit hit a two-run homer (against a lefty no less)
- Brian Matusz looked good at times, but his command was not good enough to deal with the Rangers’ offense (namely former Oriole Brandon Snyder, who homered and drove in 5 on the night). A lot of hits fell in, but many of them were hit mighty hard. He did manage to get 11 whiffs though – 6 on the fastball and 5 on the slider. Final line; 5 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
- Jason Berken (also called up), did not fair as well as Pomeranz; 1 IP, 6 H, 7 R (2 ER – thanks Mark Reynolds), 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HR. I’ve always liked Berken more than I probably should. Hope he can improve his command enough to be a big league reliever again.
- Nick Markakis looked slow and, well, bad. Grounded into a double play, and easily could have hit into two more (those weak grounders only resulted in an out each).
The standing ovation for Chris Davis when he came to the plate was pretty fun. Most of the rest of this one… not so much. Not that it was hugely surprising (apparently a lot of fans thought that, since the announced attendance was only ~11 thousand). Try again tomorrow, I guess. And hey, they kept the Rangers from even 30.