Game 62: Orioles 7, Pirates 1

Jake Arrieta was supposed to being moving to the bullpen to work out his hypothetical “problems” – pretty much just a high BABIP over his last 6-7 games – but with Brian Matusz’s start having to be pushed back after he bunted a ball into his face during practice (sounds like he’s mostly OK though), Jake got one more chance to make a start. Many people wanted Arrieta demoted to the minors, and facing the Pirates (.225/.279/.361 this year with an atrocious 71 wRC+) isn’t that far off.

The Good:

  • Arrieta didn’t disappoint, racking up the strike-outs with some sick breaking-stuff and getting a lot of groundballs. He ended up allowing a number of hit (.357 BABIP), but they were mostly scattered instead of clustered which kept the runs off the board. If the timing was slightly different, he could easily have allowed 4-5 runs and everyone would have called for his head – while he actually pitched just as well. Hopefully this will buy him some more time in the rotation. Final line; 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K.
  • Chris Davis is strong. First time up he doubled deep to left-field to drive in a run, and later he hit a broken-bat home run to right when it almost looked like he stopped his swing half-way through. Davis is on pace to hit 30 or so homers this year, and if he does that while keeping his BABIP up (.367 this year, ~.340 career) then he can be an OK player despite all the strike-outs and the lack of walks.
  • Wilson Betemit doubled and homered as well, adding a single for his third hit.
  • JJ Hardy picked up 3 hits, and Mark Reynolds and Steven Pearce each had 2.

The Bad:

  • Brian Roberts went 0-5 with 2 K’s. Not quite as impressive as his 3 hits from last night, but it was nice to see him back on a baseball field.
  • Matt Wieters didn’t have the best night at the plate, going 0-4 with two weak groundouts to the right side (one for a double play) and a couple flyouts.

The Final:

The win puts the O’s in position to go for the sweep against former Orioles Erik Bedard tomorrow night. It also gets them back to 10 games above .500, meaning the only need to play at a .450 clip the rest of the way (~73 wins over 162 games) to finish at the level for the season.