Spring Training Game 1: Orioles 3, Pirates 10

Baseball on TV! Well, considering it was the Orioles versus the Pirates, maybe one would call it “baseball”. The O’s had their starting line-up out there though, and Spring Training games are still (usually) better than almost anything else on.

The Good:

  • Brian Matusz got the start, going a couple innings. Though he gave up a number of hits (6) and a few runs (3), there were some positives; he K’ed 3, didn’t walk a batter, and didn’t give up a flyball (there was one relatively hard-hit “fliner”, but nothing that was going to leave the yard with a strong wind). It looked like maybe they wanted Matusz to just work on the fastball, since that seemed to make up the vast majority of his offerings. He was hitting 90-91 pretty consistently, and even threw the pitch by at least one batter. I’m not sure things would have gone as well against a line-up better than the Pirates’ B team, but it wasn’t a bad start. Looking forward to seeing Matusz open things up a bit in future games.
  • Oscar Villareal (1 IP, 1 H, 2 K), Troy Patton (2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K), and Stu Pomeranz (1 IP, 2 H) didn’t give up any runs, which was “good”, relatively speaking.
  • Nolan Reimold was in the lead-off spot, and it sounds like there’s a fair chance he’ll actually be there during the season. Only Nick Markakis has a higher career OBP on the team, so Reimold-Markakis (or the other way around) at the top of the line-up makes a lot of sense. Nolan did go 0-3 with 2 K’s, but hopefully that doesn’t dissuade Buck.
  • Manny Machado made a a nice diving stop plus strong throw at short – if he can be average to above there defensively, that’ll go a long way to making him a valuable big leaguer.

The Bad:

  • Kevin Gregg is still on the team. The announcers were talking about how he wants to get his closer’s job back… and Gregg promptly allowed a two-run home runs. Sure, he can get his job back – he just needs to outpitch Jim Johnsons. Given that I’m not totally confident in Gregg outpitching, say, Jason Berken, it just seems unlikely. At least he struck out the side.
  • Matt Lindstrom followed Gregg, giving up three more runs (only two earned) and not even recording a K. I’m not a scout, but even though he was throwing 94, the ball wasn’t really popping and it didn’t seem like batters were having all that much trouble catching up to it. And the slider seemed kind of flat. Maybe it was an off night though.
  • Darren O’Day didn’t give up an earned run, but two crossed the plate, on two hits and a walk (struck out a pair)
  • Two errors (Andino, Davis) and generally poor defense, which is not a great way to back up a bad pitching staff.
  • On the other side of the ball, the O’s had as more K’s (9) than hits (6 – all singles) plus walks (2).

The Final:

The O’s went down 1-0 two batters into the game (mid-season form!), and it more or less continued on in that vein. This is Spring Training for fans too, but the team just dropped us right into the deep end having to watch this kind of game – couldn’t they have eased us in to the sucking?