Talking Behind Their Back: Yankees
Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Eaton and Koji Uehara were Baltimore's starters in the three-game series and if you had to pick out one guy to get you a win against the Yankees, you probably wouldn't have picked the winner.
Eaton got the first win for an Orioles starter since the last time he won back on April 23. While Guthrie and Uehara pitched better than Eaton in the series, they did not receive the benefit of pitching with a nine-run lead (thanks, Phil Hughes).
Guthrie pitched well in Game 1 and managed to hang in for six innings despite giving up three runs early but still lost 4-0 as Baltimore was shut out for just the second time this season. Guthrie and the Orioles were simply on the wrong side of a buzz saw as CC Sabathia finally showed why the Yankees are paying him the GDP of a small Eastern European nation over the next seven years with a tidy complete game shutout.
Uehara was given the business again, allowing one run on six hits and leaving with a 3-1 lead after six innings but still falling to 2-3 on the season. His bullpen let him down Sunday as Jamie Walker and Jim Johnson each gave up home runs in the eighth inning that turned the game and the series in the Yankees' favor.
Curiously, Uehara's worst starts have led to his two victories. In his two wins (against the Yankees and Rangers in his first two starts), Uehara had an ERA of 7.20, having allowed eight earned runs to go with just three strikeouts. In his five other starts (all either losses on no-decisions), he had an ERA hovering near 3.00 and has given up just 11 earned runs to go with 29 strikeouts to average nearly six punch outs in those five starts. That just seems unfair.
Regardless, the Orioles will enjoy their first day off of the month today before diving into a quick two game series at home against Tampa Bay before going on an 11-day road trip that concludes Memorial Day weekend in D.C. against the Nationals.
Baltimore and Tampa Bay met just a few days ago so the two clubs are plenty familiar. Working in the Orioles favor will be the fact that they wont have to see Matt Garza again as he pitched last night in Boston. Instead the O's will face Andy Sonnanstine (1-3, 5.79 ERA) and Jeff Niemann (2-3, 5.65). Baltimore, meanwhile will send out Brad Bergesen and ex-Ray Mark Hendrickson. Given the two offenses involved and the mediocrity of the pitchers being thrown out there, this could definitely be a high-scoring series.
On the plus side for the Orioles, Rich Hill might not be too far away from making his Baltimore debut having thrown 95 pitches over six scoreless innings for Class AAA Norfolk yesterday. Of course that means someone's got to go but who?
Luke Scott injured his shoulder in yesterday's loss to the Yankees but the team won't know the results of the MRI until Tuesday. If he doesn't end up on the disabled list, the O's may have to make a tough call.
If Scott is injured enough to go on the DL, Baltimore could either bring in Hill and go with the 13-man staff or call up either infielder Oscar Salazar or left fielder Nolan Reimold (the time may be now, jca-CrystalCity).
All of this would be even more complicated if the Orioles hadn't traded disgruntled and nearly healthy utility player Ryan Freel to Chicago for speedy outfielder Joey Gaithright (headed to Norfolk) late last week. Ironically, Scott's possible injury would've finally opened up some playing time for Freel (and his imaginary friend Farney).
If Scott goes on the DL and the team brings in Hill, in theory Baltimore could use Ty Wigginton at DH and keep the left field carousel going with Felix Pie and Lou Montanez.
Talk about a juggling act. Over at his blog, MASN's Roch Kubatko is also trying to sift through the various possible Orioles permutations.
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