Joe Saunders certainly didn’t help the Orioles run differential in his Baltimore debut on Wednesday night against the White Sox. The 31-year-old lefty didn’t make it out of the sixth, he surrendered 10 hits, 6 earned runs and put the O’s in a 4-0 hole after half an inning.
Saunders has now allowed 20 earned runs and 29 hits in his last three starts. Reason for concern? Not for Buck Showalter who blamed Saunders’ eight days off between starts. “Probably a little rusty. Then he settled in and pitched pretty well there. Gave up an unearned run,” Showalter said after the game according to MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko.
But Saunders wouldn’t make excuses. “I tried to keep myself as sharp as I could, throwing flat grounds and just looking at video and all that stuff,” he said.
He told reporters that he felt things just didn’t go his way in the first inning and that the only bad pitch he delivered was to Alex Rios.
Saunders was plagued by a .500 BABIP. Some defensive lapses from J.J. Hardy and an error from Matt Wieters could have completely changed his outing. Saunders’ recorded an outstanding 2.72 FIP despite his 41.7 LOB% and 10.13 ERA.
“You always want to set a good impression your first time,” he said after the game. “It sucks that that first inning was the first inning, but you’ve got to turn the page quick and look forward to the next start.”