The O’s take on the Texas Rangers in the rubber game of this three-game series. I’ll be commenting on the action live from the press box at Camden Yards. Let’s go O’s!
Guthrie may be in for a long day after his recent hospital stay. Let’s hope he’s not gassed too early.
First half of the first inning was a success. A 1-2-3 inning from Guthrie is just what we want to see early on.
Singles by Derrek Lee and Vlad in the bottom of the 1st were nullified by a Mark Reynolds strikeout. I have a bad feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of that this season.
A throwing error by Reynolds didn’t hurt the O’s as Guthrie got out of a small early jam. What a catch by Guthrie on a line drive by Torrealba. Guthrie looks good through two innings of work. No signs of slowing down.
Jake Fox looks a little to eager to get that first hit after jumping on Holland’s first pitch and flying out to left. I guess he’s just trying to carry over a hot spring training to the regular season, but he’ll have to wait a few more innings to get into the hit column.
Wieters nearly had his first long ball of the season, but just missed staying inside the foul pole in right. Andino couldn’t extend the inning after Wieters drew a walk.
Kinsler has the first hit of the day on Guthrie on a liner up the middle. A walk to Michael Young puts runners on first and second with two outs as Josh Hamilton comes up to bat. I’m not totally sure, but I think I saw a relative of Hamilton’s when I was waiting for the elevator to go up to the press box. If that was his relative, I’m sure he’s not happy about what just happened. Markakis just made one hell of a catch, robbing Hamilton and the Rangers of at least two runs. That’s why we love Nick.
Lee and Vlad are on base again, now at second and third, as Reynolds tries to knock them in and give the O’s the lead. Even though he didn’t strike out this time, he still left two more runners on base. The O’s need to start cashing in on these chances.
Beltre stays hot and after just missing a home run in left, he took a 2-2 pitch and rocked it to left center. That’s why the O’s need to start hitting with runners in scoring position. Despite the solo homer to Beltre, Guthrie finished the inning up strong and retired the next three batters. And the results of the Old Bay shuffle had the middle crab ending up with the can of seasoning. It always confuses me when they go underwater, but I kept my focus and guessed correctly.
Holland is pitching strong so far and has only allowed three hits through four innings of work. He has also struck out four and only walked two. Lee and Vlad are the only two O’s that have registered hits off of Holland so far, with Lee having one and Vlad two.
Another 1-2-3 inning from Guthrie is just what he needed. He now has 73 pitches through five innings and should be able to go another two depending on how they go. He isn’t showing many signs of fatigue even after his hospital stay earlier this week. Let’s hope the O’s can get something going here in the bottom of the 5th. Due up: Andino, Roberts and Markakis.
The wave is in full effect. It still flips me out watching the arms of thousands of people go up in unison. And I almost got rocked with a foul ball from Markakis. Good thing I took my eyes off the wave for a second. Man, that was scary. After almost killing me, Markakis rips off a single to shallow left. Lee follows with a double, which should’ve been an RBI double, but once again the third base coach John Russell told Markakis to hold up when it looked like he could’ve tied the game. Markakis saw the play the entire way and after stopping halfway to home plate, turned around and went back. Turns out Markakis would’ve made it anyway because Torreabla missed the throw. It’s a tough call to make, but with two outs you have to be aggressive. Another missed opportunity that hopefully won’t come back to bite the O’s in the rear.
After allowing Hamilton and Young to reach base, Guthrie got out of yet another jam and retired the next three batters in a row. That may have been his last inning as Accardo was warming up in the pen. Guthrie may come out for the seventh, but probably won’t last through it. Jim Johnson was just announced to be warming up now, so we’ll see what happens after the bottom of the 6th.
The announced attendance for today’s game is 21,452. Not bad for the first Sunday day game of the season. Most of the lower and club level seats are filled and the upper deck is scattered with fans. The first home stand has been somewhat of a success so far, with the O’s going 3-2 coming into today’s game. They will bring their 3-0 road record to New York when the visit the Yankees on Tuesday for a three-game series. Then they’re off to Cleveland for the next three days before coming home the following Monday. The series against the Yanks will go a long way in seeing just how competitive this O’s team will be in the AL East.
The O’s couldn’t do anything with a lead-off base runner. They may have seen Holland for the last time of the day, so let’s see if they can get to the Rangers’ bullpen next inning. Jim Johnson is now on the mound for the O’s. A good outing by Guthrie on a day that could’ve went much worse considering his circumstances.
Johnson couldn’t hold the Rangers to a one-run lead and allowed a two-run homer to Kinsler with two outs. Michael Gonzalez is now warming up in the O’s pen. The O’s need to get something going this inning.
A 1-2-3 inning from the O’s was not what I wanted to see, but we have the heart of the order coming up in the 8th and are still only three runs down. Gonzalez is the new O’s pitcher. Hopefully he won’t have to pitch from the stretch this inning.
So this is my second trip to the press box at Camden Yards and so far it has been a great experience. I have seen various members of the Baltimore media as well as Rick Dempsey. Seeing Amber Theoharis was by far the highlight of the day so far. I don’t want to brag or anything, but as I was walking down to get some water, I got a smile from her. Just saying.
Alright Fox, here’s your chance. Two men on and two outs. This would be a great time for your first hit. A home run would be perfect. Thanks.
I definitely posted that a little premature. Luke Scott has been called in as a pinch-hitter. But once again, I’ll take a home run right about now. Luuuuuuuuke!
Well, Luke couldn’t come up with any O’s magic this time. One more inning to go and three runs to tie. And I just saw on CBSSports.com that J.J. Hardy is heading to the DL and could be out up to six weeks. What a bummer. He was doing a hell of a job on both sides of the ball so far. He will definitely be missed. Andino and Cesar Izturis will now take over shortstop duty while Hardy is out.
A nice double play turned by Izturis nullified a lead-off single by Mitch Moreland off Kevin Gregg and kept the O’s within three runs. The bottom of the lineup will have to get the rally started if the O’s are to pull out the win.
The O’s couldn’t capitalize on a pinch-hit single by Felix Pie and fell to the Rangers 3-0. Not a horrible game by the O’s, but obviously not the result we wanted to see.
Too much timely power by the Rangers and not enough timely hitting by the O’s was the difference in this one. The O’s couldn’t seem to get anything going offensively and even though they pitched relatively well, they weren’t able to get the series win. The O’s went 3-3 on the first home stand of the season and now head out on the road for six. It’s going to be tough playing in New York against a hot Yankees team, but I don’t think the O’s will be the least bit intimidated. Like I said before, this next three-game series against the Yanks is going to tell us a lot about this year’s O’s team.
Submitted by Steve Giles