Who are these guys?
The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 6-0 on Wednesday, and did so with contributions from some unlikely places.
First, there was a home run by this power-hitting second baseman, who was able to muscle a pitch 446 feet into the visitor’s bullpen, because he worked the count with a patient at bat. Yeah, some kid, sans batting gloves, hit the sixth pitch he saw out of the park. Later, this same guy hit the sixth pitch of the at bat for a two-run double.
Then, it was a home run from some outfielder. I don’t recall seeing his guy on the field – is he a September call up? In any event, his home run gave the Orioles some breathing room in the bottom of the fourth inning. If this guy can provide a little pop, a lot of speed, and an occasional day off for Adam Jones, he might be one of Buck Showalter’s nuggets.
2013 Chris Davis made an appearance this evening. It’s been a while since he’s shown his face in these parts, but the “Big Fella” is starting to show up more often these days. With an opposite-field two-run home run, it was a nice reminder that Chris Davis is a presence in the batter’s box… a dangerous one.
But the real story was some pitcher recently brought up from the minors. This starter, who isn’t universally acknowledged as an option to start in the playoffs, notched the first complete game shutout of his major league career. He had it all working tonight. He gave up four hits and one walk, against eight strikeouts, and a whole lot clutch pitches. The closest the right-hander came to buckling was the eighth inning, when he wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam, by inducing a ground ball into the sure hands of J.J. Hardy.
The Reds never had a chance – he was in that much command. Maybe he’ s got a future on this club.
OK, all theater aside, I’ll avoid saying “every night has a different star,” but you won’t hear any mention of Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, Darren O’Day or Zach Britton in a wrap of this game. The Orioles are on a serious roll, and this game was won with phenomenal starting pitching, and a mix of the long ball and manufactured runs. More importantly, the contributions came from unexpected places.
A lineup that included Lough and Kelly Johnson probably didn’t leave Orioles fans confident that runs would be plentiful, but the put up six runs in support of Miguel Gonzalez’s gem.
This. Team. Is. Fun.