Sunday, April 12, 2009
Orioles 6 Rays 0
The Orioles guaranteed themselves a second series win over an alleged AL East contender with a fairly easy 6-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. In the words of the movie "Major League," "Maybe these guys ain't so fuckin' bad?"
The game, for all intents and purposes, was over in the first inning when the O's jumped all over Tampa starter Jeff Niemann for five runs, punctuated by a Melvin Mora grand slam. Jeremy Guthrie looked sharp, scattering 5 hits over 6 innings of work. Relievers Matt Albers, Jamie Walker and Chris Ray each gave up a hit but managed to pitch their way out of any trouble. Ray in particular has been a mystery man this year: he looked great in spring but has been bombed in two outings so far. It looked like he'd be the guy to blow the shutout after giving up a walk and a double to Dioneer Navarro. But he recovered and ended up striking out the side, giving a little Dennis Eckersley-style fist pump after K'ing Akinori Iwamura to end the game. Let's hope this is the beginning of Ray returning to the dominating form he showed in spring.
There was very little to note from this game after the first inning but two things struck me. One, did the O's grounds crew put flubber down on that warning track. The first five games at Oriole Park have seen a ton of ground ruled doubles, where the ball hits that track and bounces about 30 feet in the air. It looks like bouncing a tennis ball on asphault.
Second, the O's did not take a series from Tampa all year last year. Now, they've done it in two games. Like I said in the opening, these guys may not be so fucking bad, especially if they get some decent pitching, because they certainly can hit.
So the O's will try to go for the sweep this afternoon. Things will be a bit tougher with Rays ace James Shields going to the hill against O's fifth starter Adam Eaton. But until then, if you like an Orioles win, give me a Huzzah!