Wednesday, April 16, 2008

O's-Jays, Pitching Struggles

With their 11-3 lose, the Orioles split the two game set with the Blue Jays. Steve Trachsel's poor strike-out to walk ratio finally came back to hurt him as the hits started dropping in. He got through just 2 1/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He struck out only one.

Greg Aquino came in and did only marginally better (3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K), but at least he saved the bullpen a little by pitching into the fifth. Randor Beird went 2 2/3 innings himself, and his scoreless streak continued. He walked none, gave up two hits, and K'ed a batter. Dennis Sarfate pitched the ninth, giving up 2 more runs on 4 hits. It was not a good night for O's pitching, as they gave up 16 hits (12 singles, 3 doubles, and a homer to Aaron Hill), walked 6 and struck out 4. The Jays, despite scoring 11, left a good number of men on base.

The Orioles offense showed some life, with home runs by Melvin Mora (his team leading 3rd), Nick Markakis (a shot into the bullpens in left-center field), and Adam Jones (his first as an Oriole - he also walked twice and flied out to deep center, which is encouraging after the 4 K game against Tampa), but they were all hit with no one on base. Aubrey Huff go the day off (which is good, because he has been struggling the last couple days) with Luke Scott moving to DH and Jay Payton starting in left. Payton went 0-4 with 2 K's. I find it doubtful that he can increase his trade value with more playing time, so I hope to be seeing a little less of him - especially once Scott Moore comes back up. I was previously pushing to have Kevin Millar batting second, but I saw that the optimum line-up for run scoring actually places him 9th. Considering Mora has 3 HR but just 6 RBI (even with B-Rob getting on base at a good clip) it really does make sense. I don't think there's any chance of it happening, but the team might be able to pick up 3-5 runs that way, which is worth about half a win.

The first place White Sox are coming into town next. With their 5-3 win over Cleveland, Boston moved a half game ahead of the O's and the Jays in the AL East.

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