Sunday, April 27, 2008

O's-White Sox, Let's Split Two

I can not say enough about Brian Burres' start against Chicago. 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K and the win. I still maintain that his proper place is in the bullpen, but this year Burres is carrying the rotation - 3 wins and a 2.49 ERA are both tops amongst starters. He has just a 13:10 K to walk ratio, but has given up only 1 home run, so it's taking a lot of baserunners to bring in runs. His hits and home runs are going to go up, and his ERA with it, if he can't bump the K's up a bit, but right now he's looking like a legitimate #4 starter. The effort was especially important since it saved the bullpen for the second game.

Chicago's lefty John Danks was pretty good too - he had a perfect game through five - but Guillermo Quiroz eventually got to him with his first major league home run. The Birds added 3 more against Octavio Dotel and took game one of the double header 5-1.

Game two went less well as Steve Trachsel was on the mound. Trachsel was brought in to provide some veteran stability to the rotation, but he gave up 5 runs on 10 baserunners in just 3 innings. He's got a 6.08 ERA on the year (I was expecting an ERA of 6 from him) and he's once again walked more than he's struck out. If he can't provide innings, then he shouldn't be in the rotation much longer.

Jim Johnson continued his success out of the pen, providing 2.1 scoreless innings and the rest of the relievers kept to White Sox off the board as the O's bats made a comeback from their 5-2 deficit. They did just that on a Millar homer, and then a triple by Brian Roberts and a double by Melvin Mora, tying the game at 5-5.

Unfortunately, Randor Bierd didn't bring his control to the park today. A walk-single-walk with a fly out in between loaded the bases with two outs. I said that I'd be OK with the loss if Brian Anderson (the batter) singled through the infield, as long as Randor didn't walk or hit him, or throw a wild pitch. Well, that's exactly what happened as Anderson grounded one past a diving Pelican to give Chicago the 6-5 win.

With Guthrie and Cabrera pitching in the next two games (it's a four game series) I feel pretty confident of at least getting a split. Considering Trachsel was facing Mark Buerhle, a loss was entirely expected in this one. On the bright side, the O's are tied with the Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

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