Friday, March 6, 2009

O's-Nats, Danny Being Danny

Orioles and Nationals facing off in a Spring Training game.

It's weird seeing Daniel Cabrera in another uniform. He is fifth all-time amongst O's pitchers with a K/9 of 6.96. I'm anxious to see David Pauley pitch, so I'm glad they're broadcasting the game.

The Nats also have former O's Alex Cintron and Corey Patterson in their line-up.

Top 1:
  • Pauley has good movement on his fastball, but Christian Guzman serves one to left for a lead-off single.
  • After getting ahead 1-2, he gets Cintron swinging way out in front of a change-up. He does indeed have good arm-action on it.
  • It's nice to here Buck Martinez and Jim Hunter.
  • Kory Casto flies out to Felix Pie and his high socks in left.
  • Brad Eldred breaks his bat on a bloop single. It wasn't the best pitch, so a single isn't the worst thing that could have happened - especially gi
  • Oh Corey, how I've missed you. First-pitch fastball down out of the zone - and a mighty swing and a miss. Change-up outside - and a mighty swing and a miss. Tailing fastball on the inside corner for a called strike-three.
  • I like the look of this Pauley kid. He may never be better than a #4 starter, but that was surely worth Randor Bierd (who I also miss terribly).
Bottom 1:
  • The O's have a legit line-up out there today.
  • I missed Daniel too. First pitch to Brian Roberts is a high fastball for ball one. And hard grounder off Eldred's glove at first results in a lead-off single.
  • Adam Jones batting in the two-hole. I think swapping Jones and Markakis would actually be the more efficient thing to do. Jones takes a ball and a strike before waving at a breaking-ball way outside. On a 2-2 fastball, Adam lines a fastball to center putting runners on the corners for Nick.
  • Markakis doesn't appear to be crouching quite as much as he was last year. A bouncer to second brings in Roberts and moves Jones over. 1-0 O's.
  • Cabrera starts Huff off with a really nice curveball for a called strike. Adam Jones steals third pretty easily, and Huff works Daniel for a walk. Runners on the corners again.
  • Huff steals second on the first pitch - a ball - to Ty Wigginton. Yikes. I really feel for Daniel; I hope he figures it out eventually. He walks Wiggy on five pitches to load the bases.
  • Fastball high to Scott for ball one. Fastball high to Scott for ball two. Daniel comes back to get him though, with Luke failing to check his swing on yet on high fastball on a 3-2 count.
  • Washington's 2007 first-round draft pick, Ross Detwiler, is already warming up.
  • Pie swings at the first pitch he sees (doesn't he know who's pitching?) and lines what looks like a bases-clearing double to left-center. The left-fielder robs him with an inning ending diving catch, though.
Top 2:
  • Jose Castillo grounds to short, but Ryan Freel overthrows Huff at first and Castillo moves to second on the error. Not what I wanted to see from Freely at shortstop - maybe it was Farney.
  • Roger Bernadina doubles right down the first-base line for a game-tying RBI double.
  • Pauley comes back to strike Justin Maxwell out looking with an 89 mph heater on the outside corner. If he can't make it as a starter, I think Pauley could be a pretty solid middle reliever - it's not the most glamorous job, but somebody has to do it.
  • A grounder by Wil Nieves to Freel's right is handled cleanly for out number two.
  • Guzman grounds out to second to end the inning. Keep the ball down; throw strikes; and mix your pitches. It works.
Bottom 2:
  • Robby Hammock pops out to start the second.
  • Freel hits a ball to deep left, but Bernadina robs another Oriole with a diving catch. If only the Nationals didn't have thirty outfielders looking for roster spots.
  • Roberts singles to left this time. Nice to have a quality lead-off man on the team.
  • Jones lines a single to right, but Roberts has to stop a second this time. Buck is talking about how batting second will make Adam more patient. I will say again that batting Nick (and his .400 OBP) in that spot make a lot more sense.
  • Daniel is so deliberate to the plate that Roberts and Jones are able to pull off a double steal. It looked like Adam - who had to lag behind a little when Roberts ran - might have been out, but it was a bang-bang play. Cabrera ends the threat by striking Nick out swinging on a 3-2 breaking-ball down and in.
Top 3:
  • An easy bouncer to first retires Cintron for the first out.
  • Castro grounds slightly more sharply back to Pauley - he takes a second to find the ball after knocking it down, and throws to Huff at first for the out.
  • Eldred showing that big power, hitting a long flyball to left. Pie settles under it at the wall though, and makes the catch. Easy three-up, three-down.
Bottom 3:
  • Cabrera's done, with Detwiler coming in to face Huff. Aubrey draws a walk for the second time.
  • Wigginton grounds the first pitch to third, erasing Huff with the double play.
  • Scott doubles down the right-field line, to sporadic yells of LUUUKE.
  • Pie hits a hard grounder to third that Casto dives for, but Felix is able to beat the throw to first.
  • Hammock singles through the left side to give the O's a 2-1 lead.
Top 4:
  • George "Flat Breezy" Sherrill in now. I was bothered the last couple innings because Pauley reminded me of someone but I couldn't figure out who. Then I got it and kind of laughed... Roy Halladay. Well, a much crappier version of 'Doc'. The motion and pitches (minus a few levels of "stuff" quality) are similar, maybe. I'll take a closer look the next time Pauley's on the mound.
  • Korey (Patterson) strikes out swinging on a high fastball.
  • Castillo doubles over Jones' in right-center to bring up Mr. Twice-Diving-RBI-Doubling BernadinA.
  • Bernie (no idea if that's actually his nickname) grounds out to second, with Castillo moving over to third with two outs.
  • Maxwell flied out to center and the inning is over.
Bottom 4:
  • Preston Larrison (who?) goes 3-2 on Roberts before walking him. Brian has been on base all three times today.
  • And so has Adam Jones, who gets hit with a pitch as he's pulling his bunt attempt back. Do they double steal again?
  • Yup. And they pull it off again. That's six steals on the day (two by Roberts and three by Jones) for the O's. Hey, as long as they're making it safely I'm all for going crazy on the base-paths. Just as long as they stop when the caught stealing's start piling up.
  • Markakis goes down looking an a 3-2 something-or-other that Nick thought was high.
  • Huff singles up the middle to drive in two, making it 4-1. And Buck is saying that without the double steal they wouldn't have scored. Maybe then Nick would have hit a three-run homer. It doesn't work that way Buck - the team really can score a whole bunch of runs without running a lot. I know - I've seen them do it.
  • Wigginton flies to right for the second out.
  • Matt Wieters is batting for Scott. It's my first look at the future Hall of Famer. He shows a good eye in working the count full, and a good swing to double into the left-field corner to drive in Huff and make it 5-1. I still don't think he'll put up a .939 OPS this year thoug (unlike PECOTA).
  • Lefty Mike Hinckley in to face Pie, who bounces to second. The throw by Castillo isn't even close to Eldred, and Wieters scores while Pie takes second. 6-1 O's.
  • Hammock pops out to short and the inning is over, but not before the Orioles put four on the board.
Top 5:
  • Jamie Walker is hoping to not give up 7 HR to lefties this year.
  • He gets Nieves swinging on a change-up for the first out.
  • Guzman lines the first pitch he sees right to Adam Jones in center.
  • Cintron singles, but Castillo grounds out to second to end the inning.
  • These are the kinds of O's games I could get used to.
Bottom 5:
  • Hinckley retires the O's in order, keeping Roberts and Jones off base for the first time today.
Top 6:
  • Dennis Sarfate in, along with a bunch of defensive replacements.
  • He blows the first batter away with a fastball - I've waited several months to be able to type that again.
  • The gun says 91-93, but it looks a whole lot faster than that and he's making the catcher's mit pop.
  • Jorge Padilla goes down looking on a fastball on the outside corner.
  • Castillo bounces one to third, where Wigginton has to handle a tough hop and can't make the throw in-time.
  • Bernadina flies to Pie to end the inning.
  • Until that last batter, Sarfate was really pounding the strike-zone with that fastball. If he can cut down on his walks, he could be a really useful guy out of the pen to go along with Sherrill, Johnson, and Ray. A light-out bullpen would go a long way towards making the rotation problems seem less severe.
Bottom 6:
  • Nick Markakis looking to not strike out against Steven Shell. And he sure doesn't, lining a single to center field. Jolbert Cabrera is in to run for him at first.
  • Craig Brazzell flies out to short center-field on the first pitch he sees in the game.
  • Whoever was hitting before Matt Wieters made an out.
  • Matt Wieters also made an out. I honestly didn't see that one coming.
Top 7:
  • Also getting my first look at Chris Tillman now. And Nolan Reimold in left.
  • Tillman is tall and lanky, so he may pick up some more velocity as he fills out. The ball does seem to explode out of his hand though.
  • Maxwell gets a flyball into the wind and makes it to third on a triple off the wall in right.
  • Nick Markakis is being interviewed on the sidelines. It's funny to here him refer to Adam Jones and Felix Pie as young kids.
  • A groundball to third brings in the Nationals' second run of the day.
  • One out later, Tillman issues the first O's walk of the day. That's the main thing standing between Chris and the majors, but at 20 years of age he still has quite a bit of time to work on that.
  • He ends the inning with a strike-out on a high fastball.
Bottom 7:
  • Justin Turner (from the Ramon Hernandez trade) hits a two-out single to left, but he's left stranded. 6-2 Birds.
Top 8:
  • A single, a double, and a strike-out for Tillman in his second inning of work.
Bottom 8:
  • O's go down 1-2-3.
Top 9:
  • Fredy Deza in for the ninth. Throws hard(ish) but falls of the mound and his control isn't good
  • That doesn't stop him from K'ing the first batter with that heater.
  • A line-out and aa groundout ends the game
The pitchers looked good (minus some minor control issues from Tillman). It's really nice to have baseball back.

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