We needed that.
The Orioles won a game against the Angels tonight they could have lost. David Hernandez could have lost his composure. Jim Johnson doesn’t always channel the fielding prowess of Greg Maddux. And George Sherrill has been known to walk a batter or two, or three... But they didn’t. The bad stuff didn’t happen. And the O’s won, 6-4.
The offense, as per usual this year, got hot early than forgot how to hit. Luke Scott sent a pitch to the RF wall in the first to put the O’s up 2-0. Aubrey Huff smacked the hell out of a ball to RF in the 3rd with two men on to put the O’s up 5-0, and then Nick Markakis drove in the 6th and final run in the 4th. Then the O’s went back to watching "Matlock" or whatever the hell they do for the last 5 innings of a game and forgot they could actually keep scoring after the 4th inning, even though it was clear Ervin Santana was hittable.
David Hernandez threw 6.2 IP of pretty good (OK, Stacey, GREAT) pitching for a rookie, and showed signs of being the pitcher we’d all been led to believe he could be back in Spring Training. It’s not exaggerating to say David Hernandez needed this start as bad as we Orioles fans needed to see a win, if not more so. The spot is his for the foreseeable future, but Chris Tillman is on the horizon. Someone’s gonna lose a rotation spot sooner rather than later. And David Hernandez did a pretty good job of making a case for "Not me." Jason Berken, you’re on notice.
Jim Johnson decided to show us Wednesday was no fluke, as he bounced at least four balls to Matt Wieters in the course of his 1.1 IP of work. He looked like a man who wasn’t sure if he’d ever throw another strike that wasn’t waist-high down the middle. George Sherrill thought about making things interesting, and decided against it, as he had a 0-2 count on all batters in the 9th, and the one runner allowed on via a single was wiped out on the the game-ending double play. It is really nice to have an infield defense you can believe in. Thanks again go to Melvin Mora, Robert Andino, Brian Roberts and Aubrey Huff. I think their defense is getting a tad overlooked this season. And Matt Wieters launched a missile of a throw to cut down Chone Figgins. Damn, The Deity has an arm.
The series continues tomorrow with a start time, so we folks in the East get a start instead of . I’ll be about 5 beers deep into a neighborhood party by then, so keep yourselves safe, folks. And ignore my bad typing if I decide to chime in somewhere around the 6th inning tomorrow. You have been warned.