When you see in a story about a baseball game that a player received a standing ovation, it's difficult to know just what that entails. The phrase encompasses a wide range of outcomes, from the meek, one third of the crowd stands and just claps that sort of counts as a standing ovation, to the sustained exuberance that happened when Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2131 game became official and he took the celebration lap around Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I'll fight anyone who claims to have seen a better baseball moment. Last night's standing ovation for Zach Britton wasn't exactly 2131 territory, but if you were just watching on TV you may not have appreciated how cool it was: everyone was standing and cheering and it was out of genuine excitement and appreciation for Britton's performance.
Today we welcome back Jeremy Guthrie from his bout of Bieber Fever, and hopefully he is back at full strength. There had been reports over the past few days that Chris Jakubauskas might be making a spot start, but he was pressed into long relief duty last night instead. If what we saw from Jack O'Boskie last night is what we will see from him in the future, then it's better that he appeared in garbage time rather than ruining a game we still had a chance to win. The combination of homer-prone Guts and homer-happy Texas may not be a pretty one, but maybe they got it all out of their system last night.
Pitching for Texas is Derek Holland. He's in that class of major league player who I forget about as soon as the game where I see them in is over, and if I ever hear any person talking about how good they are then I assume the player must be overrated. (Exhibit A in this class of player is John Lackey, and look how that's working out for Boston.) Fangraphs tells me he that he's a lefty who struck out 10+ batters per nine innings in the minor leagues and that he has four pitches, mixing a slider, changeup and curveball with a 92mph fastball. It also tells me he does not pitch well on the road. So that's Derek Holland. Let's shell him and forget about him until the next shelling.
It's Sunday and we're not deploying a forfeit lineup. Isn't it wonderful? Go O's!