Garrett Olson pitched a quality start in his return to Baltimore, and the O's got rid of Rays starter Jason Hammel in short order to pound out a 7-4 win at home and stay tied with the Red Sox for first place in the AL East.
I watched the game but didn't talk, and here were my impressions of Olson last night, in numbered form!
- Five walks in six and two thirds is still just not good. At all.
- I won't, however, go so far as to say he was "the same guy" as last year. He dealt better with falling behind and even losing batters, and those that pointed out the small strike zone last night (probably a more correct strike zone than most pitchers are used to anymore) are correct. He never lost his head and threw fat pitches just to get them over. He trusted that his stuff and his defense would bail him out. It's a dangerous way to live if you're going to walk that many, but it's the right mindset, I'd say.
- I was glad to see him wearing No. 18 instead of 57. Last year, Alberto Castillo had 18, and 18 has been worn by the likes of Pat Kelly, Javy Lopez, Jeff Conine, Bob Milacki, Damon Buford, and, of course, Larry Sheets.
- I'd rather see Olson struggle and learn than watch Steve Trachsel simply struggle.