Tonight's doubleheader started off about as well as it could have. The walk up crowd appeared to be substantial as Eat More Esskay and I had to wait in line for tickets for about twenty minutes. We got to our seats in section 80 as they were announcing the lineups and so we didn't miss one pitch of Zach Britton's masterpiece.
Britton's command was excellent and he obviously had his sinker working as he induced thirteen ground out against only three fly balls. He kept the Rangers' hitters off balance all night long and was regularly hitting 95 mph on the radar gun. I tell you, no matter what the argument for keeping in down in the minors, his first two starts prove that he belongs at the major league level with the big boys. He got into trouble in the eighth inning with two down and Buck Showalter pulled him for Jason Berken, who finished the game. Britton walked off the field to a very well deserved standing ovation, and I decided that I don't even care about service time. I don't ever want Zach Britton to leave me.
The offense also did its part in this game as both Nick Markakis and Mark Reynolds hit their first home runs of 2010. Nick hit a solo shot in the first inning and in the second inning Reynolds launched a 3-run HR deep into the left field seats, one section over from where we were sitting. The O's fifth run came in the third on an Adam Jones single to score Luke Scott. That'd be it for the offense and from then on it was the Zach Britton show and I loved every second of it.
Jake Arrieta started the second game of the double header and it wasn't pretty. He gave up eight runs in 3.1 miserable innings. Josh Rupe had a decent middle inning effort, but Chris Jakubauskas (EME suggests this last name might be Lithuanian for "weak sauce") gave up five more runs in the final three innings of the game. The O's were held to just four hits and their only run came via an Adam Jones HR in the second inning. For more analysis of this game, check below the jump.