A couple of years ago, this must have seemed like the perfect matchup for Orioles fans. The young, steadily improving Kevin Gausman against the old, declining CC Sabathia. It hasn't quite worked out that way.
Sabathia has rebounded and morphed into that great Orioles foe, the soft-tossing lefty - he averages just 90mph on his fastball. Maybe he's gotten lucky. Although his season ERA is 2.70 in four starts, his FIP - based on his strikeout and walk rates - is a much higher 4.73. It'll be good if the Orioles can be the ones to turn that luck around.
Speaking of pitchers who need to turn things around, there's Gausman. Who could have imagined that after a month's worth of starts, it would be the Opening Day starter Gausman who is the worst of the bunch in the rotation? That's how it is, at least by ERA - though that may yet change by the end of April, depending on how Gausman does tonight and Ubaldo Jimenez does tomorrow.
Joey Rickard is back and is immediately the leadoff hitter and left fielder. Maybe he can get his first hit of the year, or at least safely get on base for the first time of the year. He only made one start before getting hurt so that's not quite as bad as it sounds. The Orioles didn't have to make a corresponding roster move because apparently they had optioned reliever Paul Fry after Wednesday's game, which I must have missed amidst all of the excitement of the walk-off walk.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Joey Rickard - LF||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Matt Holliday - DH|
|Mark Trumbo - DH||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Welington Castillo - C||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Trey Mancini - RF||Aaron Judge - RF|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Greg Bird - 1B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Austin Romine - C|
|Kevin Gausman - RHP||CC Sabathia - LHP|