I’m sure you’ve all heard my famous quote.
“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. — Will Rogers” — Paul Folkemer
Even for a fan base that wasn’t expecting great things, yesterday’s first glimpse of the 2020 Orioles was brutally bad. They gave up 13 runs, the most in Opening Day history for the club. Emergency starter Tommy Milone lasted just three innings. His replacement, Cody Carroll, faced four batters and walked three of them, getting nobody out. And the Birds’ offense didn’t fare much better, managing just two runs against a nondescript Red Sox staff.
We knew the O’s would be bad, but for them to be that bad, right out of the gate, is rough. It’s like the Orioles heard that nobody believed in them and said, “Oh yeah? We’ll show you! Come on, guys!” and charged out of the dugout, only to all simultaneously trip over their cleats and fall helplessly into the dirt.
But there’s nothing to do but turn the page on that debacle of an opener. Today brings game two at Fenway, with the Orioles’ Alex Cobb slated to pitch his first major league game since April 26, 2019. It’d be nice to see a competitive outing, for both his and the Orioles’ sake.
Meanwhile, the O’s are facing their first lefty of the year, Martin Perez, which gives us a first look at Brandon Hyde’s southpaw-facing lineup. There are quite a few changes from yesterday. Hanser Alberto moves up to the No. 2 spot and Pedro Severino to No. 5; Chris Davis is down to seventh. Anthony Santander remains in the lineup, now in left field and the cleanup spot, so clearly he’s OK after slipping around first base on a double last night.
Pat Valaika will make his first start as an Oriole, replacing Rio Ruiz at third base, while reserve outfielder Cedric Mullins starts in right, leaving the lefty-swinging DJ Stewart and Dwight Smith Jr. on the bench. It’s a bit of a surprise considering Mullins’ historical lack of success against lefties, but it’s not like either Stewart or Smith are pillars of the lineup.
Let’s see if this new batting order brings any success. Things can’t go worse than yesterday. ...Actually, forget I said that.
CF Austin Hays
2B Hanser Alberto
SS Jose Iglesias
LF Anthony Santander
DH Renato Nunez
C Pedro Severino
1B Chris Davis
3B Pat Valaika
RF Cedric Mullins
RHP Alex Cobb