Good morning, Birdland!
The Orioles have their first win of the season, a 2-0 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day in Baltimore.
It was the type of win that has been rare around these parts for a few years. Pitching ruled the day, the lineup did just enough, and the gloves played a clean game.
With each passing game I get a bit more excited about the Orioles bullpen. Mike Baumann made his season debut and looked incredible with a fastball touching 98 mph. Cionel Pérez is a weapon from the left side. And I personally love the idea of Jorgé López closing, if that is truly the plan.
Bruce Zimmermann knows how to pitch. Just about every soft-tossing lefty gets slapped with the “pitchability” label, but it is on full display with Zimmermann. His change-up was nasty on Monday, and he was locating just about everything. I know the Brewers offense has some holes, but that is still a batch of big league hitters that Zimmermann disposed of with little drama.
Across four games, the Orioles offense has scored a total of six runs. They need to improve. Things were better in the win. They struck out just seven times, a season low, and there were a handful of hard-hit balls with high hit probabilities that the Brewers were able to snag.
It all starts with Cedric Mullins. He was responsible for the two RBI on Monday, but he also struck out two more times, bringing his total to nine on the season. Hopefully it’s just an early-season funk.
The same goes for Austin Hays, who is 1-for-14 to this point. Advanced metrics suggest he has been a tad unlucky and is still hitting the ball rather hard. They will start to fall in. Once Mullins and Hays get going the offense will be much more fun to watch.
Statement from Chairman and CEO of the Baltimore Orioles John Angelos | MLB.com
I absolutely hate the trend of localities paying massive bills to upgrade sports stadiums. These places do not bring the financial impact that they claim to. But I also understand that this is how the game is played at this point. I’m sure it will look beautiful, and it will quiet the people that talk about the team relocating. It’s just that I can think of far better uses for $1.2 billion.
For Orioles’ Bruce Zimmermann and his family, a start on Opening Day is a dream come true: ‘Indescribable’ | The Baltimore Sun
Did you know Zimmermann was from the Baltimore area? Just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that piece of information. No one is talking about it.
Random thoughts following yesterday’s win in home open | School of Roch
Roch touches on the pitching set-up and how it will change. My thought is we have to stop forcing a round leg in a square hole. There aren’t five traditional starters on the roster, so don’t treat them as such. Piggyback pitchers like they did with Zimmermann and Baumann yesterday. It appears to be the plan again today with Alexander Wells and Spenser Watkins. It’s effective! It works! Don’t overthink this.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Brad Brach turns 36. The righty was a key piece in the Orioles bullpen from 2014 through 2018, compiling a 2.99 ERA over 299 total appearances. He is currently in the Braves organization on a minor league deal.
- The late Charlie Lau (d. 1984) was born on this day in 1933. He spent parts of seven seasons with the O’s from 1961-63, then again from ‘64-67 with a stint in Kansas City in-between. The catcher had a 101 OPS+ with the Birds during his time,
- Mel Held is 93. The right-handed pitcher appeared in four games with the 1956 O’s, his only big league experience.
- A posthumous celebration for Bill Wight (b. 1922, d. 2007). The southpaw had a 12-year career, of which he spent three seasons with the Orioles from 1955-57.
This day in O’s history
2016 - The Orioles extend their run as the lone unbeaten team in baseball. J.J. Hardy hits two homers, and Mark Trumbo dongs once as the O’s move to 7-0 on the season following a 9-5 win over the Red Sox.