Good morning, Birdland!
The Orioles finally won a game without relying on their offense to score a boatload of runs. In fact, the lineup was rather poor on Tuesday night, thwarted by Josiah Gray and three members of the Nationals bullpen. But they nabbed the win anyway because Dean Kremer brought his good stuff to the mound, and the relievers behind him were just as effective.
Beating this version of the Nationals is not terribly impressive in a vacuum. The quality of their lineup looks a lot like what the Orioles were trotting out there in the depths of their own rebuild from 2019-21. But it’s still a major league team, and Kremer needed to figure some things out. That happened here. His fastball was up a tick, including a few 97-mph offerings in the third inning, and he got a healthy number of whiffs. Hopefully this is a springboard to better things.
An interesting development in this game was the way in which Brandon Hyde deployed his relievers. In a one-run game, he went with Danny Coulombe to wrap up the seventh inning, then Yennier Cano as the set-up man in the eighth, before Félix Bautista got the save opportunity.
With the off day on Monday, one would assume Hyde had his entire bullpen at his disposal. Typically, you would expect him to go with Cionel Pérez and Bryan Baker ahead of Bautista if everyone is available. But it’s possible Coulombe has surpassed Pérez (for the moment, at least) as the preferred lefty. Cano over Baker is a bit of a head scratcher as Baker has looked good and Cano started the year in Triple-A. You can’t argue with the outcome, though. The ‘pen got its job done.
A mini-sweep can be had today. Kyle Bradish is expected back from the IL tonight, although that has not been confirmed just yet. That would require a roster move. Is that why Cano pitched? Or perhaps another member of the bullpen will be sent down. First pitch is 7:05 from D.C.
Orioles hitters strategize use of limited pitch clock timeouts: ‘We just have to be smart’ | The Baltimore Sun
Anthony Santander is quoted in this piece saying that he would like an additional timeout. Perhaps the sped up game is impacting him more than others. It would make sense. He was incredible in the WBC, which had no pitch clock, but has been scuffling in the season’s first month.
Orioles doing better job getting on base | Roch Kubatko
A common critique of the Orioles during the Buck Showalter/Dan Duquette era was that they didn’t get on base enough. To be watching a team now that is near the top of the league in OBP feels surreal.
MLB To Test More Rules Changes During 2023 Atlantic League Season | Baseball America
I have enjoyed the rule changes put in place for 2022, and MLB should definitely keep testing things. Of the options listed here, the only one that I like is the designated pinch-runner. It feels a bit little league-ish, but it’s also fun! I’m all about fun!
A mixed bag of early results for the Orioles (Ep. 104) | The Warehouse Podcast
Mark’s not the only one with a podcast around here! But, like, you should probably listen to both of us. Thanks!
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- George Sherrill turns 46. An underrated piece of one of the biggest trades in franchise history, Sherrill became the Orioles’ closer in 2008, earning an All-Star nod in the process. He stuck around until 2009, when he was dealt to the Dodgers.
- Willis Otáñez is 50 today. The utility man’s O’s stint spanned 32 games between 1998 and ‘99
- Scott Kamieniecki celebrates his 59th birthday. From 1997-99, the righty made 85 total appearances for the Orioles, moving from the rotation to the bullpen halfway through his stay in Charm City.
This day in O’s history
2011 - The Orioles snap an eight-game losing streak by beating the Twins 11-0 at Camden Yards. Jake Arrieta tosses seven scoreless innings while Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts lead the offense with seven combined RBI.