With the Orioles 6-4 loss to Texas on Monday night Baltimore is now losing the season series against the Rangers winning three and losing four. The Orioles are currently 2-5 on the current eleven game home stand that continues tomorrow night when the L.A. Angels come to the Yard for a quick two game series.
Jeremy Guthrie threw his fastball well tonight; his heater sat in the 92-94 range and had good late movement (something he had not had in his previous two starts). Guthrie was doing a good job in the early innings of keeping his pitches down but as the game went on more pitches (especially his off speed stuff) began to rise up in the zone. As his pitches rose in the strikezone Rangers hitters began to hit Guthrie hard culminating with a two run shot by Michael Young in the top of the fifth to pull the Texas within a run at 4-3.
Overall Guthrie labored through five innings allowing three earned runs, six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. Trembley pulled Guthrie after he faced twenty two hitters and threw 105 pitches on an unusually warm April evening.
Matt Albers (L 0-1) came in to relieve Guthrie in the sixth and was wildly ineffective; his fastball was up all night and seemingly every curveball he threw was in the dirt. Albers looked pitiful allowing three earned runs, three hits, and two walks while retiring just two Texas hitters.
Dennis Sarfate took over for Albers with two out in the sixth and was brilliant allowing only one hit and striking out two while not allowing a run in his 2.1 innings. Sarfate did an excellent job of using his off speed pitches along with his fastball that was dancing all over the place and tailing away from right handers. Sarfate had a great sequence of pitches inducing Ian Kinsler to pop out to first to end the eight inning after starting the at bat 3-0.
Chris Ray pitched a perfect ninth inning, his fastball was hitting 95 on the gun and his slider had a ton of movement.
At the dish Nick Markakis extended his fourteen game hit streak with a single to left in the first inning off Rangers starter Matt Harrison (W 1-2). Nick has reached base in all twenty of the Orioles games this season.
Adam Jones went 1-4 and is currently hitting .343 on the season. While Jones has excelled in the two hole I am not sure how much longer he will stay there. I wonder where in the lineup is the best place for Adam to hit going forward in his career?
Utility man Robert Andino had a nice night giving Cesar Izturis a night off at short. Andino went 2-4 with a run and an RBI while stealing a base in the second inning.
The 2009 version of Andruw Jones looks like he ate the 2005 version. I can not think of a player whose skills eroded so quickly once Major League Baseball toughened its steroid policy.
Overall it was a difficult loss for the birds tonight. Guthrie still doesn’t seem like he has the command we have seen in past seasons. Albers looks like not opting for surgery on his labrum was a massive mistake as he can not keep his breaking ball out of the dirt. With the Angel coming in for a two game series tomorrow the Orioles need to get a split before they travel to AL East leading Toronto for a three game series beginning Friday.