Who is this 6-foot-9 mystery man named Daniel Cabrera?

May 09, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

Another quality start, another victory and another opportunity to flip flop on Daniel Cabrera for any of us confused by this six-game run of prosperity.

Last night he took the mound in Kansas City, threw strikes and left with a three-hit complete game in a 4-1 win over the Royals.

Will the real Daniel Cabrera please stand up?

Or IS this the real Cabrera?

Has Rick Kranitz reached him a way that Leo Mazzone and those before him could not?

Is this an aberration, this 3-1 record and Jim Palmer impersonation?

Since the Orioles went into the tank over the past two weeks, it seems as though the enthusiasm for the team has waned a bit as well. They’re under .500. It’s hard to stay awake late every night watching sleepy games from the West Coast, especially from Oakland where the game feels like a “friends and family” gathering reminiscent of the Camden Yards endeavors of April.

But Cabrera’s effort last night must be recognized.

Here’s the line: 9IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1W, 7K

Manager Dave Trembley called it “his best effort.”

Certainly, Peter Schmuck will be printing a retraction, no?

I probably stand in that group that will never be convinced that the tall, lanky righty will ever become the next Randy Johnson. We’re just hoping he’s not the next Sidney Ponson!

I’ve just seen Cabrera’s act too many times before since 2004 to get too worked up over one game, especially in Kansas City, where his career ERA is a full two points lower than anywhere else he pitches.

Hey, this is a guy who has allowed almost 1100 baserunners in just over 700 career innings.  One outstanding start in Kansas City does not negate the five years of dramatic inconsistency we’ve seen from Cabrera. He’s now made 124 starts as an Oriole, more than you probably think, really.

But is this the “magic moment,” this six-game stretch where Cabrera looks like he’s grown up and found the strike zone?

Or just a blip on the screen in a 2008 season where he’ll finish 9-14 or something crazy like that?

He’s fun to watch, even in the late innings because you always have that little voice in your head – especially in a close game – that he’s gonna start throwing four-pitch walks at any point. You’re always watching for his body language to change, because it’s very dramatic when the worm turns.

But last night, he was virtually flawless. And over the past few weeks, he’s looked like a different man.

Only time will tell…but they’ll be handing him the ball again next week against the Red Sox here at Camden Yards.

And I’ll be attempting to lure a few of you to the ballpark for a game or two next week.

I still miss baseball, and it seems like they’ve been out of town for a long time.

Plenty of good seats available…

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