Kevin Gausman is the presumed Opening Day starter for the Baltimore Orioles this year with Tillman apparently on the shelf. Gausman looked fairly strong through two innings yesterday afternoon in what ended up a 6-6 tie with Minnesota. Gausman’s line: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
The Birds had an early 1-0 lead after Davis’ RBI-double in the last of the irst. However the lone run that Gausman gave up came on a sac fly-RBI in the second. And you can live with a pitcher giving up a run – especially one like that. One thing I’ve noticed about Oriole pitching this spring (and Gausman is no exception) is that they’ve cut down on walks. Sure here and there someone will walk a batter, but the presumed big leaguers don’t seem to be issuing free passes.
Minnesota broke the game wide open against Oriole farmhand Jason Garcia in the third. A three-RBI double off the bat of Polanco gave the a 4-1 lead over the homestanding Orioles. Polanco struck again in the fifth with a two-run home run that ran the score to 5-1, and Minnesota would add an insurance run as well in the eighth.
However needless to say, the O’s weren’t going to lose on their home field in Sarasota. An eighth inning Washington two-run homer, a ninth inning Rickard solo shot, and a two-run homer off the bat of Mountcastle later in that ninth inning evened up the score at six The teams played one extra frame, and when nobody scored everyone hit the showers and called it a day.
Meanwhile the Orioles’ B-team headed to Tampa to play New York, where they lost 8-1. Keep in mind when you see that score that very few players in that game were true big leaguers. Tyler Wilson could be considered as such, and he got the start. Wilson’s line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
Again, you’ll take numbers like that in a spring game. Especially when the regular Orioles’ defense wasn’t playing behind him. That lone run came off of a Holiday home run. And in fact, the Orioles’ lone run of the game came off of a Joseph homer – Joseph of course being a bona fide major leaguer.
Remember folks, it’s not about wins and losses at this stage. It’s about how the team looks together, and about players having the opportunity to get the rust off from the off season. So sometimes when you see a screwy number like an 8-1 loss, or even a three-run inning, you have to ask yourself if the players or the pitcher involved in that are going to be on the big league roster come Opening Day. In many cases they won’t.
The Orioles will this afternoon travel to Bradenton to take on Pittsburgh. Wade Miley will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Gerritt Cole. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.