The Baltimore Orioles’ string of starters not struggling too much in games came to an end this evening with Ubaldo Jimenez. In fairness to Jimenez, Oriole bats were unable to generate much in the way of offense, especially with the B and C-teams in the lineup against Boston’s regulars. But it all begins and ends with starting pitching. Jimenez’s line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 3 K.
Now Orioles fans shouldn’t fret too much over this. First off, Jimenez has had a great spring – possibly the best of his career with the O’s. However he also was able to right himself after a very rough first inning. A first inning in which we actually saw action in the Orioles’ bullpen – not a good sign in any game.
Boston’s Young got the scoring started with an RBI-single in the first, followed by one by Travis. Again, in fairness to Jimenez, the Orioles did appear to get out of the inning after yielding only those two runs. However the Birds couldn’t turn a double-play on a bounding ball to Rutledge, and an additional run scored.
Jimenez allowed a base hit to start off the fourth, and he was then relieved for the evening. However that run came around to score on a throwing error by Pena behind the plate, and that sealed the Orioles’ fate with a 4-0 loss. But no harm, no foul…the game didn’t count.
For his part, Jimenez knew that he struggled but he also knew that he was able to recoup his composure and get things in order (quotes courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
They told me I was rushing a little bit, my mechanics were a little bit too fast. And then in the second I was able to get it back.
Jimenez went onto say how good he was feeling thus far on the spring, which certainly bodes well for the Orioles come the regular season:
I feel good, I feel really good. Physically, mentally and everything. Everything’s good. I’m just throwing the pitches that I need in order to be ready for the season.
One bad outing or inning shouldn’t change that for the Orioles, Jimenez, or even for the fans. There are those reading this who just assume that now the real Jimenez comes out. You have to look at the whole body of work in the sense that this game is the exception to the rule – for the spring. One bad inning shouldn’t change that.
The Orioles return home to Sarasota tomorrow afternoon to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mike Wright heads to the bump for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Clay Holmes. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.