Ubaldo Jimenez had a bit of a rough outing this afternoon in Bradenton, as the Baltimore Orioles fell to Pittsburgh, 6-5. The Birds found themselves down big early on, however they tried to fight back. Jimenez’s line: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 5 K. Jimenez said that he felt he was too often throwing off speed pitches while working from behind in the count (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I think I was throwing too many breaking balls when I was behind in the count, something you want to work on in order to get your breaking balls ready for the season. Two of those walks that I got were on fastballs and the other three were with breaking balls behind the count, 3-2 pitches. I wanted to get my breaking balls down and I couldn’t. I was working on that.
The Orioles actually had an early 1-0 lead on Chris Davis‘ fielder’s choice-RBI. Pittsburgh would tie it up in the third on a sac fly-RBI. However what ended up killing Jimenez were the five walks. In the wake of several walks, Pittsburgh managed an RBI-double and a grand slam in the fifth. Two of those additional runs were charged to Jimenez, however they did score after he left the game.
However the O’s did in fact battle back. Janish and Tavarez smacked RBI-singles in the seventh, and Mancini grounded into a force out which scored two runs – in a sequence that included an error. But in the end it wasn’t enough, and the O’s fell to Pittsburgh in Bradenton, 6-5.
The key for Jimenez and all Oriole pitchers is to keep the walks down. That’s really what it boils down to for the Birds. If they can keep guys off base, the odds of the opponent scoring goes way down.
The Birds will return to Sarasota for an evening affair tomorrow night against Philadelphia. Chris Lee will take to the mound for the Orioles, and Philadelphia hasn’t named a starter to this point. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.