The Baltimore Orioles had a forgettable and almost a regrettable evening last night at Ed Smith Stadium against Philadelphia – until Sean Coyle came up to bat in the last of the ninth. However even before that, it wasn’t looking good given the fact that the Birds were getting no-hit. Now mind you, these games still don’t count. But getting no-hit is getting no-hit, no matter how you spin it.
The state of Maryland appeared to take it on the chin yesterday overall, with the Maryland Terrapins getting bounced from the first round of the NCAA Tournament the same night where the Birds almost got no-hit. But notice I said almost; which means it didn’t happen. So there’s that.
Chris Lee made his maiden start for the Orioles this spring. Lee’s line: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K. Lee did have some issues finding the plate at times, as was evidenced by Buck Showalter‘s comment after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
Chris was OK. I think sometimes, his ball moves so much he tries to almost locate a little too much instead of attacking the center of the plate and letting the natural life take over. Those things will come. But he brings some things. He’s left-handed, he holds runners, he works fast, he’s a strike-thrower through his career.
Lee is one of a handful of candidates who could in theory end up in the starting rotation – possibly. It’s unclear what the Orioles are going to do regarding that quite yet with Tillman out, although I’m sure that Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette have an idea. And that’s probably why Lee got the start last night.
Philadelphia led 2-0 through most of the middle innings. However the story of course was that the O’s were being no-hit. I’m going off of memory here, however I seem to recall Philadelphia almost no-hitting someone a few years ago in Grapefruit League play. So it’s not unprecedented; it does happen. While it’s usually forgettable when it does, that’s not to say you want to be on the losing end of it.
With one gone in the last of the ninth. Chris Dickerson broke up the no-no with a base hit. At that point, win or lose at the very least the Birds wouldn’t post a zero in the hit column. That brought Coyle to the plate, and his two-run homer tied the game and gave the Birds somethin other than a zero in the runs column as well.
After the ninth inning Philadelphia appeared confused as to whether or not the game would go a token extra inning. Whereas the O’s were ready to play, Philadelphia decided it was time to hit the showers. I suppose a tie never looked so good from the Orioles’ perspective.
The Birds will head to Bradenton this afternoon to take on Pittsburgh once again. Gabriel Ynoa will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Drew Hutchinson. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.