Friday night’s ballgame was pretty great, right? I mean, sure it was horrifying and annoying right up until the point that it wasn’t, but that is the magic of Orioles baseball.
This Tale of Two Ubies had it all. There were ups, there were downs. There were expletives yelled from my living room. Jimenez got off to a “slow” start, giving up a run on 30 pitches in the first inning. Then he mowed down the Yankees in just 14 pitches in the second inning. At that point, you didn’t know what you were going to get from him for the balance of the game – but if you’re anything like me, you were sick with worry, and loving it.
When he gave up his first home run, the game wasn’t too far gone, but when he gave up his second, the game sat at 5-1, and looked like the Orioles were headed for their first loss of the season at the hands of those Damn Yankees. This was, after all, the team who had mustered just three runs a game vs. the Blue Jays, and were headed for the buzz saw of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman.
The O’s bashed their way out of trouble. Manny Machado put the Orioles squarely back in the game with his Earl Weaver Special.
Then Seth Smith did this:
We talk a lot about whether Hyun Soo Kim will play against lefties, whether Trey Mancini c an play well enough to keep his bat in the majors, and whether a roster crunch will send Joey Rickard to Norfolk. Seth Smith would like to remind us that he is here, and plans on making an impact.
Duly noted, Mr. Smith.
The bullpen turned in 4.2 perfect innings to ensure the win. Oliver Drake enjoyed a sip of his cup of coffee in the majors, and Darren O’Day demonstrated he was over the flu. Donny Hart was credited with the win, despite only recording one out, and Brad Brach was absolutely absurd in his filth (all hail First Half Brach).
Then there was the matter of Mr. Britton.
I wrote over at Baltimore Sports Report that we should watch Britton to see if his first two appearances were a fluke, or the early signs of a developing trend. Nothing to worry about, I wrote, but reason to be attentive. Well, if you were paying attention, Zach Britton looked good. And the Yankees looked put away.
This is the team we will root for this season, and this is the formula that has to work. The Orioles sent a rather uninspiring, back-end starter to face an AL East foe, and when he fell apart, the offense scored six runs, and the bullpen dominated. The Orioles won a game in the most Orioles fashion possible. To quote our friend Derek Arnold, #ThatsSoOs.