Results tagged “Orioles” from Who Made You Mirabelli?
Forget the six game lead in the Wild Card -- well don't actually forget it, because that's pretty awesome too -- but last night's rubber match against the Tampa Bay Rays showed us something that might be more useful come October: the emergence of Clay Buccholz as a control starter.
This is a guy with a career 1.73 SO/BB average, never knotching a season over 2.20. However, within the last week, Big Play Clay has earned himself a 4.0 SO/BB average. How's that for control? Hitting the spots has always been his biggest problem. His stuff is evident, and it's clear that he knows how to use it. But nibbling at the corners is something that he doesn't have yet... and that's fine. Those are the type of skills acquired by nothing but time and practice.
This trend is not only good for the kid, who very well may be a head case (emotionally... not psychologically... and yes... there is a difference), but it's also good for the team. Things are starting to click all over the place at the exact right time -- which as we've seen with the Rockies in '07 and the Rays in '08, trumps virtually all other skill sets.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox don't have time to stop and think about how nice this is starting to feel. Tonight, the Rangers go up against the Orioles, and Chris Tillman is going to call Scott Feldman his "daddy," after all -- he's practically old enough to be.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have won seven straight -- although tonight's matchup against Halladay and Baby Joba should be one for the ages... or in Joba's case, up until the fourth inning.
In last Thursday match up against the Nationals, the 42-year-old threw 10 sliders in just the first inning (which stretched a grueling 34-pitches). With a less than stellar slider these days, this was a clear sign that he was in trouble, and he was looking for ways out.
Today, he threw zero first inning sliders. This means that he's more comfortable with his pitches, and is more in command. Today, he kept the off-speed pitches down. Today, he decided to fight.
Now, it's certainly easy to forget the plusses when the bullpen puts forth such a putrid showing. It's just too bad that their stinkfest had to outshine Smoltz's real comeback. In what would be the biggest comeback in the history of the Orioles franchise, Red Sox "relievers" gave up five runs in two consecutive innings, after Adam Jones, on of the most dangerous young players in the leauge, left the game. Ten runs between Masterson, Okajima, and Saito? Seriously? This is a team that crumbled to the Sox 11 times in the last twelve meetings, mind you. Since when did Oscar Salazar coming off the bench strike fear into the hearts of major league pitchers? So many questions... so little time.