A few links, etc…
Amazing how pitching turns things around.
Miguel Gonzalez rebounded from a shaky first inning to win Friday’s series opener and Chris Tillman gave up a leadoff homer and settled in en route to another quality start Saturday, the Orioles fourth consecutive game with a quality start. Jim Thome is getting hot –homering in back-to-back games — and you can read more about last night’s win here.
This is a road trip the Orioles needed to get back on track. They went 2-2 in Minnesota and are now guaranteed at least a .500 trip. But looking at their tough upcoming schedule, it would certainly behoove them to take another two games from a reeling Indians club.
Baltimore does not have an off day until August 2, which will mark the first day since the All-Star Break. Following this series, the O’s will welcome the Tampa Bay Rays and the red-hot Oakland Athletics before going to New York and Tampa Bay.
Zach Britton will take the mound later today for his second start this season after issuing a career-high six walks in his first start in Minnesota Tuesday night. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had a long talk in his office with Britton on Wednesday and said later that afternoon the 24-year-old Britton “was going to be alright.”
Here’s the rest of what he said…
“Every sport has a jump in levels of play,” Showalter said. “There are a lot of things that if you do well there play well up here. We were looking at a stat, when Zach is down in the strike zone, the opponent’s batting average is like .160, .165 off him. That plays anywhere. But you can’t put this on too big a pedestal either. I was talking to [rookie Ryan] Flaherty about it today. They things they’ve got to do to be successful play and you don’t want them to get timid. You can want something too much. You’ve just got to stay in the process and the pitch-to-pitch execution and the at bat and move on to defense. It’s so easy to sit here and say it’s easy to do, whether it’s J.J [Hardy]. or Nick Markakis or [Chris] Tillman or Zach Britton. Everybody has challenges. This is a mentally challenging game and it challenges your emotions.”