Series Recap: Braves @ Orioles
Catching. Brian McCann and David Ross continue to be the best catching platoon in baseball, going 7/11 with 3 extra base hits, 3 runs & 4 RBI. The team as a whole had 25 hits over the series, and the 2 catchers had 38% of them. I know they're good, but wow. They're also 1-2 on the team in OPS...yeah, what now Chipper?
Manny Acosta. Yeah, I said it. 3 innings over the last 2 games of the series after the damage was already done...he allowed 4 baserunners, but stranded them all. Its going to catch up with him pretty soon, but in all honesty, I feel a lot more at ease seeing him come out of the bullpen than I do with Moylan.
Starting pitching. So Tommy Hanson pitched...I dunno, "decently"? He got hit around the park and walked a ton of guys, but worked his way out of trouble (somehow), and only allowed 2 runs to get his first major league win. Kawakami was fine on Saturday, but the bullpen took a giant steaming turd on his effort (thanks Peter Moylan, I guess Bobby Cox didn't read my article about how Moylan was not a good 7th inning option). Derek Lowe on the other hand, was a complete disaster, and I have no idea why. Sitting at Camden Yards watching this game was real frustrating, and I stopped caring by the 4th inning and just focused on having fun with my friends.
Bullpen management. There was no reason whatsoever to use Soriano on Friday with a 5 run lead, especially Soriano who has been worked to the bone this week and looked like hell on Thursday. I could see wanting to get Gonzalez some work, though. Saturday was a mess, with O'Flaherty getting knocked around like a pinata, and Bobby letting it continue for 5 batters (3 of whom eventually scored). Then Moylan came in (who also has been getting worked pretty hard this week....so much for that elbow surgery, huh?) and threw some more gas on the fire before the aforementioned Manny Acosta came in with a helicopter full of water. Unfortunately, the damage was done...mostly because of...
Aside from the catchers I talked about before, only Martin Prado and...the right fielder?! had more than 2 hits over the course of the series. They made Brian Bergesen look like Greg Maddux with all the hacking they were doing, and what did that get the team? 7 baserunners in 9 innings against a rookie with an 89 mph fastball. Fantastic.
Reds series preview will be up later tonight.
Orioles win series 2 games to 1
June 12: Braves 7, Orioles 2
June 13: Orioles 8, Braves 4
June 14: Orioles 11, Braves 2