The Triple-A Norfolk box score from last night mistakenly credits Dennis Sarfate with 1 2/3 scoreless innings and one strikeout. It’s actually two innings and two strikeouts. He started the eighth inning.
A victory tonight would give the Orioles eight home wins in August, their highest total for any month this season.
The Orioles are 1-8 in games that decide the winner of a three-game series, their only triumph coming May 13 vs. Seattle.
Seattle starters have posted a 1.84 ERA in 17 games against the Orioles over the last two seasons.
Jeremy Guthrie has a 1.52 ERA in his last six starts, with seven walks and 24 strikeouts over 41 1/3 innings.
Manager Buck Showalter said it was “more necessity” that led him to use Armando Gabino in a one-run game last night. He wasn’t insulting the right-hander, just pointing out that he didn’t have many bullets - one of his favorite expressions.
Showalter will manage against his former team tomorrow night when the Rangers come to town.
“It’s the first time I won’t be pulling for them, the next four days. That’s pretty much the way I look at it,” Showalter said.
“I’ve got a lot of people I respect a lot over there. They’re one of the best teams in the American League and it’s come together. I’m happy for Ron (Washington). He’s the perfect guy in that situation, what was needed, and I’m happy for him. He worked long and hard to get that opportunity.
“I’m proud of them, but the next four days we’ll try to figure out a way to hang with them.”
Showalter continues to rave about the catch Felix Pie made in foul territory last night to retire Ichiro Suzuki in the top of the first inning. Pie almost flipped into the stands, but he held onto the ball.
“How about the play he made in left field?” Showalter said. “You know the greatest thing? Did you see the look on Ichiro’s face? That was worth the price of admission.”
Asked for his assessment of Pie, Showalter said, “I’ve always found it’s a lot easier to try to dial a guy back than it is to dial him forward. I’d rather deal with somebody who’s going out of his way to do things and being proactive.
“I think a lot of people forget this guy is a center fielder. That’s probably the easiest place to play as far as reading the ball and seeing the ball, not necessarily covering ground, and a lot of people will tell you the toughest is left field. I think you’re seeing some of the plays that he’s starting to make, he’s starting to get more comfortable with the angles in left field.
“I’m not naÃƒÂ¯ve. I know he’s had some trouble staying on the field. That’s not always his fault. There have been some freakish injuries that have happened.”
I wrote about David Hernandez in my previous entry. I’ll pass along the following quote from Showalter regarding the Orioles’ reliever, who is doing some light throwing in Sarasota while recovering from a sprained left ankle:
“That ligament there is tough. It’s his landing leg and you’ve got to be careful about trying to maintain his arm strength so you don’t have a long period where he can’t get back. If you lose all that arm strength, that’s not good because you don’t have a lot of clubs playing in September, a place for him to rehab.”
Could Hernandez be activated on Sept. 1? Not likely.
“I would be real happy if that happened,” Showalter said. “From what I’m hearing, when you’re dealing with that ligament, if you push it too quick it blows up. I think he’s had that challenge already where maybe he got a little ahead of himself, whether he’s walking around his apartment in Sarasota or wherever, and he’s had some swelling come back. That ligament is so tender.”
Could Hernandez be shut down for the remainder of the season?
“I wouldn’t go that far - yet,” Showalter said. “I think he’ll pitch again. Richie (Bancells) feels good about it. But he keeps reminding me of the seriousness of when that ligament’s involved.”
It’s possible that Hernandez could pitch for Double-A Bowie in the Eastern League playoffs. That’s one way to get him some work.