Troy Patton remembers July 28 with great fondness.
It’s the last time he pitched.
Patton started that night for Triple-A Norfolk, going 5 2/3 innings in a victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s back with the Orioles and back in the bullpen, still waiting for a call that hasn’t arrived.
The Orioles are saving Patton for long relief, but the starters have been working deeper in games lately. That’s a good thing. It’s also a bad thing if you’re the long reliever - though Patton isn’t rooting against the Orioles.
It’s a weird predicament.
Patton thinks he would have worked the ninth last night if the Orioles held a 9-1 lead, but once the Angels rallied, manager Buck Showalter called upon his late-inning relievers. Patton stayed sharp earlier in the day by throwing a bullpen session.
“I mostly need it for my changeup and slider, to make sure I’m finishing with those,” he said.
Patton offered an encouraging scouting report on new reliever Armando Gabino.
“He throws 92, 93 (mph) and he has a good slider and changeup,” Patton said. “He’s a three-pitch bullpen guy, which is great. He’s been a starter and reliever, so he’s really versatile.”
Meanwhile, Torii Hunter just struck out and inexplicably ran to third base.
Jake Arrieta retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the first inning. He struck out Hunter and Hideki Matsui to open the second and retired Alberto Callaspo on a routine bouncer to second base. Total pitches so far: 25.