CHICAGO - Darren O’Day got out of a huge jam last night after replacing Wei-Yin Chen in the sixth inning, entering with runners on the corners and one out and preserving a 3-2 lead. He’s made three straight scoreless appearances over 3 2/3 innings.
O’Day figures to be tough on right-handers with his sidearmed delivery, and he’s held them to a .214 average over his career. However, left-handers are batting only .246 against him lifetime, including .229 in 2010.
His value to manager Buck Showalter increases with his ability to retire batters from both sides of the plate. It’s especially important with the way the Orioles’ bullpen is constructed.
So what does O’Day do that also makes him such a difficult read for left-handed hitters?
“Well, I’m not going to broadcast it to the other team, but he does some things that a lot of guys from that arm angle don’t do to left-handers and really can’t do, but he can,” Showalter said.
“I think he’s a real smart guy. He knows that when you’ve got right, left, right, the ability to keep a guy from doing major damage, that left-hander, is big for a manager. He’s worked hard at developing some things that help him defend himself against those guys.”
Second baseman Brian Roberts still hasn’t decided whether he’s accompanying his teammates to Anaheim after tomorrow’s game. He planned on speaking with his doctor this afternoon.
Roberts wants to make sure he can get in his daily work before committing to the trip. If he has doubts, he’ll return to Baltimore.
So far, Roberts has been able to take early and regular batting practice and infield. He’s also run sprints with Brady Anderson.
“We’ll always make room for that,” Showalter said. “I can tell Brian doesn’t want to get in the way of the guys preparing for the game, but we can always create that work here. That’s easy.”
A reminder that Tsuyoshi Wada will start for Triple-A Norfolk tomorrow afternoon at Gwinnett. It could be Wada’s final start before the Orioles activate him from the disabled list. Or he could remain on an injury rehab assignment, which lasts 30 days for pitchers.
I jokingly asked Showalter whether he received positive reports last night on Single-A Delmarva pitcher Dylan Bundy, who tossed three more scoreless and hitless innings.
“I hadn’t paid any attention to it. How did he do?” Showalter asked.
Told that Bundy walked a batter, Showalter quipped, “Did he? He’s out.”
Update: Tommy Hunter struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning, and Adam Jones and Endy Chavez doubled in the top of the second to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Raise your hand if you complained about Chavez batting sixth.
The lead didn’t last long. Paul Konerko led off the bottom of the second with a single and A.J. Pierzynski homered.
Is it my imagination, or does Pierzynski own the Orioles?