After Twin killings, can Orioles be Yankee clippers?

The last time that the Yankees and Red Sox started out 0-3 was 1966.

Anyone know how the Orioles finished that year?

I'm not ordering my playoff tickets quite yet. The Orioles were 3-0 last season. They also were 6-1. Fast starts aren't a novelty. The issue has been sustaining that momentum.

I know they beat up on the Twins, who did everything well over the weekend except pitch, hit and field, but don't ruin the moment. I've said the same thing in previous years. Why overthink it when you can just enjoy it for however long it lasts?

The rotation has allowed one earned run in 22 innings.

No pressure on Brian Matusz, right?

Matusz needs to navigate carefully around three players: Robinson Cano is hitting .421/.421/.789 with a double, two homers and four RBIs in career 19 at-bats against Matusz. Derek Jeter is hitting .421/.450/.632 with four doubles in 19 at-bats. Mark Teixeira is hitting .400/.444/.733 with two doubles and a homer in 15 at-bats.

Nick Swisher? He's 1-for-16, though the one hit is a home run.

Matusz has posted his lowest career ERA and WHIP in April. (I'm not counting his one October start.)

April: five starts, 4.40 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
May: five starts, 7.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP
June: 12 starts, 5.71 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
July: five starts, 8.10 ERA, 1.85 WHIP
August: 15 starts, 4.84 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
September: nine starts, 5.71 ERA, 1.41 WHIP

Other positive developments besides the rotation?

Nick Markakis going 5-for-9 with a triple, two home runs, four RBIs and three walks. Robert Andino going 3-for-9, not waiting until late May to collect his second RBI, and playing excellent defense at second base. Adam Jones going 4-for-12 with a double, home run and a steal of third base as the cleanup hitter. Nick Johnson being hit by a pitch and stealing a base without coming out of the game. Ronny Paulino going 4-for-4 as the designated hitter and raising the possibility that the Orioles' backup catcher might be able to contribute a little with the lumber. Jim Johnson getting two ground balls and a strikeout yesterday to record the save, and his fastball being clocked at 94 mph.

Here's another that might have gotten lost: Pedro Strop inducing two ground balls after the Twins loaded the bases against Tommy Hunter. The Orioles couldn't turn the double play and two inherited runners scored, but Strop did his job.

The only relievers who haven't pitched yet are Kevin Gregg and Darren O'Day. Gregg warmed up in the eighth inning yesterday.

Going back to Jones' steal, it appears that he's one of the players being tutored by Brian Roberts on the art of the stolen base - especially third base. Few players have done it better than Roberts.

Jones needs to run more and take advantage of that tool. Roberts can contribute to this team while still being on the disabled list. If he's willing to offer advice and share a few secrets, his teammates should listen.


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