If Yankees starter Freddy Garcia comes anywhere near Robert Andino with a pitch tonight, the benches and bullpens are going to empty.
Andino and Yankees catcher Russell Martin were barking at each other after last night’s game. Martin thinks Andino was stealing signs at second base. Andino thinks Martin would look good buried up to his neck at home plate.
This could get interesting.
Andino is 1-for-5 with an RBI lifetime against Garcia. Would this be a good night to give Ryan Flaherty a start at second base and let the situation cool off?
By the way, Andino tied his career high last night with two doubles. He did it twice last season.
The construction of the Orioles’ bullpen came into play last night when Brian Matusz couldn’t make it into the fifth inning.
Without a true long reliever, manager Buck Showalter had to piece together the last five innings after pushing Matusz to 96 pitches.
Darren O’Day took the ball first and lasted 1 1/3 innings, allowing a long home run to Andruw Jones. He gave up two hits and walked two batters before coming out of the game.
Left-hander Troy Patton replaced him and allowed one run and two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Kevin Gregg replaced Patton with two outs in the seventh after Brett Gardner’s RBI single and allowed one hit, walked one, struck out one and hit a batter in 1 1/3 innings. Gregg escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth.
Pedro Strop, the fifth pitcher used on the night, retired the side in order in the ninth inning.
Showalter also had Matt Lindstrom warming at one point, though he wasn’t needed.
The Orioles are sending Wei-Yin Chen to the mound tonight for his official U.S. debut. They’ll need to get some innings from him.
Patton came close to serving up a grand slam to Robinson Cano after the Yankees loaded the bases against O’Day in the sixth. The ball hooked foul, and Cano grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Patton got the first two outs in the seventh on ground balls before Curtis Granderson doubled and Gardner singled.
“O’Day’s had four or five days off since he’s pitched, Showalter said. “Kevin Gregg, I thought, threw the ball real well. He’s had five days off. It’s going to take a while for everybody to get in the rhythm of the season. I thought Pedro threw the ball real well considering the time off he’s had. Troy was a pitch away from having a real good outing.”
Matusz threw 30 pitches in the first inning, 11 in the second, 23 in the third and 32 in the fourth.
Maybe we should stop obsessing over velocity. The giddy-up on his fastball wasn’t the issue last night.
Mark Reynolds followed Matt Wieters’ home run last night with a bloop double to right field, his first hit of the 2012 season. He struck out in the fourth after Wieters doubled with one out, and he flied out in the sixth after back-to-back two-out singles by Adam Jones and Wieters. The tying run was on deck.
Reynolds singled in the eighth after Wieters’ collected his fourth hit. Reynolds put 200 points on his batting average last night.
Reynolds has a hit against the Yankees in nine of his last 10 games dating back to last year.
I’m sure you heard that Nationals closer Drew Storen felt more discomfort in his right elbow after Sunday’s simulated game and will be examined by Dr. James Andrews, which usually leads to bad news - unless you’re part of the Andrews family and you’ve got your eye on a new car or boat.
The Orioles could have acquired Storen over the winter as part of a deal for Jones. The Nationals would have included him in the package. It would have been convenient for Andrews, since the Orioles have him on speed-dial.
Starter John Lannan would have been part of that same trade. Lannan is in Triple-A and strongly suggesting that the Nationals find another home for him.
I’ve heard that the Orioles could have obtained Lannon straight-up for Andino over the winter, but they politely declined the offer.
Triple-A Norfolk was being no-hit through seven innings last night by three Gwinnett pitchers before Matt Antonelli led off the eighth with a single off a fourth pitcher, Cory Gearrin.
Jason Berken tossed four scoreless innings. He allowed six hits, walked a batter and struck out two.
Each time that I check a Norfolk box score, Josh Bell is serving as the designated hitter or playing first base. Antonelli got another start at third last night. Zelous Wheeler also has started at the hot corner.
Single-A Delmarva’s Wynston Sawyer walked in all five plate appearances last night.
Is there a name for that?
Note: The Orioles issued the following press release this morning:
The Orioles today announced the voting procedures and players selected for the AT&T Fans’ Choice Bobblehead promotion. For the first time in Orioles history, fans will be able to select the player they want to be immortalized in a bobblehead giveaway, scheduled to be distributed during Fan Appreciation Weekend on Saturday, September 29 to the first 20,000 fans age 15 and over.
Fans can vote for any of five players selected by the Orioles who have not had a bobblehead before: third baseman Mark Reynolds, shortstop J.J. Hardy, right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter, right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta or second baseman Robert Andino.
Voting begins today and fans can vote three ways throughout the promotion. The first is through unlimited mobile voting by texting 1 for Reynolds, 2 for Hardy, 3 for Hunter, 4 for Arrieta, or 5 for Andino to 31826. Texting is available on all mobile carriers and is subject to standard text message rates.
The second way fans can vote is on the Orioles website at www.orioles.com/bobblehead. The third and final voting method can be found on the Orioles Facebook page at www.facebook.com/orioles. The vote will conclude on Thursday, May 31.