Orioles manager Buck Showalter explained why he pushed back Brian Matusz's start until Friday and gave the ball to Jake Arrieta tonight.
"A lot of factors," he said. "We're fortunate to have somebody rested, normal day, and I just didn't want him to get out there and... He said he actually slept better than he has in a long time. I was talking to him about his breathing during the night. And then if he has a problem with it first or second inning and have to use a lot of bullpen, which could happen with anybody pitching for other reasons. But we were fortunate to be able to give him a few more days."
The Orioles want Arrieta to "simplify things." He's emptying his bag, throwing every type of pitch he's got. Nothing wrong with lightening the repertoire and going with the few that might be working.
A little more run support wouldn't hurt either.
The Orioles have scored one run while Arrieta has been in the game in six of his 13 starts and scored two runs in three others. In his last 11 starts combined, the Orioles have scored 21 runs while he was in the game.
The 3.53 runs of support per game is the fifth-worst among AL starters. Last year, the Orioles averaged 6.86 runs for Arrieta, the third-highest in the majors.
Arrieta has lost a career-high six consecutive decisions since beating the Yankees on May 2 in the Bronx, when he blanked them for eight innings and didn't allow a runner to reach second base. In his last three starts, he's allowed 19 earned runs and walked seven batters in 13 innings. He's faced 67 batters and 30 of them have reached base, with 27 making it into scoring position.
Adam Jones has hit 18 home runs in the first 61 games, the third-most in Orioles history at this point in the season, according to Elias. Brady Anderson totaled 20 in 1996 and Frank Robinson had 20 in 1967. Anderson finished with 50 homers, Robinson with 30.
The Orioles are 15-2 when Jones hits a home run.
Jim Johnson has recorded 19 saves in 61 games. Only three Orioles relievers in the last 20 years reached 20 saves in fewer games - Lee Smith in 1994, Randy Myers in 1997 and George Sherrill in 2008.
Smith reached 20 saves in the 46th game on May 29. Does anyone remember that he finished fifth in Cy Young and 14th in MVP voting in the American League?
Brian Roberts recorded his 386th career multi-hit game last night, one behind Al Bumbry for seventh on the club's all-time list.
Matt Wieters has 14 hits in his last 40 at-bats (.350) after totaling three hits in his previous 42 at-bats (.071).
In his last 20 games since May 16, Chris Davis is batting .347 (26-for-75) with two doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs.
Tommy Hunter is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA and four quality starts in six outings at Camden Yards this season.
In his only career start against the Pirates on June 22, 2010, Hunter picked up the win after holding them to three runs (two earned) over six innings. He gave up nine hits - let's say he scattered them - and struck out six.
Update: Davis keeps swinging a hot bat. His RBI double off the left field fence in the bottom of the first inning gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead against Pirates starter Kevin Correia.