BOSTON - I left my hotel room yesterday confident that Tommy Hunter would start Saturday for the Orioles. I walked out of manager Buck Showalter's office later that afternoon thinking Miguel Gonzalez might have taken the lead. Now I'm back to believing it will be Hunter.
Stick with your first instinct.
Gonzalez pitched last night, relieving left-hander Brian Matusz and working four innings. It's down to Gonzalez and left-hander Dana Eveland unless Showalter veers in an unexpected direction.
How quickly can Rich Rundles get to Baltimore?
I'm kidding. I meant Jamie Moyer.
Eveland was warming in the sixth inning, but he didn't pitch. He might be needed tonight.
Gonzalez was making his second major league appearance, and his first since May 29. He did a nice job, except for the Daniel Nava two-run single in the third.
In two games with the Orioles, Gonzalez has posted the following line: 7 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.
Funny how this guy's stock has risen. I didn't even know he existed before the season started. Don't recall seeing him in spring training, even on the travel squad. Now he's looking like a pretty decent long man and swingman.
Kevin Gregg hasn't been charged with a run in 10 of his last 11 appearances. He tossed a scoreless seventh inning last night.
Give the man some love.
The Orioles committed two more errors last night, giving them 54 for the season. But I did like the way left fielder Ryan Flaherty tried to freeze the Red Sox runner by raising his glove as if ready to make the catch on a ball that slammed off the Green Monster. Veteran move by the Rule 5 pick.
Flaherty also made a leaping catch at the out-of-town scoreboard to rob Adrian Gonzalez and cost the Red Sox a run.
I'm guessing he did that plenty of times as a kid in Maine, with his bedroom wall or the side of a building serving as the Green Monster.
Kevin Gausman eats donuts between innings. Clay Buchholz acts like he's making the donuts between pitches. Really wish he'd pick up the pace when the Orioles are in town. Otherwise, he can do what he wants on his own time.
Endy Chavez had a leadoff single in the first inning, his sixth hit in five games.
"I started feeling better at the plate," he said after Wednesday's 2-1 victory. "I'm starting to hit the ball a little more consistently and solid. Now, I have more of an idea when I went to swing and the pitches are better, so I'm making good contact. It's what I'm trying to do every at-bat."
Robert Andino is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Here's one left over from Wednesday regarding Wei-Yin Chen.
"I like Chen," he said. "Chen, he comes from Taiwan. He's a rookie in this league, but he ain't scared. He ain't scared. He's going to pound that zone."
Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado went 0-for-4 with a walk and run scored yesterday, and is batting .233 with three homers, 18 RBIs and a .687 OPS. He's also committed 13 errors.
Yes, he's still the second-best prospect in the organization behind Dylan Bundy. Just waiting for him to blow up at Bowie and force a promotion to Triple-A.
Machado is in a 1-for-18 slump that isn't helping his average.
Keep an eye on Baysox reliever Greg Burke, who picked up his 10th save yesterday to go with a 1.69 ERA.
Showalter has brought up Burke's name to me a few times this season. Rick Peterson lowered Burke's arm slot in spring training, and the results have been impressive.
It's worth noting that Burke is probably pitching at a level lower than he should, considering that he's 29, hadn't been in Double-A since 2008 and appeared in 48 games with the Padres in 2009. But his stuff is nasty and he's got the Orioles' attention.
Jason Berken told me in a text that he'll make his next start for Triple-A Norfolk, "no problem," after breaking his nose yesterday in a collision with first baseman Joe Mahoney.
I suggested that Berken might want to run into someone more his own size. I'm full of good ideas.
I'm low on sleep, however. I have a 6:40 a.m. flight back to Baltimore, and I'm still not sure why I chose that one.
Southwest has flights every hour and I go with the earliest one. Rookie mistake.
Unlike Flaherty, I plan on hitting a wall later.
See what I did there?