Yesterday’s game at Camden Yards ended with Alexi Casilla standing on third base with a confused look on his face, first base coach Wayne Kirby holding his arms in the air and Chris Dickerson standing in the on-deck circle.
Dickerson was pinch-hitting for catcher Taylor Teagarden, except he never got to home plate.
Manager Buck Showalter was willing to give up his designated hitter if the game went into extra innings. Matt Wieters most likely would have moved behind the plate. I doubt that Showalter was going to order Steve Pearce to grab a mask, though he’s the emergency catcher.
Wieters will be catching Miguel Gonzalez today. He’s a career .382 hitter with three doubles, a triple and seven RBIs in 34 at-bats against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, and the Orioles will take any advantage they can get in this matchup.
Lester owns them. He’s 14-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 21 starts against the Orioles, and 7-0 with a 2.52 ERA in 10 starts at Camden Yards.
J.J. Hardy is 6-for-15 with a double, triple and home run against Lester. Chris Davis is 0-for-13.
Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three career outings against the Red Sox, including one in relief. He’s registered two quality starts, going 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA.
Teagarden is back on the bench today after reaching on an infield single yesterday to break an 0-for-21 streak. His first hit of 2013.
I thought it would have been funny if someone had tossed the ball into the dugout for him, but maybe I’m alone on this one.
Showalter isn’t concerned about Teagarden’s struggles at the plate.
“We may not be in the playoffs last year without some of the big hits he gave us,” Showalter said.
“This guy, if he can show people he can stay healthy, he’d be a starting catcher for a lot of people. I think there’s some good things ahead with Taylor offensively, but what he does there is just a bonus. He’s a very good defensive catcher.”
Wei-Yin Chen threw off a regular mound yesterday and could pitch a simulated game this week in Sarasota. Here’s what he tweeted last night, if we can trust Google translate:
“Today bullpen pitched 35 balls feel very good, the next schedule should proceed smoothly. Good rest tomorrow, next week to prepare properly for the sprint.”
Down on the farm, Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make his first start for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday against Indianapolis.
Buck Britton’s single last night extended his hitting streak to 11 games. His brother, Zach, is listed as today’s starter for the Tides.
Norfolk first baseman Travis Ishikawa is expected to opt out of his contract today. Not a bad signing by executive vice president Dan Duquette, but Chris Davis has been quite good defensively at first base and Ishikawa wasn’t needed as a replacement.