Left-hander T.J. McFarland found out after last night’s game that he would make his first major league start tonight against the New York Yankees.
Manager Buck Showalter approached McFarland at his locker and delivered the news. And he didn’t take a direct path with it.
“I asked him, ‘What time do you usually get here?’” Showalter recalled. “He said, ‘Oh, about 1 o’clock.’ I said, ‘Why don’t you get here around 3:30 and be ready to pitch the first inning instead of the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh inning.’ He said, ‘OK.’ Well, he said a couple other things. But it was fine. I don’t know if there was time to get some people in from his hometown.
“He deserves an opportunity. He’s pitched well. He’s had four days off. We said all along and we let New York know it was going to be either him or (Kevin) Gausman. Depended how we got through the games. We wanted to make sure we had some coverage. If we had to pitch Gaus in relief last night, we would have probably had to turn him around to make sure we had some coverage.
“The biggest thing is Gonzo (Miguel Gonzalez) got deep enough in the game that we were able to do some things.”
McFarland has been projected as a starter down the road. His first shot comes tonight. Another one could follow, depending on his performance.
“There’s an opportunity there to present himself that somebody who should get more opportunities,” Showalter said. “So, shame on us if we don’t give him an opportunity, just like we’ve given a lot of people by necessity. If you look how we got here, from Freddy (Garcia) and Jake and some other things. It came down to him and Gaus.
“I’m as curious as you all are. We like T.J. “
Alexi Casilla likes CC Sabathia.
Casilla is batting ninth tonight. I would have been tempted to bat him fourth. He’s 15-for-27 (.556) against Sabathia.
Nate McLouth is batting eighth for the first time tonight. He has 250 at-bats leading off this season, one batting fifth, one batting sixth, seven batting seventh and two batting ninth.
According to STATS, Chris Davis is only the third player in baseball history to record 25 or more doubles and 25 or more home runs by the end of June, joining Larry Walker (1997) and Todd Helton (2001).
That would make him the first to do it outside of Coors Field.
Per Elias: The Orioles have both hit and allowed the most home runs in the majors this season. The last team to do it? The 1950 Dodgers.
Update: Yankees leadoff hitter Brett Gardiner doubled on McFarland’s second pitch of the night, an 87 mph fastball, and he scored on Robinson Cano’s one-out single on an 88 mph fastball.
McFarland trailed three batters into his first start.
Cano is tied for 19th on the Yankees all-time hits list with 1,541.
Vernon Wells struck out and Ichiro Suzuki grounded to short. McFarland has thrown 15 pitches, 10 for strikes.
Update II: McFarland gave up three straight singles to begin the top of the third inning, the last one by Vernon Wells to increase the Yankees’ lead to 2-0.
Chris Stewart blooped a single into center field with two outs to up the lead to 3-0 and bring Showalter out of the dugout. Kevin Gausman struck out David Adams to end the inning.
McFarland allowed three runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings, with one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 63 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Sabathia has retired the first six Orioles.
Down on the farm, Henry Urrutia has walked and singled for his first hit at the Triple-A level. He also scored his first run.