Notes on Palmer and the 'pen (and Paulino)

Anyone know the significance of today's date in Orioles history?

I'm sure it will be discussed later in the MASN booth.

On Aug. 13, 1969, Jim Palmer tossed a no-hitter to defeat the Athletics 8-0 at Memorial Stadium. He walked six, including Reggie Jackson three times, and struck out eight while improving to 11-2 with a 1.77 ERA.

I look at that record and ERA and just shake my head. Amazing.

Palmer helped his own cause with two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Brooks Robinson belted a three-run homer. Don Buford had three hits.

Vida Blue allowed four runs in 2 1/3 relief innings. Personally, I would have put him in the rotation, but what do I know?

The Orioles actually committed two errors, by shortstop Bobby Floyd and center fielder Paul Blair.

I'll plead ignorant here. I didn't know Floyd played shortstop in Baltimore until looking it up. I hadn't heard of Floyd, who was traded to the Royals in 1970 for pitcher Moe Drabowsky.

I'll plead ignorant again. I didn't know Drabowsky returned to the Orioles. I thought he only had one stint. Maybe that's because he was traded to the Cardinals in November of that year for...

Does anyone know without looking it up? Answer to follow.

As for last night's game, all four Orioles relievers were scored upon in a 7-6 loss to the Diamondbacks. Brian Matusz was charged with one run, Tommy Hunter two, Troy Patton one and Darren O'Day one - on Adam Eaton's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.

Some fans have questioned manager Buck Showalter's decisions last night. Why use Hunter? Why let O'Day face a left-hander?

OK, let's get straight to the point. Starter Scott Feldman put Showalter in a bind by working only 5 1/3 innings after Bud Norris lasted five on Sunday.

Hunter has now pitched on three of the last four days. O'Day has been used in three straight games.

I was asked why Francisco Rodriguez didn't pitch last night. He was used the past two games. Showalter wanted to lay off him unless the game went into extra innings and he had no choice.

I was asked why O'Day was allowed to face a left-hander in the ninth? Matusz and Patton already had pitched. If Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland came into the game, Showalter would have been second-guessed for using him in a tight situation.

Left-handers are batting .324/.380/.563 against O'Day this season, compared to a .150/.213/.239 line by right-handers, but Showalter can't play matchups with him in every game.

Same with Matusz. Right-handers are batting .313/.397/.375 against him, compared to a .161/.211/.264 line by left-handers.

The Orioles need a lengthy outing tonight from Miguel Gonzalez. They need it badly.

Drabowsky was traded to the Cardinals for Jerry DaVanon. But you probably already knew it.

Note: Catcher Ronny Paulino has been reinstated from the minor league disabled list and assigned outright from Triple-A Norfolk to Toledo.

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