So much for the theory that American League hitters would catch up to Wei-Yin Chen the second and third time around the circuit.
If anything, he seems to be getting better the more experience he gains against AL hitters. Once again, Chen pitched well when the Orioles really needed him in last night's 4-0 win over Tampa Bay.
He helped them avoid a three-game losing streak, even this series and avoid heading into today's game needing to beat David Price to avoid a sweep.
What was true about Chen early in the year when he pitched some big games against Texas and New York remains true now. He has real poise and composure on the mound, and he has a real plan out there.
He pounds the zone with a 92-93 mph fastball and then complements it with his underrated off-speed stuff. Many times when an O's young starter has had a rough night this year, we hear Buck Showalter lament their lack of fastball command. Chen almost always seems to command that pitch and it is such a key for him.
He has now beaten Oakland and Tampa in back-to-back games without allowing an earned run. The Orioles came into Saturday's game with just one quality start the last nine games but Chen took care of that stat.
He is one out short of posting five straight quality starts since the All-Star break. Over that stretch he is 3-1 with an ERA of 1.95.
He has recorded a quality start in 12 of his 22 outings and the Orioles are 14-8 when Chen is their starter. During a stretch where Jason Hammel is out and the young starters remain inconsistent, where would the Orioles be without Chen this year?
Machado radio call: Manny Machado hit for the cycle for Bowie last night, becoming the first member of the Double-A Baysox to do that since Lou Montanez on Aug. 1, 2008. He had a triple in the second, a double in the third, a single in the sixth and a two-run homer in the eighth. Machado is 11-for-20 over his last five games with three doubles, a triple, two homers and five RBIs.
Not only did that homer complete his cycle, but it put the Baysox up by one over Trenton as they won 8-7.
Listen o the call by Ben Gordon-Goldstein on Baysox radio as Machado's homer completes his cycle: