After pitching for five seasons and for nearly 1,000 innings in an Orioles uniform, Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound at Camden Yards tomorrow and pitch against the Orioles for the first time ever.
Will that be strange for him?
“Not too much,” he said this afternoon in the Kansas City clubhouse. “I think enough time has passed and having seen them last year, to be able to say hello and congratulate them on the way they are playing, now it feels like just doing what we do every five days.
“I look back very fondly, I always have. I pitched good at times and not good at others. We struggled as a team but the last couple of months of 2011, I think everyone saw the potential the team had and the way the lineup started to swing it.”
The Orioles traded Guthrie to Colorado on Feb. 6, 2012. Not only does he hold no hard feelings over that deal, he said he totally understands why the Orioles made that trade.
“For sure. One thing, hopefully, that people can respect is I’m very honest,” he said. “If I don’t pitch well, I won’t hide from it. I looked at it last year and I knew the starter they were getting in Jason Hammel and the relief role they were getting with (Matt) Lindstrom. Frankly, they didn’t lose much and as it turned out they gained quite a bit. It turned out to be a great trade for them.”
Guthrie is having quite a season for the Royals. He is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA, which ranks ninth in the AL. He is also coming off his first career shutout, a four-hitter over the White Sox that came in his 189th career start.
Guthrie has not lost over his last 17 Kansas City starts, going 9-0 since last Aug. 8 and that is longest stretch without a loss in club history. In 20 starts with the club, he is 9-3 with an ERA of 2.92.
So what kind of reception does he expect from the O’s fans here on Thursday night?
“Certainly I wouldn’t expect any loud ovations or anything,” he said. “But the fans have been great, very warm, whether it’s on Twitter or out in the street or in the stands. They’ve been great to me and I wouldn’t expect anything different.”
So what kind of reception should he get, O’s fans?