O's hit several high notes as 2024 begins with a winning start

Former O’s manager Buck Showalter used to say, “That’s what they look like” when describing a young player or prospect who looked like a future star.

The same phrase might have applied to ace pitchers and yesterday’s outing by the Orioles' Corbin Burnes.

“That’s what they look like.”

That’s what can happen when you get a smart pitcher with a great plan, who knows how to put away hitters, has all his pitches working and executes well. Great plan, great stuff, great outing.

For the Orioles, this Burnes addition should be, well, great.

As the Orioles routed the Los Angeles Angels 11-3 on Opening Day, Burnes fanned 11 without a walk over six innings. He gave up one hit – Mike Trout’s first-inning homer which was his fourth career Opening Day home run.

Burnes yesterday:

Joined Bob Gibson in 1967 as the only pitchers to ever produce a game of 11+ strikeouts, zero walks and one run or less allowed on Opening Day.

* Produced the second most strikeouts ever by an Oriole in an opener. He trails only Dave McNally with 13 on April 7, 1970 and joined Mike Mussina, who also had 11 on March 31, 1998.

* Recorded the most strikeouts ever by an Oriole in a team debut.

* Produced his 14th career game of 11 or more strikeouts.

"Couldn't ask for anything more than that," said manager Brandon Hyde. "Just awesome, awesome performance."

Burnes retired 16 straight batters after Trout’s homer and the Angels went just 1-for-19 against him. He got his first Opening Day win in three starts in Game 1.

"It's one of those days where everything lines up," Burnes said. "You've kind of got everything working and it becomes a really fun day because you can go about it in sequence and kind of do some things you don't normally do when you don't have everything working. But when you've got all four or five pitches working, it makes it fun. After about the second or third inning we kind of went into cruise control mode, just getting ahead and trying to get quick outs."

Burnes breaking pitches were exceptional. He got ahead with his cutter and then got six whiffs on eight swings against his curveball and four-of-seven versus his slider.

As for the Baltimore offense – one that produced 807 runs last year – it was humming throughout the opener.

Jordan Westburg’s clutch run-scoring single in the first gave them a 2-1 lead which grew to 5-1 in the second and 7-1 in the fourth on Anthony Santander’s 431-foot, two-run homer. It was 11-1 in the seventh when Cedric Mullins mashed a three-run homer.

It was a relentless attack, one where every player in the starting lineup either scored a run or drove one in or had both. The Orioles scored in five of eight at-bats.

The Orioles have scored six runs 10 times on Opening Day, 13 runs once and now 11 runs once – yesterday. So that was the second-highest scoring game in an opener since the Birds beat Kansas City 13-5 in 1982.

Strong pitching, strong hitting, decisive win.

For one day at least the Orioles looked like what they expect to be all year – one of the best teams in baseball and maybe once again the first-place team in the AL East.

From O's Twitter, some highlights from the win are here, here, here and here.

And the night sky capped off a great day here

Vespi's surprise inclusion on Orioles Opening Day ...
Some leftover thoughts and observations from the O...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/