O’Day’s right hamstring is fine, but a strained rotator cuff has removed him from a bullpen that leans on him for quality outings and leadership.
“I think he’s really frustrated,” said closer Zach Britton. “He prides himself being a guy who’s very consistent, durable and it’s pretty unfortunate for him right now. But I know he’s going to do everything he can to get back to us. Hopefully, within that 15 day period. Hopefully, when that time’s up he’ll be ready to go.”
It’s another challenge for a bullpen that managed to hold together during his first absence.
“Yeah, it’s going to be tough,” Britton said. “We did it before. We just kind of have to get back to that mindset we had of carrying the load a little bit more with some other guys. It’s just an opportunity for another young guy to step up and do a good job.”
“Givy’s thrown the ball well recently,” Britton said. “Hopefully, Willy comes back. He did a great job for us before out of the bullpen. He’s going to need to do it again. Myself and Brad (Brach) just kind of continue doing what we’ve been doing, I think.
“It’s going to be a group effort down there. It’s not one individual guy. We have a lot of guys throwing well and they’re going to need to continue doing that, and some other guys that are going to maybe need to be in situations where they’re not as comfortable yet. They’re going to have to get the job done. That’s just kind of how it’s going to work.
“Donnie Hart did a good job yesterday. That’s big for us, to have a lefty come up from the minors. We’ve been kind of bouncing around with guys. For Donnie to come in against some good lefties, too, especially these guys and do the job yesterday is big.”
There must be a certain level of comfort for the Orioles knowing that young arms aren’t being exposed to major league competition for the first time. The track records are short, but they do exist.
“I don’t know if we’re in a better spot, but Givens has shown that he can do a really good job in high pressure situations,” Britton said. “I think his struggles against lefties, they’re obviously not a small sample size and he’s better than that and we know that and he’s starting to show that right now. Everyone goes through those periods when you’re young and you struggle and then sometimes it takes a little while to get out of it and I think he’s starting to get over that hump. We knew that he was better than what he was showing. I think that’s going to be big in the last half of this season for him to get going.
“We’ve got Vance (Worley) down there doing a good job. Having Wilson down there maybe allows Vance to get put in some different situations where we had to burn Vance before. But now having two guys who can throw three or four innings down there is big for us.”
Britton insists that he’s not under increased pressure without O’Day in the bullpen.
“I can’t control who’s hurt or who’s not. Same thing with Brad,” he said.
“The one thing that me and him talked about the first time that Darren was injured was, ‘Hey, you know what? It’s not like we’re going to throw three or four innings.’ Our job is our job.
“Yeah, we’ve got to be a little bit sharper. Got a lot of younger guys in the bullpen. Losing Darren, he’s a big veteran guy that’s gone, so guys lean on us a little bit more so maybe for guidance. Not necessarily, we’re not going to go out there and throw more innings than we normally do. We just need to be a little bit sharper when we do go out there. But I don’t think for myself or Brad that there’s any more pressure. We just need to go out and continue to throw well.”
For the Giants
Denard Span CF
Angel Pagan LF
Brandon Belt 1B
Buster Posey C
Brandon Crawford SS
Hunter Pence RF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Joe Panik 2B
Madison Bumgarner LHP