If you’re playing starting time bingo, your card is going to fill up in a hurry.
First pitch on opening day at Camden Yards was scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Last night’s game was set for 7:05 p.m. Today’s series finale begins at 1:05 p.m. - 30 minutes earlier than past Sunday home games.
The Orioles travel to Houston next week for a three-games series with starting times of 7:10 p.m., 8:10 p.m. and 2:10 p.m. EDT. They play four games in New York, with the opener set to begin at 6:35 p.m.
Seven different times on the first seven dates of the season?
“I’ve given up on that,” said manager Buck Showalter. “The 3 o’clock start time is the tweener. It’s not 1, it’s just ... Even the 4 o’clock. Your whole clock changes, everything about what time you get up.
“If it’s a 7 o’clock start, you know what time you want to get to the park to get everything done. The same way with you all. But we all know what those start times are about, what’s driving them. It helps pay for a lot of things.
“You’re working 9-for-5, if they tell you what time to be there, you’re there, right? It is hard. Sometimes, especially with the time zone stuff, you’d like to have a consistent start time, but it’s not going to happen. Just too many variables that have more power.”
Kevin Gausman is making is sixth career start against the Twins today. He’s 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.214 WHIP, allowing 21 earned runs (24 total) and 29 hits with five walks and 35 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Joe Mauer is 5-for-10 with a double and triple against Gausman. Logan Morrison is 3-for-14 with four strikeouts.
Gausman began throwing earlier in the offseason in an attempt to avoid another sluggish first half. He owns a career 4.94 ERA and 1.473 WHIP before the break and a 3.58 ERA and 1.243 WHIP after it. The former first-round pick posted a 5.85 ERA and 1.763 WHIP in the first half last year and a 3.41 ERA and 1.204 WHIP in the second.
“I like the fit of where everybody is right now,” Showalter said. “I thought Dylan was our best pitcher last year, all things considered, but also, it’s like a leadoff hitter getting an extra at-bat. There’s a chance for him, there’s more games in play, but we all know how rain and doubleheaders can wreak havoc on all those plans. But you better take advantage of it while you can.
“I thought the presentation for each guy, where they were and what we were hoping they could do this year, it fit the best.”
Twins right-hander José Berríos, starting in today’s rubber match, is 2-0 in three career starts against the Orioles despite registering a 4.67 ERA in 17 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings in his only career start at Camden Yards.
Davis is 0-for-9 in two games as leadoff hitter.