Last night, the Orioles pulled off a walk-off victory as Nick Markakis singled in the winning run to help them win, 2-1.
Chris Tillman – who started for Baltimore – pitched very, very well. He went 6 2/3 innings, gave up a run on four hits, and was rolling until the 6th inning. Despite solid outing on the mound, Tillman – as well as every Oriole starting pitcher – needs to go deeper into games.
It’s that simple. Each and every year with the Orioles (as well as the 29 other teams in the sport), it’s about starting pitching.
While the Orioles are off to a good 11-8 start, the bullpen should not be taxed as much as it has. It is still very early, but the starters should look towards pitching seven plus innings as night.
The bullpen – which was no doubt a strength for the team last year – is fairly deep, but as the year goes forth, the starting corps will have to do more to ensure the Orioles keep winning.
Speaking of starting pitchers, Jake Arrieta got optioned down to the minors this afternoon. According to the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly:
Arrieta will join the starting rotation in Norfolk -- there’s no talk of moving him to a relief role because the Orioles still believe his arsenal of pitches is best utilized as a starter -- and Showalter said he mentioned some things to Arrieta privately that he’d like for him to work on.
Showalter expressed that he still has faith that Arrieta can help the Orioles get to the playoffs, but “when will be up to him.” He added that he believes Arrieta’s issues are entirely mental.
Showalter’s sentiments about Arrieta are right. Hopefully, he can work out his issues in the minors; however, have we not seen this before?
I think Arrieta may be who he is.
Then again, if someone in the organization could get him to focus, trust his stuff, become more efficient on the mound, and throw strikes, the righty will be fine. Arrieta felt bad for the damage he caused in the fourth or fifth innings on Sunday, but the bottom line is that the team lost and he has not been consistent in the first few weeks of the season.
Then again, with the Orioles looking to contend and compete, they could not afford to spend any more time wonder if Arrieta would figure it out on the mound in the weeks to come.
The organization has depth right now, and will tap into it if needed, so Arrieta has become expendable for now.
Orioles recall RHP Alex Burnett from Triple-A Norfolk; RHP Jake Arrieta optioned to the Tides
The Orioles today announced that they have recalled RHP ALEX BURNETT from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned RHP JAKE ARRIETA to the Tides.
Burnett, 25, was claimed off waivers from Toronto on April 12. He went 4-4 with a 3.52 ERA (71.2IP, 28ER) in 67 appearances for Minnesota in 2012. Burnett is 1-0 in three scoreless appearances for the Tides this season. He will wear uniform #68.
Arrieta, 27, is 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA (19.0IP, 14ER) in four starts for the Orioles this season.