Well that was not quite winning more than they lost, but after dropping the first two games of the series, I suppose I can be consoled with at least winning the final contest.
Hopefully the off day allowed the Mariners to stew in some positive feelings for a while after having to endure a week plus of constant negativity. Hopefully the off day does not cool off the bats which finally showed up on Sunday. I had a hard time imagining what hitting multiple home runs in a single game would be like much less back to back homers and from two of the most unlikely candidates. Then again, it's not like we have likely candidates.
Tue May 11, 16:05: Cliff Lee* vs. David Hernandez
Wed May 12, 16:05: Ryan Rowland-Smith* vs. Brad Bergesen
Thu May 13, 9:35: Felix Hernandez vs. Kevin Millwood
This is a pretty solid slate of pitchers we're tossing out against a rather hapless Oriole squad. I don't have to work hard to sell anyone on Cliff Lee and most recent start aside, Felix is still Felix, but I figured it's time for a little PR for Hyphen's benefit.
Through his first four starts, Rowland-Smith was displaying a reduced ability to generate swinging strikes, he was throwing too many balls and batters were hitting line drives off him all over the place. I know the last two starts against the Royals and Rays have not looked demonstrably better, but there are some positive signs.
First, he missed more bats in those two starts than he had all season prior and at a rate above his 2009 figure. Ryan still seems to struggle with putting hitters away for the strikeout, but missing more bats is a big first step. Secondly, the line drives slowed down. There're still too many, but being in the low 20s is a damn sight better than being in the low 30s on line drive percentage. Camden is a friendly park to hitters, but the Orioles are running a decidedly impotent offense right now so this is a good chance for Hyphen to get back on his feet. He needs to take advantage because there's no telling how many more chances he's going to get.