On a weekend when I should be absolutely devastated because my favorite Oriole has landed on the DL (Brian Matusz, 3-6 weeks), I’m not. Namely because the Orioles swept a team that was supposed to be a lot better than them.
And it was all about pitching, too.
Game One: Guthrie went eight scoreless. The Rays picked up a run in the ninth via a homer off of Jim Johnson.
Game Two: Chris Tillman, starting in place of Matusz, threw a no-hitter over six innings. He was then lifted, and the Rays were not no-hit, but seeing that performance from Tillman was extremely encouraging.
Game Three: Zach Britton made his major league debut and then proceeded to only give up one run over six innings. He ended up being the winning pitcher after the Orioles put up three runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead 4-1 before he was lifted for Jason Berken.
So basically, this was a good weekend for the Orioles. If anything, it puts them on the map, proves that they can compete with the non-Sox and non-Yankees teams in the AL East, and makes them feel really good about themselves. The players themselves all seemed so confident – one glance in the dugout this weekend said it all. They feel different, and as a result they’re playing better.
A little confidence can go a long way.
The Orioles are taking on the Tigers today at 3:05 pm EST. Arrieta is still slated to start the home opener, so watch him to see if he can keep the string of good pitching alive!