Baltimore Orioles Victory #2: 4-2 over the Boston Red Sox
|1991 Leaf Ernie Whitt|
First it was reclamation project Matt Harvey getting the nod as the starting pitcher. "The Dark Knight" made it into the fifth inning while allowing only two runs. It wasn't a dominating start as he scattered six hits in his 4.2 innings of work, but he only walked one and touched 94 mph with his fastball a couple of times. It'll be interesting to see how he progresses throughout the season as the number two pitcher on the staff. The best case scenario for the Orioles is that he continues to make solid starts and some teams in contention come calling and the O's can move him for some more prospect depth.
Following Harvey in the game was Adam Plutko, a reliever that Baltimore picked up in a trade at the end of Spring Training. He worked out of the jam he inherited from Harvey and pitched 2.1 innings of shutout ball to pick up the win. Plutko is one of many bullpen arms that is expected to work multiple innings in games throughout the season as the young starters get used to the major leagues. There are going to be days when the starter doesn't get out of the third or fourth inning and the bullpen is going to have to stretch it out.
On the offensive side it was Maikel Franco providing the big hit with a two-run single. Another late addition to the roster, Franco is in the same boat as Harvey. A solid start to the season with the O's could lead to a trade to a contender later this summer. In the meantime he fills a hole in the line-up at third base.
This season is going to be a nice mix of young prospects and veterans looking to rebuild their career. Is that a formula built for a successful playoff run? Not really, but based on just two games it looks like the O's are at least going to be a bit frisky early on and teams won't be able to take them lightly.