So, the O’s best spring training hitter is a guy who might not make the team this year, who is out of options, and who may not be bringing much to the table defensively. Deja vu. (Google Fox, Jake.)
But Miller is showing that, notwithstanding his high K total, he can definitely hit. In the end, I’m still not convinced he makes the team… But if we keep the aging porcelain doll (a.k.a. Nick Johnson) over Miller, I’m gonna be pissed.
Either way, finally, the O’s bats came to life, doubling the team homerun total from the first 9 games combined (we hit 2 yesterday) and putting up a 7 spot on the pitching-rich Rays. Of course, it would have only been 5 if our bullpen didn’t get smacked around for 5 runs in the top of the 9th… But at least Flaherty’s 2-out, 1-on bomb in the bottom of the 9th fought us back to a tie - yes, another tie with the Rays. (Deja vu again.)
Speaking of Flaherty, I like this kid more and more. And I still think he stays. And I think the Cubs will regret not protecting him like they should have for the Rule 5 draft.
As for the pitching, Hammel had another encouraging outing - maybe he really will be just a much cheaper version of Guts (4.0 ERA, 200 IP). Maybe…
After him, Bergie isn’t giving up his hold on a roster spot without a fight, and Patton put up another scoreless inning. But I do think we might have seen the last of Socolovich and Villarreal.
So, that’s that. I head to Sacramento for a law school thing in a matter of hours and I won’t be back until Sunday night. Hopefully I’ll be able to follow the games a bit from there…