BALTIMORE ORIOLES ARE IN FIRST PLACE! I know what you all must be thinking; this happened last year, and years prior. Let’s not get too excited just yet. Yes we played the lowly Minnesota Twins, who no one expects to do much this year. With all that said, there are some positives. Our starting pitching looked excellent through this first series. Jake Arrieta set the tone on Friday afternoon, followed by Tommy Hunter, and a no-hit bid by new acquisition, Jason Hammel.
Jim Johnson is also throwing the ball well, notching two saves in the season-opening series. I think what surprised most of us is the hot start of outfielder, Nick Markakis. While Nick is known as a good and steady player, most think he will never be a 20-25 HR guy, and that we just have to accept it. This may be the year he proves people wrong. Markakis has two HR’s so far this year to lead the team. A good sign is that one of those HR’s was to the opposite field. Other Orioles to homer so far this year include Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and J.J. Hardy. Not to be forgotten, backup catcher, Ronny Paulino had a 4 for 4 game in his first start of the year.
Next up for the O’s, a clash with a division giant! Monday begins a three game series with the Bronx Bombers from New York; who are surely hungry, after failing to win one game in the series with Tampa Bay. The Yankees send Ivan Nova to the hill, to be opposed by Brian Matusz. Matusz had a forgettable year by every aspect last year, and will be looking to regain the confidence and execution that made him one of the best young prospects in the game. Whenever the Yanks come to town, Camden Yards gets amped up for the AL East showdown. Although early on in the season, this will be a true test to see whether the Orioles can hang with the big boys in the division. Should be a great series to watch! Hope this hot start to the 2012 season continues for our Orioles!
Until next time, keep it here for more updates and keep rooting for those Orioles!