2014 Orioles Opening Day: Live Blog!

And we’re live!  Working on a computer that hasn’t been turned on in quite a while that needs numerous software updates, so I’m not sure how this goes.  I probably should have spent a little more time getting prepared for this.

(2:59 PM) – Looks like a pretty good crowd at Camden Yards.  Would probably rather be there then here right now, but I guess I’m saving money?

(3:01) Richard Troxell (sp?) kiling it on the national anthem.  He’s sporting #61 today. #vitalinformation

(3:03) Man I missed Gary Thorne’s voice.  In my opinion, one of the better local guys around

(3:04) Just opened up my beer with a Sam Adams bottle opener that I got in Boston…OOPS!

(3:06) For anyone interested, I’m drinking a Bell’s Smitten Golden Rye Ale…drinking it out of my Cooperstown Hall of Fame pint glass.

(3:07) Catch your breath Gary Thorne!  You sound like you’re about to have an asthma attack!

(3:09) Mike Bordick making his 2014 TV debut.  Met him 2 years ago while in Bowie.  Good guy.

(3:10) I’ll be dropping names all day so get used to it.  By the way, don’t ask Bordick if he remembers me if you see him, because he won’t

(3:14) Nava leading off for Red Sox.  LOVE him.  Great story, underrated player.  Got into an extremely heated argument with Ben Feeney (did the Red Sox preview) last year as to whether Nava or Gomes was better…I won

(3:15) Tillman starts the season with a strike

(3:17) Tillman sporting 5:00 stubble with a pretty healthy flavor savor on the lower lip

(3:20) Tillman showing really good velocity to start the game.  Up to 95 mph on the TV gun

(3:22) Good day for Tillman to challenge LH hitters up with the fastball.  Announcers mentioned at the beginning of broadcast that wind will make it difficult to get anything out of the park to right field or right center

(3:24) Nice start for Tillman.  2 K’s, 1 hit, and a weak groundout.  His stuff looks good through 1

(3:27) Grady Sizemore starting in CF forthe Red Sox.  Hasn’t played in so long.  It will be ineteresting to see how he performs this year

(3:29) Great take on the cutter by Hardy the pitch before he rips a single.

(3:32) Chris Davis has such an easy power swing,  One of my favorite articles from last year that I wish I would have written was a piece at Baseball Prospectus about Davis’ easiest looking home runs…another great take with 2 strikes by an Oriole hitter this inning

(3:35) And on cue, Davis chases a slider VERY low and away.  0-0 after 1

(3:37) Either the wind has died down this half inning or Mike Carp’s pants are tighter than everyone else’s

(3:39) In case you haven’t guessed, this live blog is so clunky.  You’ll have to refresh the page every so often to keep getting my incredible insights on the game in a timely manner

(3:40) 922 days since Grady Sizemore’s last major league game?  I’ve got him beat by a lot

(3:43) Whoa Nelson Cruz.  Haven’t watched him play a whole lot, but between that catch and the “not catch” from the 2011 World Series, Cruz may hve issues with running into the wall

(3:47) Not sure if Camden Yards has been equipped to take advantage of MLBAM’s new fielding data, but the wind today would make the outfield routes pretty comical if it did

(3:52) Great PA from Nelson Cruz to work the walk after falling behind 0-2.  Fouled off a couple 3-2 pitches in the process

(3:54) Wieters up now, and he’s someone who I think is going to have a pretty good season…call it a hunch.  Although I’ve had bad “hunches” before

(3:55) Nelson Cruz…plus defense, good on-base skills, plus baserunning.  Who knew?

(3:57) Well that was an interesting play.  Good deke by Wieters!  He was just too slow to make it to 2nd base safely.  Orioles up 1-0

(3:58) Flaherty grounds out to end the inning.  Orioles up 1-0 after 2

(4:00) Mail just came through the door and it appears that KISS is on the cover of Rolling Stone.  Not worth getting up to find out why, but it seems pretty ridiculous

(4:02) Tillman at 39 pitches through 2 innings, which is a lot.  Throwing a lot of fastballs (79%)

(4:03) Pedroia grounds out from swinging at a pitch over his head.  That is some bat to ball skills right there folks

(4:04) I only remember doing that once in my life.  I ended up hitting a triple down the right field line.  I think I was 7 or 8 years old.  #careerhighlights

(4:06) Orioles employing the opposite Ted Williams shift on Mike Napoli.  Don’t normally see that done with right handed hitters

(4:08) Tillman grooved that pitch to Napoli on that double.  Would be 1-1, but David Ortiz was running at a leisurely jog (which is sprinting for him)

(4:09) Tillman is going to need to have some quicker innings than this, or else he may not make it through the 5th inning (59 pitches so far).

(4:11) Tillman strikes out Carp to get out of the jam.  Tillman at 61 pitches through 3

(4:15) Schoop making his season debut and he comes through with a single.

(4:16) I’m a big fan of Schoop. Spent a lot of time with him in 2012 when I worked for the team in Bowie.  Was literally in the video room asking to see his at-bats EVERY day

(4:17) Gave me a lot of shit if I missed videotaping any of his at-bats.  All in good fun of course.

(4:19) Hardy with most HR’s by a SS since 2011.  Tulowitzki second, but in much fewer games

(4:20) Not a knock on Hardy.  Durability is a skill too, but I don’t think anyone would prefer Hardy over Tulowitzki in any aspect of the game

(4:22) And Sizemore hits a home run to right field off the top of the wall to tie the game up.  1-1

(4:25) Did not think off the bat that Sizemore’s flyball had any chance of leaving the yard

(4:31) Jones with a bullet just past Pedroia, and the Orioles have another lead off runner on base

(4:32) Shadows starting to creep in.  Probably the last half inning where the batters box is in the sun

(4:35) Check that, hitters already in the shadows

(4:36) Orioles strand another leadoff runner.  1-1 after 4 innings

(4:40) Tillman has begun mixing more off-speed pitches now, but averaging 20 pitches/inning

(4:41) Pedroia is great at spoiling close pitches and extending at-bats.  Doing it again on some really nice pitches from Tillman

(4:42) The high pitch count isn’t so much Tillman’s fault as it is Boston’s lineup just having great at-bats and wearing him down

(4:43) Red Sox led the league (I think?) last year in pitches/PA

(4:44) Pedroia’s plate appearance finally ends with a fastball right down the middle that is probably a home run on a day that isn’t as windy

(4:46) Tillman getting lucky in this game.  Red Sox have gotten VERY close to hitting more home runs on several fly balls today

(4:48) Tillman walks Napoli, and if Tillman makes it through this inning, he’s gotta be done.  Carp may be his last batter no matter what

(4:50) That was the first time Tillman hasn’t gotten that arm side corner on the fastball.  Doesn’t matter as Carp grounds out to end the inning

(4:54) Wild Bill Cowboy Hat happening at Camden Yards on August 9.  I have no idea what that is, but I should probably go and GIT ME ONE!

(4:57) 1-1 after 5.  Tillman at 104 pitches, Lester at 74.  Tillman looks like he’s done

(4:59) Tillman is done.  Zach Britton coming on in relief

(5:00) Still think Britton has a chance to be a starter.  Britton doesn’t have any options left, so it will be inetersting to see what the team does when Patton comes off the restricted list

(5:01) Jim Palmer just agreed with me that Britton could still start.  Thanks Jim Plamer!

(5:02) Britton’s sinker is SINKING!

(5:04) Great play by Flaherty.  Good enough enough to elevate Gary Thorne’s voice an entire 3 levels

(5:05) Britton goes groundball, double, groundball, groundball…nice.

(5:09) Thorne just announced that the Phillies/Rangers game is at 13-10.  Where did the Phillies find offense all of a sudden?!?!?

(5:10) Even more surprsing, Cliff Lee made the start for the Phillies and gave up 8 earned runs in 5 innings.

(5:11) I better stop writing about the Phillies before I allow that game to hi-jack this post

(5:15) Davis strikes out on another VERY low and away pitch.  1-1 after 6 innings

(5:18) Britton back out there for another inning.  Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd another groundball

(5:19) Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd another groundball

(5:20) Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd another groundball!  That’s probably all for Britton.  Nice work for him out of the bullpen

(5:25) Nelson Cruz with a first pitch tater.  2-1 Orioles.

(5:27) Looked like a cutter that stayed over the middle of the plate.  Cruz was obviously ready for it

(5:28) Hopefully this game doesnt go to extra innings, I’m going to run out of jokes

(5:28) Obviously, it’s entirely debatable that this post has contained any jokes in the first place

(5:29) Young striking out on a pitch in the dirt…shocking.

(5:29) Flaherty strikes out also (on a pretty good pitch).  2-1 Orioles after 7

(5:32) Evan Meek now on the mound for the Orioles to start the 8th inning

(5:35) Always good to walk the leadoff batter when leading late in a close game, said no one ever

(5:36) In all seriousness, pretty good at bat from Napoli

(5:38) Jackie Bradley Jr running now for Napoli.  Still upset that the Phillies passed on him in the draft and took Larry Greene instead.  At the time I thought it was a bad move because I actually had heard of Jackie Bradley Jr (and for no other reason).  Now it’s just turned out to be a bad move

(5:41) Another walk for Meek and that’s all for him.  Matusz coming in to replace him to face Pierzynski

(5:45) Brian Matusz gets Pierzynski to ground out and gets out ofthe jam, stranding 2 runners

(5:48) Lester out of the game now for the Red Sox (Tazawa in).  Arguably pitched better than Tillman.

(5:54) Hardy strikes out. 2-1 after 8 innings

(5:55) Running out of steam here.  Good thing we’re heading into the 9th inning

(5:57) Tommy Hunter coming in for the save in his first officially appearance as the team’s CLOSER.  Let’s hope he doesn’t have to face any left handed hitters

(5:58) Hunter hits Middlebrooks and puts the tying run on base with nobody out.  Not starting out smoothly for Tommy Hunter – CLOSER

(6:01) Uh oh, Ortiz in the on deck circle…

(6:03) And here he is…

(6:05) Ortiz hits it hard, but flies out to deep left center ultimately.  One out to go

(6:06) Ball game.  Hunter gets Bradley Jr looking and the Orioles win 2-1.  They’re on pace for a 162-0 season.  Oh wait, I already did that joke last year.

(6:10) Fun times on opening day.  I’ll probably try to do a couple more of these during the season.  Need some time to work on my jokes.  See you next time

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