Play Ball! O’s Win 4-1

W – Jeremy Guthrie (1-0)     L – David Price (0-1)

– That might have been the best game Jeremy Guthrie has ever pitched. He threw a ton of strikes, was around the plate with all his pitches, and mixed them very well. His changeup was the best I’ve ever seen it and he was throwing it alot. He struggled a bit in the spring but maybe the things he was tinkering with all came together. A great way to make a statement to open the season.
– Jim Johnson pitched the 9th inning with the game basically out of reach. The first pitch he threw was smacked for a homerun but he looked very good after that, striking out two batters and getting a ground out.
– A huge call went the O’s way in the top of the 8th when BJ Upton was ruled out during a rundown after a pick off. New shortstop JJ Hardy clearly interfered with the runner but the umpires missed it.
– Speaking of Hardy he had a great debut aside from that blunder. He got the scoring started with a double in the 3rd inning, coming home on Nick Markakis’ single. He walked and scored another run in the 5th. He also made a great play in the field ranging up the middle to rob Manny Ramirez of a single.
– Markakis also lifted a sacrifice fly to give the O’s their fourth run. Brian Roberts ripped a triple into the gap to really bust open the game, scoring two. Johnny Damon is no Carl Crawford in left field, he fell down, bobbled the ball, then flipped it past the center fielder.
– Vladimir Guerrero ripped a single up the middle in his first at bat as an Oriole. Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds went hitless. Matt Wieters singled on a ball that almost went through Reid Brignac, the Rays shortstop.
– The revamped lineup did a good job working the count to tire Price out a bit. He looked dominant early but wore down quickly. I’m very much looking forward to this season.

Player of the game: Jeremy Guthrie – 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, W (1-0) (0.00 ERA)

Chris Tillman (0-0, -.–) gets a surprise early start after Brian Matusz was shut down with a back injury. James Shields (0-0, -.–) makes his first start for the Rays.

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