O’s-Zone Watch: 22 May 2012

It’s no secret that I am a rabid Orioles fan.  Every year (for at least the first 2 months of the season), I convince myself that “this could be the year”… only to slowly lose faith… resigning (usually late August) to the fact that we suck.  But… THIS COULD BE THE YEAR!  Since the Baltimore Orioles are playing amazing baseball and have so much potential, I’m officially creating the O’s-Zone Watch.The O’s-Zone Watch will be a quick, sporadic review of Orioles games and Orioles-related opinions.  Won’t be every game… contributions will probably reflect on whether the game had any particular buzz surrounding it.

22 MAY 2012:  Orioles 4, Red Sox 1

Oriole Park At Camden Yards (25,171 attendence)

OFFENSE: B

Two timely 2-run HRs by Steve Tolleson and Wilson Betemit.  Only 7 hits for the team, but they came at the right times.  Nick Markakis had 2 singles and Adam Jones had a single, extending his hit streak to 14 games.

PITCHING: A

Brian Matusz won his 3rd straight decision and 4th win in his last 5 starts.  He pitched 6.1 innings, giving up just 2 hits and 1 run.  He also added just 1 walk and 9 strikeouts.  For the 4th straight game, his ERA has dropped and is now 4.86.  Darren O’Day struck out both batters he faced.  Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson both pitched scoreless innings.  Johnson coverted his 16th save in as many tries.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:  Brian Matusz

Looks like Matusz has returned to the form that made him a promising rookie in 2010.  In his last 4 wins, he’s only giving up an average of 2 runs per appearance.  The 9 strikeouts ties his career high.  A very good outing from Matusz.  If he’s going to pitch more like this, the Orioles are in good position.  Especially with strong seasons from Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen, plus the possibility of Zach Britton’s return.

STANDINGS/MATCHUPS:

    • 28 wins, 16 losses (.636)
    • 2 game lead over Tampa Bay Rays in AL East
    • 13-10 home; 15-6 road
    • 6-4 in last 10 (1-game win streak)
    • 4-1 vs BOS
    • 10-3-1 series record (4 sweeps)

NEXT GAME:  Boston Red Sox 21-22  (Daniel Bard  3-5) @ Baltimore Orioles  28-16  (Jake Arrieta  2-4)

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