Tag Archives: jeremy guthrie

In which Matt Wieters isn’t special

Matt Wieters got his first major-league hit tonight, a stand-up triple.  I wondered:  was he the first catcher ever to have a triple as his first hit in the bigs?  This is the kind of question that the amazing Baseball Reference Play Index is made to answer, and the answer is nope:  in fact, Yorvit Torrealba did it — in his first major league plate appearance, no less! — in 2001.

Update: In fact, want to know another catcher whose first major-league hit was a triple?  Dane Sardinha, the opposing catcher in tonight’s game!

Update:  In case you’re not reading the comments — know who the opposing catcher was when Dane Sardinha got his first major-league hit?  Yup — Yorvit Torrealba.  Now that is a piece of baseball trivia for true connoisseurs.

Guthrie has 10 strikeouts in the first 6 innings but keeps getting in trouble; I think of it as being kind of hard to pitch a bad game when you strike out 10 batters, but in this connection B-R PI pulls up last month’s stinker of a start by Toronto’s David Purcey; 10 strikeouts, but 6 walks and 5 runs allowed, and he didn’t make it out of the 5th.



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Good things about the last-place Orioles

Who’d have thought that the year the Orioles look to be heading for a last-place finish, their first since 1988, would be such a pleasure to watch? We are bad — yes. But we’re running last in the strongest AL East in memory, which with the current unbalanced schedule means we’re playing the hardest schedule in memory. And even so, we’re closer to .500 than we’ve been in ten years. We’ve scored just two fewer runs than we’ve allowed. We’re carrying a legitimate young star in Nick Markakis, and (though no one outside Baltimore has noticed yet) one of the 10 best pitchers in the league, in Jeremy Guthrie. We get to watch surprsingly great slugging from Aubrey Huff and Luke Scott, though they’re not part of the team’s future. And surpringly great set-up work from Jim Johnson, who might be. We shucked off old, expensive Miguel Tejada and middle-aged, expensive Erik Bedard, and, for once, we got legitimate talent in return.

The Bedard trade, to be sure, should have been completed by trading George Sherrill for something we need, like an unembarrassing shortshop; turning Bedard into Adam Jones and a major-league shortstop would be a real coup. And there must be something about Huff’s contract I don’t understand, because it’s hard to imagine there wasn’t a contending team willing to trade something valuable for a DH with the 7th-best OPS in the AL. Huff, Roberts, Sherrill, and Scott are all probably as valuable as they’re going to be — I like watching them play, I like that they’re Orioles, and I’d like to see them gone as soon as possible.

Some miscellaneous Orioles links I’ve been meaning to post:

Mike Pagliarulo gives insider dish on the 1993 Orioles, one of my favorite squads. Here’s what I wrote in Rain Taxi about that team a few years back:

1993 was the year Fernando Valenzuela pitched for the Orioles. Valenzuela, when he was 21, already had a Cy Young award and was going to be the pitcher of our time, but by 1993 he was seven years past his last winning season. For some reason he came to Baltimore, and he had another losing season. But he brought a bit of noble twilight to the team, a team which was, all in all, a perfect mix of nobly twilit old guys (Valenzuela, Rick Sutcliffe, Harold Baines), young guys who hadn’t found themselves (Mike Mussina, Arthur Lee Rhodes, Jeffrey Hammonds), and, maybe most importantly, middle-aged, middle-talented guys who picked that year to have great seasons which they must have known they would never again equal (Chris Hoiles and the incomparable Jack Voigt). It was somewhat shocking to me to look up the statistics and see that the Orioles were actually pretty good that year, and finished in a tie for third. My memory of that team is Valenzuela losing in the late afternoon.

Also, the Orioles are bike commuters. I give you Jeremy Guthrie:

“I hate cars, I hate driving, I hate doing something I don’t have to do. For me to drive downtown is a waste of gas; it’s a waste of my time. I can ride faster than I can drive.”

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In which Jeremy Guthrie is the Rodney Dangerfield of the American League

Not a single vote for Rookie of the Year? Not one vote? After the fully deserving Dustin Pedroia, who’s the competition? Delmon Young got 3 first-place votes and 12 second-place votes. You can make a case that a 21-year-old who can hit in the major leagues at all is a pretty special commodity, but still, a .316 OBP and 127 strikeouts is not what you want to see from your right fielder. 16 people thought Brian Bannister was one of the top 3 rookies this year, with one voter ranking him first. Guthrie struck out almost twice as many in just a few more innings and had a better ERA, 3.70 to 3.87. Daisuke Matsuzaka had an ERA of 4.40 and went 15-12 for a 96-66 Red Sox team, and he got votes. Reggie Willits is an outfielder who came to the plate over 500 times without hitting a home run, and two people thought he was the year’s second-best rookie.

You know how many Red Sox starters had a better ERA than Jeremy Guthrie? Just Beckett. The Rockies? Nobody. Guthrie pitched well enough to be in the front of the rotation of a championship team. And not one person thought he was even the third best rookie in the league.

This is the most heinous crime committed against a Guthrie since Tom Morello, Slash, Perry Farrell, Les Claypool, Wayne Kramer, and Nuno Betancourt covered “This Land Is Your Land.”

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