I had a chance to go to this evening's Orioles game against the Washington Nationals, and made a few mental notes:
- Melvin Mora came into the game with an OBP above his SLG. That's OK if a guy has a really high OBP (nope), is a great defender (nope), or plays the most important defensive positions (nope). Mora was able to even things up with his 2-for-3 day (including a double and 4 RBI), but he's still having a pretty bad season.
- Nick Markakis went 3-for-5 to get back above .300 for the season, but he's still not showing the plate discipline that he did last year. Only one of the three hits was hit with any authority - another was a slow infield dribbler that he beat out and the third was a seeing-eye bouncer up the middle. I was actually cheering for him to take a walk.
- Nolan Reimold is a legitimate major league hitter (more on this sometime soon). He was moved up to the five-hole in the line-up and went 3-4 with a walk and a double. And he looks a lot like Adam Jones did at the plate early in the season - like he has a real concrete plan for every at bat.
- Matt Wieters went 0-2 with a K and two walks, but this may have been the best I've seen him look at the plate since he was brought up. He finally displayed that patience he showed in the minors, refusing to expand the zone and waiting for his pitch. Even his third plate appearance - the strike-out - was impressive. He got ahead in the count 3-1 and then just crushed a ball about five feet foul down the right-field line. The swing was see free and easy - like it took no effort at all. The pitcher came back to get him swinging at a 3-2 slider, but I think Wieters is still adjusting to major league pitchers throwing 3-2 sliders. Once he gets into a groove he's going to be a very dangerous hitter.
- I've never seen an inside-the-park home run in person, but Adam Jones almost pulled it off. He hit a ball into the right-field and it bounced passed Elijah Dukes. Jones went back after taking a big turn around third, but he would have probably been safe at home as the throw was off-line. Very exciting play.
- Brad Bergesen didn't have his best control, walking two and throwing 40 of 105 pitches for balls, but he had a nice slider and used it to K five in his 6 innings of one-run ball. When he keeps the ball down in the strike-zone he's a pretty effective pitcher.