It was obvious today that the Baltimore Orioles were just too much for the Tampa Bay Rays. On every level, the Orioles’ play was superb. The Rays looked like a team just leaving spring training, and the Orioles looked like a division champion on their way to the playoffs. Baltimore took two out of three in Tampa, and won tonight’s game 6-3.
The starting pitching and the bullpen were spectacular. The Orioles used four different pitchers, but they got a solid start from Miguel Gonzalez and two short term relievers with closer Jim Johnson sealing the Rays’ fate. The Orioles’ pitching staff looked like they were so much farther ahead than the Rays.
The Orioles’ bats were smoking. Chris Davis had a huge series, with 7 for 11, 3 home runs, 3 doubles and is Major League Baseball’s RBI leader with 11. The Orioles were patient at the plate, looking for their pitch, which the Rays staff seemed to throw most of the time.
Buck Showalter has successfully turned the Orioles franchise around. He doesn’t get enough credit for leading them to second place in the American League East the last two seasons. With solid pitching, hitting, and defense, the Orioles are definitely too much for the Rays and maybe for everyone else as well.
This was an exciting series, but the Orioles out-played the Rays. Evan Longoria got called out for passing the runner ahead of him after he smashed one off the left-center field fence. The replay was inconclusive, but the play makes my point. Baltimore looks like seasoned veterans, and the Rays look like they are in spring training.
The Orioles were just too much for the Rays.