I said I wasn't going to write again until I had something positive to say. Well, I don't have much yet, but I want to start blogging again, so let's give it a whirl...
1) Brian Matusz turned in a very good start on Saturday night, needing 96 pitches to turn in a final line of 8.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, and 4 K. He didn't walk anyone, but he did give up two home runs. I'd like to see a few more ground balls (11:14 GB:FB ratio) but that rate is much improved from earlier in the season (interestingly, as he's given up more ground balls, he's concurrently given up more home runs. Such is the Orioles).
2) Adam Jones is hot. From June 3 to June 13, he's hitting .324/.390/.514 with 2 homers, 2 steals, and 8 RBI. He's also drawn 3 walks (matching his May and exceeding his April total) and was hit by a pitch in another at-bat. Sure he's struck out 9 times in 10 games, but again, focus on the positives.
3) Jake Arrieta: 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 walks (I refuse to count the INT ones), 6 K, 3 ER in his Major League debut. Against the Yankees, too!
4) David Hernandez earned his first career save, and blew some 97 mph cheddar in the process. Since moving to the bullpen, he's accumulated 7.1 IP, allowed 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 6 and walking 3. Maybe not lights out, but promising.
5) Zach Britton is a ground ball machine. Across 77.1 innings for the Baysox, he has an eye-popping 64.8% ground ball rate. Against lefty batters, he has more strikeouts (23) than hits allowed (21) and nearly as many K's as walks (4) plus hits.
6) Nick Markakis just keeps walking. At 13.1%, his walk rate isn't quite as high as his 2008 season (14.2%), but I'll certainly take it on this team of hackers. While I'd like to see him pull the ball in order to pop a few more home runs (1.1% HR rate vs. 2.7% career), seeing him lace a double to left center is still a thing of beauty.
7) Garrett Atkins has played just three times this month (2-for-8) and I can't imagine that he'll get significant playing time again this season.
Look, that's seven things to be happy about! Unfortunately, none of them involve Orioles wins. Alas, maybe next time.