Orioles fans are still bitter over the team's last established ace, Mike Mussina, leaving Baltimore to sign with the hated New York Yankees. Apparently, the Orioles' hitters are still bitter, too. They touched Mussina for six earned runs on eight hits and three walks over four innings in the Orioles' 6-4 victory last night. In his past four starts against the Orioles, Mussina has given up 17 earned runs and 27 hits in 17 2/3 innings.
Bullpen bends but doesn't break
The Orioles spent $42 million this offseason on four relievers with the hope that once they got leads, they'd be able to hold them. It certainly wasn't easy last night, but the combination of John Parrish, Chad Bradford, Jamie Walker and Danys Baez - none of whom pitched for the team last year - got the ball to closer Chris Ray with a two-run lead in the ninth.
A lucky break
Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon missed his second straight game with a strained right calf. He reportedly is feeling much better and could be available as early as today, but if nothing else, the Orioles were spared one day from a player who hit .308 against them last season with six home runs and 12 RBIs.
Steve Trachsel will make his Orioles debut this afternoon against Japanese left-hander Kei Igawa, who will make his major league debut. Trachsel is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees.