Orioles notes and observations (Chen, Pearce, Jones, Arrieta, hot-pants bat boy)

April 27, 2013|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

Wei-Yin Chen said he was “speechless” after throwing eight shutout innings Friday. He has now faced the Oakland A’s three times, and is 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA in  20 2/3 innings against them. He was truly dominant on Friday. The A’s hitters were completely lost.

Watching Chen pitch in a chilly Oakland Coliseum, with all that extra space in foul territory and the ball not traveling well, he just looks tailor-made for this place.

He throws strikes, the hitters swing and make plenty of contact. Seemingly all the A’s did Friday was pop-up or pound the ball into the dirt. Chen could be lethal if he pitched half his games here.

Steve Pearce is only batting .200. He is 5-for-25. But remember, he began the season 0-for-13. So he is 5-for 12 since (.440) and he is facing the league’s best left-handers in nearly each of his starts. He needed a great spring to make the club, but he is a useful bat to have around.

Adam Jones told me before Friday’s game that he knows he has to be better defensively in center field and that he’d be turning around his season defensively on Friday night. And then he went out and made a great running catch before slamming into the outfield fence. Coincidence or foresight on Jones’ part? You can make that call.

Jake Arrieta threw six scoreless innings in his 2013 Triple-A debut on Friday, allowing just three hits and striking out eight. I know it’s Triple-A. And we all know Arrieta has no problem dominating minor league hitters. But the important thing is that Arrieta didn’t walk anyone. That’s the key for him returning sooner rather than later to Baltimore.

One funny/bizarre note from Friday’s game. The bat boy in the visiting dugout got too close to the heater toward the end of the game and briefly set his pants afire. He wasn’t hurt. And once the Orioles knew he wasn’t hurt, they couldn’t stop laughing. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he wasn’t sure everyone would be able to go out in the field in the ninth because they were laughing so much.

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