June 12, 2010
By David Driver
For the Tidings
Used with permission
BALTIMORE — Jeremy Guthrie, about three hours before he threw his first pitch here Friday against the Mets, was in video room just outside of the Orioles clubhouse.
Facing a team for the first time this season, the Ashland High graduate was doing his homework before pitching against the National League team in interleague play.
But Guthrie, now 3-7 this year with an ERA of 3.83, gave up a run in the first and a three-run homer in fourth to Chris Carter as the Mets won, 5-1, before 28,554 fans, many of them who cheered for the visitors.
"I felt very comfortable out there," said Guthrie, standing by his locker after the game. "I had command of the fastball."
"Unfortunately that pitch kind of hurt us," interim Orioles manager Juan Samuel said of the Carter homer. "But (Guthrie) threw the ball well for us tonight. He gave us some innings."
"I wouldn't say it was a bad pitch. It was a wrong pitch," Guthrie said of Carter's first career homer, which came on a change up.
Even with the loss the Roseburg native is pitching much better than last season, when he led the American League in losses (17) and home runs allowed (35) with an ERA of 5.04.
"I think I have done a lot of things better" this year, Guthrie said. "That is a real positive for me."
He said he watched video of three Mets games to prepare for his outing. "Ultimately we need to win games. That is my responsibility," Guthrie said.
Guthrie, who allowed seven hits and four runs, pitched seven innings and left the game with his team trailing, 4-1. There have been only two games this season that the Orioles had scored more than three runs by the time Guthrie was out of the game. He threw 111 pitches, 67 for strikes.
After his 100th pitch Friday, a ball to No. 9 hitter Ruben Tejada, he got a visit from pitching coach Rick Kranitz with runners on first and second with one out in the top of the seventh.
Guthrie then fanned Tejada as he took two borderline pitches. Tejada took a 3-1 pitch and started for first, but home plate umpire Ed Rapuano called a strike. And the ump called a strike on the next pitch as Tejada fanned. Jose Reyes grounded out to end the top of the seventh.
Guthrie, 31, had an extra day of rest following his outing on Saturday here against the Boston Red Sox, as rookie Jack Arrieta of the Orioles made his big league debut on Thursday and beat the New York Yankees.
The Ashland product, facing the other New York team, pitched on the same day the last-place Orioles spoke to Bobby Valentine about their managerial position, according to published reports. Valentine is a former manager of the Mets.
Guthrie gave up a double to right in the first to leadoff hitter Reyes, who advanced to third on a groundout by Angel Pagan. Reyes then scored on a single to left by David Wright to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. This season Guthrie has allowed nine runs in the first inning, the most of any inning.
Wright went to second base as Guthrie made a poor throw on a pickoff attempt at first. The O's escaped more damage as center fielder Adam Jones, the former Mariner, made a nice diving catch on a line drive by Ike Davis to end the inning.
Guthrie then settled down and did not allow a run in the second and third. But he gave up a three-run homer to Carter to make it 4-0 in the top of the fourth. "It was a great feeling," said Carter, who saw limited action last year for the Red Sox. "I had a lot of adrenaline going. I think that worked in my favor, too."
Guthrie then faced just six batters in the fifth and sixth before getting out of danger in the seventh.
The Orioles, meanwhile, had just one hit in the first three innings. The Birds loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth against Mets starter R.A. Dickey (4-0), but he retired three straight batters on seven pitches to get out of the jam.
Baltimore scored its first run in the last of the seventh as Matt Wieters scored on a wild pitch. Wieters then missed hitting a three-run homer by inches in the eighth as the ball hooked foul down the left field line. He then struck out to end the inning.
It was the second start for Guthrie under Samuel, who took over eight days ago after Dave Trembley was fired as manager prior to a weekend series with the Boston Red Sox. Guthrie, on Saturday against Boston, went 71/3 innings and allowed five hits and two runs in a 8-2 loss. The O's were trailing, 2-0, when he left that game.
Guthrie had nine quality starts in his first 12 outings this year for Baltimore (17-44), which has the worst record in baseball. He is now 0-2 against the Mets in his career.
Notes: The next start for Guthrie could come June 16 at San Francisco ... Mets outfielder Jason Bay, who was born in British Columbia and lives in Washington state, started in left field for the Mets. He entered the game with an average of .281 with three homers and 24 RBIs ... Jones, who came up through the Seattle system, entered the game with an average of .251 and had one hit in four trips.