June 17, 2009
By David Driver
For the Tidings
Used with permission
BALTIMORE — Baltimore manager Dave Trembley, prior to Tuesday's game here against the New York Mets, told reporters that Ashland High graduate Jeremy Guthrie was relaxed and seemed prepared to pitch a solid game in his first career outing against the National League club.
Trembley turned out to be somewhat correct, as the Oriole right-hander bounced back from a string of allowing 12 runs on 20 hits in 122/3 innings in his previous three starts. But thanks in part to bad fielding by the Orioles, and his own problems in the fourth inning, the Roseburg native fell to 4-7 this season as the Mets won, 6-4, before 20,626 fans at Camden Yards.
"I didn't hold up my end of the deal," said Guthrie, who had allowed a league-high 16 homers at game time but was not taken deep by the Mets.
Instead it was a routine grounder and a throwing error that was the undoing of Guthrie in the fourth inning. He had not allowed a hit when Fernando Martinez led off the top of the fourth with a walk in a 0-0 game. The next batter, Carlos Beltran, hit a grounder to second baseman Brian Roberts for what appeared to be a double play.
But Roberts, perhaps distracted as Martinez ran past him, bobbled the ball as Beltran reached base. The Mets then connected for three straight hits against Guthrie, and after a sacrifice fly by Daniel Murphy, New York got its fourth hit of the inning as Brian Schneider singled in another run. David Wright and Ryan Church drove in the first two runs with singles.
The Mets got four runs in the inning to take a 4-0 lead. Nick Markakis of the Orioles hit a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 4-2. But New York chased Guthrie in the top of the seventh, when he was pulled with one out after giving up a single to No. 9 hitter Luis Castillo.
New York later added two runs in the inning when Oriole first baseman Audrey Huff dropped a popup off the bat of Wright on a tough play. Huff tried to make the catch over his shoulder running away from the infield but the ball dropped as two runs scored. The ball was not hit high enough for second baseman Roberts, who was playing up the middle, to get over in time to call of Huff.
Guthrie finished the night being charged with five runs (three earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. His ERA for the year is now at 5.42.
"We gave them too many outs," said Trembley, whose team made three errors. "I like the way Jeremy started out. His rhythm was real quick early in the game. Jeremy kept us in the game."
But the former Stanford star felt he let the team down after the error by All-Star Roberts. "Not as well as I should have," said Guthrie, when asked how he handled the Mets after the Roberts error. "I didn't execute pitches following that play. I didn't do my job."
Tuesday's game was the 14th start of the year for Guthrie. In his first 13 starts he was 4-6 with an ERA of 5.52 and in 731/3 innings had allowed 85 hits (including 16 homers) and 21 walks with 47 strikeouts.
It was the third time this season Guthrie made a start at home against a team from New York. He pitched against the Yankees on Opening Day and again in May when third baseman Alex Rodriguez made his first start of the season. Guthrie also made a start in New York against the Yankees in May.
"I thought I was throwing the ball pretty well" before the error by Roberts, Guthrie said. "I made some adjustments on the slider. I felt that was a much better pitch for me."