What they're saying about Orioles' 11-3 Opening Day win - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What they’re saying about Orioles’ 11-3 Opening Day win

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—What happened? The Orioles improved their Opening Day record to 46-26 with a dominant 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. It was their first home opener since 2018 and their seventh straight win in a home opener. Their last loss came on March 31st, 2008.

Four days ago, in warm and sunny Florida, the Orioles concluded their most successful spring training in history with a 23-6-2 record. With the temperature 25 degrees cooler at a sold-out Camden Yards, the atmosphere was much different.

New Oriole ace Corbin Burnes allowed just one hit, a Mike Trout home run in the first inning, throwing 82 pitches in six innings. Trout was the only Angel to reach base, and Burnes struck out 11 in an exceptional performance.


“It’s not easy to do, new team, Opening Day, a lot of jitters, probably pretty anxious, go out and do what he just did, that’s pretty impressive,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

It was hard to find fault with Burnes. “Mike Trout’s pretty good,” Hyde said.

The Orioles led, 5-1, after two innings and Burnes was hotter than the Orioles’ hitters.

“After the second or third inning, we went into cruise control mode, just getting ahead and trying to get quick outs,” Burnes said. “Fortunately enough, we were able to get two strikes and put hitters away when we needed to.”

What did we learn in spring training? Throughout spring training, Hyde kept emphasizing how little the stats matter.

“There’s a total intensity difference,” he said.  The level of competition is way different. The energy, just the adrenaline. In spring training for people like him [Burnes, who’s ERA was 6.75], sometimes you’re working on things. Sometimes, you just try to get in a good rhythm. You try to feel the ball come out of your hand differently, so the adrenaline is totally, totally different. That’s why spring training numbers, for me, don’t mean a ton. A veteran guy like him, you want him to get his work and be healthy coming off the mound and get his pitch count up.”

Hyde pointed out specifics on how Burnes treated his spring training outings.

“There was one inning in spring training where he threw all sliders or all cutters on purpose, working on stuff,” Hyde said. “That’s why I always say … doesn’t mean anything.”

Burnes also worked on his relationship with catcher Adley Rutschman.

“Today, you’ve got to come out and get as many outs as you can,” he said. “In spring training, you’re going in and you’re trying to work on stuff, you’re trying to get in the right spot to put yourself in the best position. Today, it didn’t matter how you felt. It didn’t matter how things were going. You had to go out there and get outs.

“Today, fortunately enough, we had everything going. I was able to keep the pitch count down and get a lot of quick outs. I worked ahead with a lot of hitters, so it makes it easier to get to your secondary stuff and get outs. When it matters, you want to get as many outs as you can, and we did that today.”

What about position players? During spring training, position players generally play five or six innings and get perhaps three at-bats. They do a lot of work outside of the games, but the intensity isn’t there. Suddenly, they must hit another gear.

“When you’re playing in front of that many people, it’s way easier to ramp it up and not feel tired at all, really amazing atmosphere, really fun to play in front of,” first baseman Ryan Mountcastle said.

What’s the word? “Coming off a season like they did last year when they won 101 games and the offense was so potent last year. When you return as many guys as you did with the experience they gained from last year, it becomes a very scary team.”-Burnes on the potential of the Orioles

What does it mean? Opening Day is fun for everyone involved, but it is only one game. The Orioles won their opener, the last one played at home, in 2018. That was the year they set a franchise record with 115 losses. They also won the 2021 season opener in Boston and lost 110 games.

What’s next? After a day off on Friday, Grayson Rodriguez will face the Angels’ Griffin Canning on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. Most Saturday games will begin at 4:05 this season.

Transactions:  Outfielder Ryan McKenna and infielder/outfielder Tyler Nevin were designated for assignment. Both are solid players and should find new organizations and not have to return to the minor leagues.

Question of the day: Beginning Monday, I’ll be answering at least one question every weekday, sometimes more.  Send yours to: [email protected]

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