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News » Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-13

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-13

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-13
Late in spring training, Jeremy Guthrie's teammates told him to forget about his troublesome spring training and start anew on opening day.

Two starts into his third full big league season, it seems as if Guthrie has done just that. He's never been off to a start like this one.

Guthrie, who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings, began 2008 0-3 and didn't win his first game until May 2. In 2007, after beginning in the bullpen, Guthrie didn't earn win No. 2 until May 8.

It is with a re-dedicated focus, and a sharp off-speed pitch, that Guthrie is 2-0 for the first time in his career.

"I think the changeup has been key for both games I have pitched thus far," Guthrie said after win No. 2, in which he threw six shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. "It's a pitch I have a lot of confidence in right now as far as location, and it will help to keep hitters a little bit more off-balance throughout the course of the season."

Guthrie also is benefiting from an improved offense. Notorious in 2008 for getting little run support against opposing aces, Guthrie has been given 16 runs of support in his first two starts of 2009.

The Orioles need their ace to perform well. With unproven commodities like Koji Uehara and Alfredo Simon following Guthrie in the rotation, his performance is crucial.

RAYS 11, ORIOLES 3: The Orioles fell to 1-2 in day games as the Rays jumped out to an 11-0 lead. Baltimore scored three times in the ninth, but lost its second straight series finale.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 13, 2009

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