The folks of Charm City have made today a holiday of sorts. Many take days off of work, and save up a small fortune for tickets, but Opening Day is a spectacle no matter where you enjoy it if you’re an Oriole Fan. The very first time one hears “Orioles Magic” played on the radio sends your heart on a trip of nostalgia that makes the little kid in all of us shed a tear. No matter what stands in our way, the magic and love that surrounds this team at home is something truly remarkable.
Not only did the Orioles take on the Minnesota Twins today, they battled Mother Nature as well. With two hours and 51 minutes of rain to go with two hours and 46 minutes of game, the fans as well as the players were in for a marathon of cold rain, harsh winds, and nervous fanaticism. Chris Tillman was toeing the rubber for the birds today, and after the tumultuous spring he had, it was important for him to establish his curveball early. He not only established the curve, but he establish an extra four miles per hour on his fastball. Tillman managed five strikeouts of the six batters he faced. It was an abbreviated start as Buck thought it better to save his number one starter rather than have him warm up for a second time. Luckily when a team has a bullpen as stout as the Orioles, a short start is easily overcame.
Tyler Wilson, Mychael Givens, Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton would keep the Twins’ bats at bay outside of two runs. Given tomorrow’s day off, it will be all hands on deck for game two of the series on Wednesday. While I could write all day about the arms in today’s race, we must not forget about the guys at the dish. One of which made his major league debut today.
Joey Rickard was acquired in baseball’s rule 5 draft. Any player left off of the 40 man roster by any team may be selected by another. The Orioles saw something in this young man, and if today is any indication, they certainly made a wise decision. Joey would collect his first two major league hits and make a great defensive play in front of a sellout crowd. This young man has an aura about him. There is something about the game that slows down for Joey, and it is evident in the way he approaches the game. Look for that to continue as the season progresses.
The true hero though was Matt Wieters. After having a rough 0-4 start to his 2016 season, his single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth would be enough to get the Orioles the W, and a “cake” in the face from Adam Jones. After everything he’s gone through on the road to recovery from his elbow problems, this was certainly a night to remember for number 32.
So while it was just one game in what is an extremely long season, coming out with the victory added a little bit more. It keeps the Orioles out of last, sends the fans home happy, and proves that no matter the odds, Orioles Magic will always win. Until then, stay loose and See, You, Later.