When left-hander Bruce Zimmerman takes the mound, everything else falls on his mind except the batsman. So he knew how to handle the most important assignment of the day well before hitting the rubber during the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader for the Orioles.
“I made sure to get [my mom] Some flowers today,” said Zimmerman. “The only duty.”
Zimmerman, a native of Ellicott City, then took care of his baseball duties. He once again shone at Camden Yards’ Oriole Park, scoring five runs in six innings, allowing two runs, five hits and a no walk. And he did with his parents in the crowd, even though his focus was only on the strike zone during the game.
Zimmerman’s outing laid the groundwork for Baltimore’s 4–2 win against the Kansas City Royals, a 6–4 loss after a solid start from right-hander Jordan Liles in the first game of the doubleheader. Zimmerman continued his dominance at Camden Yards, bringing his season total at the ballpark to four earned runs in 20 innings.
This is the ballpark he often went to growing up. He opened the home opener here to start the season, doing so in front of family and friends. This is where he feels comfortable, and the level of comfort is evident every time he walks up the hill.
And while his mom, Marcie, didn’t get a chance to spend Mother’s Day talking with her son, she spent part of it watching him pitch, a pastime that has remained almost constant throughout her 27 years of life.
“They left after I came out,” Zimmerman said of his parents. “Being one of five, you can only pick and choose one child multiple times. She wanted to see other grandchildren and a bunch of stuff, but she stayed for my shift.”
Those innings were strong, with blips in the second and sixth innings being the only drawback. Zimmerman, saddled with a leadoff triple from Hunter Dozier, allowed a run in second on the sacrifice fly as right fielder Tyler Nevin misjudged his path and came up empty on a jump over the wall.
And apart from Dossier’s RBI single in sixth, Zimmerman was mainly on cruise. His four-seam fastball resulted in 13 strikes or whiffs, adding one-two punches to his variation. Zimmerman threw a season-high 85 pitches, giving the kind of length that could help a bullpen preparing to play three games in 24 hours. It’s also a step in the right direction, as the Orioles hope to oust Zimmerman.
“If he finished sixth, he was going to go back to seventh,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I’m obviously going to see how the game is going and see how he’s doing, but I want him to go deeper.”
Zimmermann found immediate offensive support, with the Orioles scoring three in the first innings. Singles from center fielder Cedric Mullins and designated hitter Trey Mancini set the stage before left fielder Austin Hayes walked in. The three of them scored with a passed ball, a Ryan Mountcastle single and Ramon Ureas sacrificial, causing the damage.
Facing a similar situation earlier in the day, the Orioles fell flat. But in Sunday’s nightmare of a doubleheader, a first-innings success was enough to get Baltimore through a twin-bill split. While Nevin’s misstep in the second helped Royals get on board, his RBI single in the fifth made up for it, lofting Urea and creating enough cushion for the bullpen to close the game.
But for all the strong deliveries from pitchers on Sunday, perhaps none was more clutch than the flowers Zimmerman received from her mom, a special compliment she often received when she was busy playing baseball—as she often is.
Have a week, Hays
The line drive on the left fielder in the fifth inning of Sunday’s second game was just a momentary interruption in what was otherwise an on-base clinic from Hayes. Even as the dribbler hit back right-hander Dylan Coleman went in Hayes’ favour, with an off-line throw helping Hayes reach base for the eighth time in nine attempts on Sunday.
“When he swings on strike, as I’ve said a lot, he hits the ball hard,” Hyde said. “And right now he’s a little more patient, he’s getting a good count, he’s doing something.”
During his week, Hayes finished 10-for-21, including a home run that included an extended left wall and a throw from the left that caught Minnesota Twins Max Kepler at the plate on Thursday. took.
Hayes has been Baltimore’s most consistent batsman, and he hit a hot streak in New York on April 28, hitting three doubles against the Yankees. Since then, he has recorded 17 hits in 39 at-bats. If there is any indication that the crime of the Orioles is finding any rhythm, it comes while studying Hayes.
“When Austin doesn’t try to do too much, he’s extremely dangerous, because he hits the ball so hard, he’s got so much power on either side of the field,” Hyde said. “That’s what I see, the batsman has a little more control in the box right now.”