Three games up on Baltimore in the loss column, they’re waiting for Clay Buchholz to get healthy to truly assess what their starting pitching needs might be.
The Orioles struck quickly Tuesday because they had to. They needed a stabilizing force in their rotation and so they gave up on Jake Arrieta, whom they’ve been waiting for for some time. The Red Sox already feel they have Feldman types in Ryan Dempster and John Lackey, and if they’re going to upgrade probably have bigger fish to pursue – a Cliff Lee or perhaps Matt Garza. But for now they’re standing pat because they can.
Feldman, 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA for the Cubs, has been both a reliever (for the Rangers) and a starter. In 2009 he was a 17-game winner for Texas, and he was 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in nine postseason appearances in 2011 when the Rangers went to the World Series. Feldman has also pitched very well at Camden Yards — 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in seven career games.
The Orioles got themselves a hot pitcher. He's had nine quality starts in 15 outings this season and has gone at least six innings in 10 of his past 12 starts. Feldman will make his Orioles debut Wednesday at the White Sox.
“He’s a proven veteran starting pitcher, and he’s pitched very well in this ballpark [Camden Yards],” Orioles GM Dan Duquette said. “He’s pitched in the postseason, he won 17 games once, and he is on his way to having a good year this season.”
• Meanwhile, how about John Lackey?
He went eight innings, allowed one run, a solo homer by Jesus Guzman in the seventh. He lowered his ERA from 2.99 to 2.81. He’s now 6-5 on the season. He hadn’t been over .500 in any season since falling to .500 Sept. 4, 2011.
Lackey was asked whether he had any regrets about not having his Tommy John surgery earlier and said, “We were having a great year the last year I pitched, for most of it. I thought we had a chance of doing something special so I wanted to be a part of that.”
Early in the game, Lackey was throwing 95 and 96 miles per hour. He leveled off at 93 m.p.h., more than enough velocity and certainly better than the 86-87 he was throwing before his surgery.
“There's been a lot of hard work . . . 18-months of rehab and then work in-between starts. My arm's feeling pretty good right now and it's fun to let it loose a little bit and not feel anything,” Lackey said.
• We move to Brandon Snyder. This guy wants to stay in the bigs, doesn’t he?
He’s got five RBIs in his last two games. He hit a bases-loaded double in the fourth inning to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
“In that situation, just trying to battle, not trying to do too much,” Snyder said. “Just trying to get something in the air to get a run home, hit a sac fly or at least get one run in. The best-case scenario is to get a ball you can drive and do a little more with and that’s what happened. At that point I hoped he would make a mistake after throwing a lot of good pitches.
"It was a battle. After I hit one down the left field line, I figured he’s gonna try to beat me with his best stuff. He‘s not gonna try to beat me with his breaking stuff. He commanded his fastball pretty well all night, he (Padres starter Robbie Erlin) was throwing it 88-90, but locating it really well.”
Snyder said so far the ride has been fun.
“It’s been amazing. Just a blessing leaving spring training and not knowing where I was gonna be. Signing with the Red Sox, such a great organization, going to Pawtucket, great guys like Gary DiSarcina. It’s just an awesome feeling to have that trust in me. Big shoes to fill in up here. Just trying to do my part.”
The ball was hit high to the left-center field fence.
Did he think he might have had a grand slam?
“I hit that one pretty good. I was watching it to see if it might go. (Jon) Lester told me that wasn’t very smart hitting, hitting it where I did. I need to practice not hitting it to that part,” Snyder quipped.
Snyder doesn’t get upset about why he hasn’t stuck in the majors as a former 13th overall pick of the Orioles in the 2005 draft.
“It used to bother me, but I don’t care, I’m just gonna keep doing what I keep doing whether it's Baltimore, Texas, or here. If they like it they like it, if they don’t they don’t,” Snyder said.
• Other stuff: David Ortiz hit his 500th career double. He became, along with Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez, the only active players with at least 500 doubles and 400 homers…Jacoby Ellsbury has hit in 12 straight, hitting .412 during that stretch. He also stole his major league leading 33d base…Koji Uehara said he felt more relaxed with the three-run lead than he did Sunday when he blew a one-run lead....Dustin Pedroia drew three walks, tying a career high...The Red Sox had three more runners thrown out on the basepaths... Rookie pitchers are now 1-8 with an 8.13 ERA against the Red Sox in 13 starts....Pedro Ciriaco stole two bases for the Padres, his seventh and eighth of the season...Lackey's biggest conquest: taming Carlos Quentin, who went 0 for 4. Quentin started the game 8 for 13 (.615) with four homers and seven RBIs against Lackey.