Baltimore Orioles

Facing former teammate Parker Bridwell was 'pick your poison' for Orioles hitters

Anaheim, Calif. — If the Orioles believed that Parker Bridwell didn't have the arsenal to be a major league starter, he showed them otherwise Tuesday night.

In the Orioles' 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, Bridwell relied on his four-seam fastball, but also expanded the strike zone with two pitches of similar velocity, a cutter that ran in to the glove side and a two-seam sinking fastball that tailed to the arm side.


The result was a seven-inning, two-run outing by Bridwell, his seventh quality start in 11 big-league starts. Bridwell allowed just six hits on the night.

Not bad for a pitcher who was relegated to middle relief and designated for assignment just two outings into the season at Triple-A Norfolk and ultimately sold to the Angels for cash in mid-April.


"That's Parker — he's got good stuff," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "We knew that when he was with us. He's able to throw that sinker and then throw a cut fastball off of it and mix some other pitches in with some other guys."

The similar velocities of those three pitches — a four-seamer that averaged 93, a two-seamer that averaged 93 and a cutter that averaged 90 — made for a tough combination for the Orioles hitters.

"When you've got a high velocity pitch like that — one goes one way, one goes another — pick your poison," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "It's tough. We weren't able to really scratch anything out. We didn't have many base runners. He's done well over here, and we weren't able to get him tonight."

Bridwell recorded four strikeouts, getting Adam Jones swinging twice and Chris Davis looking twice. Three of his four strikeouts came on four-seam fastballs set up by working the outside part of the plate earlier in the at-bats.

Before facing his former team, Bridwell made it clear he wanted to keep it like any other start, but said after Tuesday's game that the win was special.

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"At the end of the day, obviously it's a little bit sweeter," Bridwell said. "But I just had to execute my pitches likes a normal start. Luckily I came out and I did that."

Still, Bridwell was determined to limit any pleasantries with his old teammates once he took the mound.

"I took care of that yesterday," Bridwell said. "I go about my business quietly. I don't like to interact with the other team on the day I'm pitching against them. There are some good friends on that team and it was fun to compete against."


Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who always thought highly of Bridwell because of his three-sport pedigree and athleticism, said that after parts of eight years in the Orioles organization, Bridwell is starting to come into his own.

"He's always had a good arm and good stuff," Showalter said. "But as guys get older they figure it out a little bit, knowing that the opportunity is there. I'm pulling for him. Not too much tonight, I wish we could have put an 'L' [on him and win] 3-2 and he pitch well. But he and their bullpen pitched well tonight."