Arrieta received Monday¿s opportunity by circumstance. He struggled in his past two starts at Triple-A Norfolk, but the Orioles needs to fill a hole Monday when right-hander Jason Hammel couldn¿t start due to a stomach virus.
The Orioles head into free agency — which starts in earnest Saturday with free agents permitted to negotiate with all 30 teams for the first time this offseason — in a much different situation than this time last year. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is not only in place as club's decision-maker, but he seems to be established as a man with a plan.
It could have been one of the coolest scenes in Baltimore baseball history. Players and fans cheering together at Camden Yards as the Los Angeles Angels lost to the Texas Rangers and gave the Orioles their first playoff berth since 1997.
In the biggest baseball moment of his roller-coaster career, Gonzalez dominated his former organization, holding the Angels to one run on three hits through seven innings leading the Orioles to a 3-2 victory in front of an announced crowd of 42,716 at Angel Stadium.