Guthrie's confidence grows with outing
Though challenged in second, starter pleased with effort
SARASOTA, Fla. -- At times, it wasn't pretty, but Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie came away from Sunday's outing, his second of Spring Training, pleased with his overall performance.
"I felt like I kept the ball down, I felt like it had good movement; two of the biggest things I'm needing to be more consistent with," Guthrie said of the 51-pitch effort. "I did walk guys and fell behind guys, but overall, I'm very, very pleased with the way the fastball was coming out of the hand. Those are all big pluses for me."
The 30-year-old Guthrie allowed a run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Red Sox, issuing two walks and picking up a pair of strikeouts.
After a fairly economical first inning, Guthrie labored through a 28-pitch second inning, yielding a pair of singles to Jeremy Hermida and Jed Lowrie and walking Tug Hulett to load the bases. Miguel Tejada flashed some more of his third-base brilliance, spinning to his glove side to grab Yamaico Navarro's ball for the inning's first out. One walk later, Guthrie retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a popup to Tejada, before ending the inning on J.D. Drew's fly out.
"Jeremy didn't have much feel for his secondary pitches," manager Dave Trembley said. "That's why he got his pitch count up. But there was some improvement."
Wanting to stretch Guthrie to around 50 pitches, Trembley sent the right-hander back to the hill to open the third inning before Chris George came on for the inning's final two outs.
"[I] threw a nice pitch to Victor [Martinez], 3-1, good two-seamer, thought it was down in the zone, got a soft contact," Guthrie said of Martinez's fly ball to center field. "So, it was good to get out there and get another out like that."
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In his first Grapefruit League outing Wednesday, Guthrie allowed one hit over two scoreless innings, striking out his final two batters in the Orioles' 12-2 win over the Rays. Sunday's outing, which was a mix of fastballs, changeups and curveballs, was another opportunity for Guthrie to become comfortable with his curve.
"I'm trying to get to the point where I'm confident throwing any pitch in any count," he said. "And that's the intention of throwing the curveball -- I threw it, 1-0, I fell behind, 2-0, [and threw it again] 0-1."
Guthrie has made it no secret that he is ready to put a dismal 2009 season behind him. The right-hander, who went 10-17 with a 5.04 ERA last year, is part of a projected rotation that includes Kevin Millwood, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.
As a participant in the World Baseball Classic last spring, Guthrie only made one start before he left to represent Team USA. This year, Guthrie believes being around for the camp's entirety can only benefit him.
"This will provide the ability to build on the pitches, having more of a plan, knowing that I'll throw again in five days," he said. "I can plan things, like that knowing that in two starts from now, I can start working in my fourth pitch, the slider. It will definitely benefit me having a consistent routine going throughout the spring."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.