Monday, June 1, 2009

My Impressions of Wieters

Happy Monday everyone! I'm finally recovered from seeing Matt Wieters make his major league debut this weekend. It's not every year (or every decade here in Birdland) that we get to see baseball's #1 overall prospect premiere to start his long and hopefully HOF-worthy career. Over 100,000 fans made it to the Yard this weekend to cheer on Wieters and the Birds and it was a truly electric atmosphere that has rarely been present in recent years. The level of excitement and fan-dom seriously reminded me of when Cal was nearing Gehrig's record during "The Streak."

I was able to attend Wieter's debut game on Friday and his second game on Saturday. It was awesome to see him get his first big league hit (a triple!!!) on Saturday and I later heard that he was only the 5th catcher of all-time to have his first hit be a three-bagger. Now that's the way to push the hype to the next level. Not only were his first 2 hits off of Justin Verlander who was really dealing but the triple only missed being a home run by about 2 feet.

But I would say the best part of Wieters premiere was the way he handled the pitching staff. He had caught Friday's starter 15 times between Bowie and Norfolk so they were obviously comfortable working together and it showed. Bergy lasted into the ninth inning (that never happens around here) and was given the chance to get the complete game W. Saturday's starter, Jeremy Guthrie, had only ever worked with Wieters in spring training bullpen sessions but never in a game atmosphere so I wondered how they would click. Let's just say that Guthrie matched his career high with 10 strikeouts and while he wasn't quite as sharp as I would have liked he kept the O's in the game.

Wieters catching his first big league pitch from Bergy

So all-in-all it was a good weekend and a nice debut for my boy Matt Wieters.

First Major League AB-faced Dontrelle Willis, flied out to left

Also, yesterday was "Meet the Team Day" at Bowie so I got a ton of autographs and pictures of me and the players. I will try to get a post on that this week but my best friend's bachelor party and wedding are Thursday and Saturday respectively so I will be a little busy.

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