In last night's 14-8 Orioles victory over the Indians in Cleveland, Armando Gabino made his Orioles debut, coming out of the bullpen to pitch the 9th inning. He wasn't particularly sharp, giving up a single, a home run, and a walk in his inning. He threw 20 pitches, only 10 for strikes, but he retired one of this blog's least favorite players, Matt LaPorta, to end the game. (LaPorta was one of the key Akron Aeros responsible for taking out the Baysox in the '08 Eastern League playoffs. The Indians organization also conveniently rehabbed Travis Hafner in AA during those playoffs. BOO Indians!)
Last night wasn't Armando's MLB debut as he pitched in two games for the Twins late last season. Unfortunately, the results were about the same and his ERA sits at 17.36 after 3 big league appearances.
I've written about Armando a few times and was able to get his autograph at both a Spring Training and a Baysox game this season, so I'm able to add him to my have list as well as my overall Orioles player list. I had a good experience with him at a Baysox game this April, if you missed that post, just click the link if you want to check it out. Armando was a great guy both times that I got his signature, so I'm really hoping that he can pitch better the next time he takes the bump for the Birds.
It's always fun to see when a player who signs his number on cards appears on different teams and signs the corresponding number he wore on that team. Armando wore 61 in Spring Training and 83 as a member of the Baysox. He is currently wearing 41 with the O's, so I would like to get a card signed by him now with a 41 on it!
* Thanks to eagle-eyed blog reader, Orioles collector and trade partner Russell, I figured out that Armando is actually the 883rd player to appear as an Oriole, as opposed to the 884th that I listed yesterday