Girardi critical of Guthrie's plunkings
Yanks' manager questions O's righty's motives after rout
BALTIMORE -- Pitching inside is part of Jeremy Guthrie's game, a critical component that has helped the Orioles right-hander put together a resurgent 2010 season. But Yankees manager Joe Girardi doesn't have to like it.
Following New York's 11-3 rout of Baltimore on Saturday night, Girardi spoke out about Guthrie's propensity for hit batsmen -- which includes 10 Yankees since July 28, 2008 -- his latest striking Derek Jeter's left elbow with the first pitch of the game.
"[There are] too many -- just too many," Girardi said of Guthrie's 13 hit batsmen, second in the Majors only to Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, who has hit 16 batters. "I don't really understand it. I know he likes to pitch inside, but it's too many. And that doesn't include the ones in Spring Training."
Guthrie plunked Mark Teixeira -- who missed several games as a result -- and Francisco Cervelli in Grapefruit League action, and Girardi also aired his frustrations this spring. When asked following Saturday's game if he thought Guthrie was purposely hitting Yankees, Girardi said he didn't know.
"You'll have to ask him," Girardi said. "My thought is it's way too many."
Neither Jeter nor Guthrie took offense to the first-pitch fastball that afforded Jeter first base, with the Yankees' captain calling Guthrie "effectively wild" and saying he took no offense to being hit. Following Jeter's plunking, neither bench was warned, and home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo didn't deem it necessary to speak to Guthrie, furthering the case that it was accidental.
"[I was] just trying to go inside," said Guthrie, who has made a conscious effort to be more aggressive this season. "Derek knows I am going to throw the ball in there all day long -- that's the way I approach it. So I guess it was a good indicator that when I tried to throw the pitches away later on in the game they went inside, and when I tried to throw that one inside it went way inside. So it's just a matter of not having great command [on Saturday night.]"
"I don't read anything into it at all," Jeter said of Guthrie's errant pitch and tendency to hit more Yankees batters than any other Major League squad.
"I haven't been counting," Jeter said. "I don't know why he would."
VandenHurk to start for O's at Fenway
BALTIMORE -- With Saturday's news that rookie pitcher Jake Arrieta will be shut down for the rest of the season and have a bone spur removed from his right elbow, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that long man Rick VandenHurk will get a start during next week's series in Boston.
Which start that will be is still undetermined. Lefty Brian Matusz will start Monday's series opener at Fenway Park, and Tuesday's start -- which would have been Arrieta's -- will go to either VandenHurk or Wednesday's starter, Brad Bergesen.
The O's are already using a six-man rotation, so Bergesen wouldn't have to pitch on short rest, and Showalter said that much of that decision would depend on whether VandenHurk pitched in Saturday's game, which he did. Had VandenHurk not pitched on Saturday, the Orioles would not have used him in Sunday's series finale, but he may still get the nod on Tuesday.
VandenHurk, a starter his entire career, was acquired at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Marlins in exchange for lefty reliever Will Ohman. VandenHurk had thrown just five innings out of the bullpen until Matusz exited Monday's start with an injury, forcing Showalter to turn the game over to the 'pen. VandenHurk made the most of the opportunity, tossing 5 1/3 innings -- a season high for an Orioles reliever -- and allowing only a solo homer.
Showalter said on Saturday that the Orioles want to get another look at VandenHurk, who will be out of Minor League options next spring, and the plan is for him to get at least one start.
Showalter makes light of fireworks gaffe
BALTIMORE -- During his pregame media session on Saturday afternoon, Orioles manager Buck Showalter paused for just a moment before regrouping.
"I was just thinking about fireworks," Showalter said, drawing a smattering of laughter in reference to a miscue during Friday night's 4-3 loss at Camden Yards.
On Firework Friday, the Orioles accidentally misfired, shooting off a lone blast after starter Kevin Millwood gave up a leadoff homer to Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in the second inning.
Millwood was not a fan of the premature fireworks, and the usually reserved veteran had no problems airing his opinion by bringing it up unprompted twice during his postgame interview.
"It was a little shocking that we shot off fireworks for an opposing team's home run -- that wasn't the best thing in the world," Millwood said.
Millwood, who held New York to one run over seven innings and took a no-decision, later added: "I guess it was a good thing that I was throwing my fastball where I wanted to for the most part, except for right before the fireworks."
On Saturday, Showalter made light of the situation and didn't think it was done maliciously.
"Somebody made a mistake," Showalter said. "We all make them."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.