June 2 is a good day in the recent history of Orioles pitcher Radhames Liz. Last season, he pitched a no-hitter for AA Bowie. This year, he was recalled from AAA Norfolk on that date and made his season debut the following night against the Minnesota Twins.
Liz went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four to earn his first major league victory (he was 0-2 in nine games in 2007). His catcher, Ramon Hernandez, noted that Baltimore’s 2007 Minor League Pitcher of the Year pitched like he belonged in The Show:
“He threw more strikes. That was the big difference,” catcher Ramon Hernandez said. “He stayed more middle, and he was throwing more strikes early in the count and then he got more aggressive.”
Sounds similar to the compliment Pedro Martinez recently paid to David Price. Be, aggressive, B-E aggressive.
The most recent “Now Pitching For” subject, Homer Bailey, did not exactly receive a vote of confidence from Reds manager Dusty Baker, who basically told reporters that the only reason Bailey got the call for Thursday’s start against Philadelphia was because he was already on the 40-man roster (Bailey took the loss for Cincinnati, allowing five runs, but only two earned, on four hits in 6.1 innings). Liz, on the other hand, can take the mound with the knowledge that he will have a chance to succeed or fail on his own merits:
Even before Liz’s strong performance, Orioles manager Dave Trembley made it clear that Liz wasn’t in the big leagues for one spot start.
“This isn’t a tryout, this isn’t an audition,” Trembley said. “He’s going to pitch.”
It’s gotta be nice to know that you’ll have a job, at least for awhile.