Davey Martinez and his club were looking forward to a day off this past Monday after they’d wrapped up a rough 3-8 homestand with a five-game-sweep-avoiding win over Philadelphia’s Phillies, and going into the first of two with the Baltimore Orioles on the road, the fifth-year manager said his bullpen was in good shape after the brief break.
“Yeah, the off day definitely helped,” Martinez said in his pregame press conference from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. “They’re going to go out and throw here in a little bit and I’ll know more how they’re feeling, but they all should be ready to go. The off day definitely helped though.”
With a rare lead after six scoreless from his starter, Erick Fedde, Martinez turned it over to his well-rested relief corps, and Kyle Finnegan, in the seventh, Carl Edwards, Jr., in the eighth, and Tanner Rainey, in the ninth, made a 3-0 lead hold up.
“Our bullpen was good,” the manager said after the game. “Our bullpen came in and did a great job. I’m going to give a lot of props to [catcher] Keibert [Ruiz], who caught — but he put the right fingers down tonight, and that’s pretty impressive, after everything we’ve been through we come out here today and our pitchers throw a shutout.”
Finnegan, whose sinker and slider both played up with the extra rest, struck out three O’s hitters around a two-out double given the seventh this time out since Martinez liked the matchups with the right-hander against the middle of the O’s order.
“He was really good,” Martinez said. “He’s been throwing the ball really well, and the biggest thing with him, like I said, no walks. That’s a beautiful thing when he comes in and attacks the strike zone and doesn’t walk anybody.”
It was simply a matter of the matchups that led Martinez to go with Finnegan over Edwards, Jr. in the seventh, upsetting the usual order of his A-pen arms.
“Just the lineup, the way the lineup’s set up, I wanted Finnegan in that bulk of the guys and then followed by Edwards,” he explained.
Edwards, Jr.’s stuff played up as well, in his 13-pitch eighth, in which he worked around an error, then Rainey, who had a little bit extra on his pitches too, stranded a two-out single in a scoreless ninth.
Martinez said after the combined shutout he thought the day off had clearly helped.
“Yes, I definitely do. When they’re fresh, you saw Finnegan today, come out throwing 98, 91-92 MPH slider, Rainey 99, his slider was awesome, so yeah, giving these guys days off is really good, but if we’ve got the lead, they know they’ve got to pitch. So, by design, [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey and I are trying to map out things, if things go awry and we’re not winning to try to keep those guys out of there, cause if we’re winning games they got to get out there and pitch.”