Brandon Erbe had his third rehab start with Aberdeen against the Oneonta Tigers on Wednesday, pitching four innings with 57 pitches thrown; at least 11 per inning. It was not a great start on paper, giving up three runs, but only one was earned. Erbe walked just one batters while striking out two.
Ultimately he would earn his first loss with Aberdeen, and fourth on the season as the low run support in Double-A Bowie has carried over. The IronBirds lost 3-0 in an eight-inning rain-shortened game. Erbe is now a combined 1-4 in seven games with a 1.934 ERA.
Manager Gary Kendall felt his performance was good based on that this was the first time this year Aberdeen had faced Oneonta and that he was throwing good pitches.
“He’s not walking people, he’s going after hitters, and he’s going to be fine,” said Kendall after the game, “I’m pleased with what he’s been doing, and I’m sure (pitching coach Scott McGregor) is too.”
This start saw Erbe’s fastball average around 89 MPH, slightly lower than last time. This was his primary pitch in the beginning of the start, as it was in his previous rehab outing. But as he threw more pitches, he focused more on sliders and changeups. His slider was not working well, as a few landed in the dirt, including a wild pitch, but his changeup was used as a two-strike pitch effectively.
Despite some trouble with location, Erbe did well in a pressure situation. In the 2nd inning, the Tigers had runners at second and third with only one out. He got John Murrian to pop out, then struck out Luis Palacios to preserve a scoreless inning.
“Right now he’ll pitch every five days as long as he is with us,” says McGregor. This means the next planned start for Erbe will be on July 6th against Oneonta.
The loss is Aberdeen’s fourth straight, falling to 4-8 on the season. They will play Oneonta five more times in the next five days, Thursday and Friday in Aberdeen then the next three games in Oneonta.
Wednesday saw the first home game for Orioles 2009 3rd-round Pick (85th overall) from Florida International University, Tyler Townsend. The first baseman got his first professional hits in his second start, going 2-for-3 including a double to the right-center field wall. His first professional hit came in the fifth inning with a single off Clemente Mendoza.
Blake Davis, also on rehab assignment, went 3-for-4 with three singles. The rehabbing shortstop has hit in eight of his 10 games and has three multi-hit games. He has split time as a shortstop and designated hitter throughout his assignment.