Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Luis Ayala, 2013 Topps Blue #276

It sure seems like I put the whammy on ol' Luis Ayala by featuring him on my blog two days ago. Sure, the O's had reportedly been shopping him before Opening Day, but it's funny that he was traded to the Braves for a AA pitcher less than 24 hours after I hit "publish". Anyhow, now's a good time to show off the other half of my Big Retail Parallel Tandem, the Walmart blue-border special. Adios to Luis, whose superficially good 2012 season (2.64 ERA, 3.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio) was undermined by a tendency to allow inherited baserunners to score. Last year, the righty permitted 22 of 50 inherited runners to cross the plate, a lofty 44% rate. Even so, there were years in the not-so-distant past when the Orioles would have killed for a guy who did the things that Ayala did in their wild card season. I'm not even talking about his ballhawking exploits on home runs hit into the team's bullpen, impressive though they were.

Now I can add a bit of trivia to my experience at the 2013 home opener. I witnessed Luis Ayala, in his final appearance as an Oriole, earn credit for the win with an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief. That's surely something to tell the grandkids about one day.

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