Monday, April 23, 2007

Quick Hits: A’s vs. Orioles Series Preview: This and That…

Monday: Dan Haren (1-2, 1.44 ERA) vs. Erik Bedard (3-1, 5.40 ERA)

Tuesday: Brad Halsey (yet to pitch this season) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 3.38 ERA)

The A’s are at .500, but lead the AL West.

The matchup should be good today, as Dan Haren has looked solid but has had zero run support, and Bedard has been shaky in spots, but overall, he’s been ace-like when he can get his pitches to work for him.

I think Rich Harden was supposed to start, but according to the A’s website, he’s been battling some shoulder issues, so he got pushed back.

The matchup on Tuesday should be interesting for us, as Jeremy Guthrie who has been working out of the bullpen will start in place of Jaret Wright. He’s looked solid so far in the ‘pen, and has worked as a long reliever since the season began. I’d expect him to go 5-6 innings, and be yanked at the first sign of immediate trouble.

For the most part, Guthrie is making the most of his opportunity as a member of the pitching corps.

Brad Halsey is expected to pitch on Tuesday for the A’s (according to the Sun; however, the A’s website says Harden will make a go at it on Tuesday).

I really don’t know much about Halsey, but Harden pitches, the O’s may need to be on their A-game. Harden this season is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA, and is one of the best young pitchers in all of baseball.

Right now, the team is playing great baseball and the team has been doing the little things to win, whether it is making the most of scoring opportunities or role players stepping up and contributing.

And let’s not forget the bullpen – I think it’s been the difference this season, and major props should be given to Jim Duquette and Mike Flanagan for fixing a deficiency no matter how much it costs.

I criticized the team for the amount they spent in the winter for the ‘pen, but so far, things have gone spectacularly well.


Yesterday afternoon, Jay Payton batted leadoff after being on the shelf for a while. Baltimore Sun writer Peter Schmuck gets a few words from Jay Payton and also mixes in a lot of this thoughts.

Once again, Hayden Penn is hurt – now, he’s bothered by soreness in his right forearm area & has been sent to Sarasota, FL for extended spring training. The Orioles are expecting big things from Penn, and so far he’s not performed as expected.

The O’s have had a great start to the season, and although they had a hot start in ’05, this year looks different in my eyes. The makeup and chemistry of this team is incredible, they are doing the little things right, and they seem to be playing as a cohesive unit. Matt Palmer of the Baltimore Examiner has a piece on the team, with a lot of input from Miguel Tejada and company.

Right now, the Orioles aren’t doormats and that is a very good thing.

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