Friday, April 18, 2008

O's Beat Sox Thanks To Jones' Walkoff Hit, 6-5; The Evil Empire is in Town: The Roundup and Blogosphere...

As we are in the third week of the season, I know one thing -- this team is a lot better than that was last year and I'm upping my win total to 70 for the 2008 Baltimore Orioles.

The law of averages may perhaps take over, but so far, it's been good.

On Thursday night, the Orioles had their backs to a wall -- however, they fought back against Bobby Jenks (my god is he huge -- he needs to go a Nutri-System diet or something) as the Orioles scored two in the ninth and Adam Jones had a game-winning hit in the 10th inning to give Baltimore the win, 6-5.

The bullpen, which has been a tad shaky this week, pitched four scoreless innings and got the win. Jeremy Guthrie was solid -- until the top of seventh inning where he gave back to back home runs to get the hook. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits over six innings.

Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer for the O's to start the comeback on Thursday night.

Well, this weekend, we get the Evil Empire in town. After playing their epics at the Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox the past two days, they roll into Baltimore and hope to keep pace with the Red Sox.

Matchups:

Friday: Phil Hughes (0-2, 9.00) vs. Daniel Cabrera (0-0, 5.94)
Saturday: Ian Kennedy (0-1, 8.74) vs. Brian Burres (1-1, 5.40)
Sunday: Andy Pettitte (2-1, 3.38) vs. Steve Trachsel (1-2, 5.65)

All the Yankee pitchers in this series coming up aside from Pettitte have struggled. Despite that, the Oriole pitching may have to be on top it's game as it is facing one of the most prolific offenses in baseball.

Posada is on the bench, Chamberlain is still away with his dad, and a few guys have been struggling in that lineup, but the Yankees are looking to make up ground and beat up on a team they have owned for the past several years.

The Orioles will need to have more nights like Thursday, and get on the board early. They'll need contributions from everyone, or it will be a very long weekend.

***

The Baltimore Sun has a recap of last night's game; & Rock Kubatko is giddy about the comeback and fight the team showed; there's more from the Examiner and Washington Post.

It's needless to say, Adam Jones is the centerpiece of the new look Baltimore Orioles, and this week he's started to show his potential; meanwhile, Melvin Mora is playing like a new man, especially at the hot corner. As well, callup pitcher Jim Johnson has been great in relief.

Craigs Heist of Press Box has another piece on Adam Jones; Stan Charles believes that the Orioles are taking steps in the right direction to steer the ship to smoother waters; Amber Theoharis is seeing the bright side of the Bedard trade.

Before I jump on the "things are all great and wonderful again after a nice three-week run" bandwagon, let's see if the team keep up their inspired baseball into June. There's no question that the 2008 rendition of the Baltimore Orioles is so much better and more passionate than the 2007 edition.

Like I have said, I want to see things improve and I have full trust in Andy MacPhail. Boy, is he looking like a genius these days...

Luke Scott has been nothing but great at the plate.

The New York times feels very sorry for Baltimore and shows how empty the stadium has become thanks to 10 years of incompetence; WNST's Nestor Aparicio chronicles his Thursday night at the Yard; Scott Christ relives Cabrera's one-hitter against the Yankees in 2006; O's Insider & Roar From 34 have a recap of the game last night; Oriole Central rants about the week it was as does Dempsey's Army; the Wayward has a chart on the comeback last night...

3 comments:

Matthew Taylor said...

I share your reserved optimism. O's fans should certainly be excited about the team's performance, but we need to keep realistic goals in mind.

It'll be interesting to see how this weekend goes. You're right that the June record will be a better overall indicator, but let's face it, the Yankees and Red Sox are still the true measuring sticks for any team in the AL East.

Were it not for a terrible finish to the year last season, we would've won the overall season series with the Yankees.

John said...

Totally agree with matthew on reserved optimism. I am still crossing my fingers but mot holding my breath.

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

Thanks for the comments. I would love nothing more than the O's to over .500 right now; however, it's been three weeks.

It makes for a good story in the media, but I am trying to be realistic at the same time.

I like this team a lot better than the 2007 version, but let's not kid ourselves -- Rome was not built overnight, and neither will the Orioles.

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