Wednesday, July 9, 2008

About Last Night; The Rundown...

Frustrating. Brutal. Sad. Unbelievable.

As you know our beloved Birds lost last night.

Obviously, this is one game out of many; however, this one hurt.

By now, you all saw the moment in the ninth inning. After blowing a four-run lead, the Orioles had the game tied in the ninth against the Blue Jays with the bases loaded and with two outs.

Then the moment that will perhaps be seared into our memories, at least until next week. With two outs in the ninth inning, Freddie Bynum who was playing shortstop let a routine grounder roll through his legs and allowed Alex Rios, who was at third to score. By then the Jays had won the 7-6, but only after the Orioles allowed them to come back from a 6-2 deficit.

Baltimore's bullpen which has been solid for most of the year, collapsed in the seventh inning and set up the game-winning moment in the ninth.

It blew Daniel Cabrera's solid start, and boy was he not happy at the end of the game.

The O's are now at .500 and have lost four out of their last five games.


To add insult to injury, one of our young guns, Adam Loewen perhaps may have found himself of the shelf again, and one has to wonder about his career from here on out. He's back on the DL.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said a CT scan taken Monday showed further injury to a previous stress fracture in Loewen's throwing elbow, meaning Loewen will be sidelined indefinitely until he decides on a course of action.

Loewen has consulted with club orthopedist John Wilckens and is expected to call Dr. James Andrews, the renowned Alabama surgeon who inserted a screw in Loewen's elbow in June 2007. Like last year, if Loewen (0-2, 8.02 ERA) chooses surgery, he will miss the rest of the season.

"He's not going to pitch for a while," Trembley said. "My concern is right now is to see what Dr. Andrews says, consult with Dr. Wilckens and then go from there.

The CT scan, Trembley said, showed "a widening" of the original injury.

"The [previous] stress fracture was such that it was a split, and they put a screw in it to hold it together, right?" Trembley said. "Well, I think the CT scan ... showed that space there again. It's a reinjury of the original stress fracture."

Loewen, 24, made four starts in April, then went on the disabled list with elbow discomfort. He missed two months, returning in July for three relief appearances, the last of which was Sunday, when he left the game in pain.

"He said he never felt anything in his arm, when he rehabbed, when he pitched," Trembley said. "The pitch before I took him out of the game was when he said was the first time he felt something. It's just a real, real unfortunate situation."
Let's hope for the best with Adam, he's a good guy and see if he can make it back into the Oriole pitching staff sometime in the near future.


The Baltimore Sun has a roundup of what all the national press columnists are saying about this year's team -- very, very interesting. Also, despite the Orioles playing well -- anyone who thinks the Orioles are even close to competing for a pennant has themselves fooled; however, Joe Morgan thinks the Orioles can contend by trading prospects for major league proven talent (thank the Lord that Rick Maese sets the record straight). Pressbox's Amber Theoharis still thinks the team has a lot of work to accomplish in order to contend and they take a look at what is going on down at the farm level.

Then again, Kevin Millar thinks things are going real well...

As well, you have to take a look at this article by Stan Steinburg at the audience for the MASN/MASN2 telecast for both Orioles and Nationals games -- it's quite glaring and sad, assuming the data in correct as the Washington Post's Dan Steinburg penned in an article on Monday.
The Nationals, whose games are broadcast on either MASN or MASN2, are drawing a 0.39 average rating and an average of 9,000 households in the Washington market, according to the report. That's a decline of about 43 percent from last season's totals, and a significantly lower regional sports network audience than any other U.S. team has drawn this season. The figures do not include potential viewers outside the Washington market; MASN's reach stretches from Harrisburg, Pa., to Charlotte.

The Baltimore Orioles, whose games also appear on MASN and MASN2, are averaging a 3.05 rating and 33,000 households in the Baltimore market. Aside from the Nationals, the Kansas City Royals have attracted the lowest regional audience, approximately 28,000 households.
The numbers for the Nationals are startling, and while the Orioles may look good in comparison -- there's bad news for both teams.

The Nats are dead last in viewing, while the Orioles are 28th. Not good, and it comes to show that you need a viable product on the field to gain any traction among fans.

Alberto Castillo is back in Baltimore; Jay Payton is realistic about his role on the team; Sherill's teammates felt like he deserved All-Star nod; meanwhile, Aubrey Huff is back on with his career at this point & was named AL Player of the Week.

Finally, Cal Ripken is heading to South Africa next spring on a mission to teach baseball to children worldwide...

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