Monday, July 7, 2008

Rangers Take 2 Out of 3; Loewen On the Shelf

It was an ugly day at the Yard on Sunday.

Well, in perhaps one of the longest, frustrating, exciting, and heart-breaking nine-inning game that I have ever had to sit through, the Orioles valiantly came back from a four run deficit late; however, they narrowly missed defeating the Rangers, 11-10. The game started off ugly, and only got worse as Radhames Liz, who had managed to win a few game despite finding himself in trouble had his luck run out Sunday as he only pitched a little less than four innings.

The offense came together, but ten walks by Baltimore pitching allowed Texas to pile on the runs. Down by in the eighth, our usually reliable relievers, Jim Johnson and George Sherrill let the flood gates open, along with a huge Freddie Bynum error that only made things worse.

The Orioles used the long ball -- three in total, including a three-run shot by Nick Markakis in the 8th, and solo shots by Melvin Mora and Kevin Millar in 9th; however, Oriole Magic just came up a bit short.

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

Loewen, making his third relief appearance since being activated from the disabled list last Monday, hopped into the air and grimaced after throwing a pitch to Rangers shortstop Ramon Vazquez. Trembley and Bancells were already perched on the top step of the dugout, watching intently for signs that Loewen was hurt.

"He felt a sharp pain in his elbow, not like he felt in Seattle," Trembley said, referring to the former first-round draft pick's last start before going on the DL April 25. "He's not going to pitch for a while."

Catcher Ramon Hernandez said he checked on Loewen because "he had that pained face," but the left-hander gave assurances that he was fine. He came out after his next throw.
One has to wonder is he going to done? Could he ever live up the promise that he had when he was signed in the draft? Honestly, unless he makes a miraculous recovery, I don't envision him ever being a starter again. Perhaps he might go down the road of Kerry Wood? He's a good kid, a fighter, and is still young, but is it time for Baltimore reconsider his role in the organization?

And yes, the Orioles have lost for the 13th consecutive Sunday! What gives? Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers, a team we should perhaps have beaten -- at least in the first two games, sneak out of Baltimore taking 2 out of 3.

Furthermore, can we surmise that their lucky run might be coming to an end? With Toronto and Boston on the docket this week, along with after the All-Star break, Detroit, Toronto again, the Angels and the Evil Empire, Baltimore will have a fight on their hands. Well, it is starting to look like the young pitching is faltering, injuries are starting to creep up on the staff, and there's a lack of pitching depth in the minors -- what are the Orioles to do?

The next week will tell us a lot on where the Orioles stand.

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