Sunday, May 30, 2010

When Does the Hammer Fall?

When the season started, most of us fans were hoping for a positive, maybe a season where the Orioles inch towards .500, or even better yet, a surprise third place finish.

With June coming up, we all know that’s not happening. I’m wondering how different the Orioles will look by let’s say – June 30th or the MLB trade deadline.

The Orioles' problems were well on display this Sunday as they lost to the Blue Jays, 6-1. A positive sign for Baltimore came about in the opening frame as they used small-ball and a Nick Markakis RBI to score their first and only run of the game.

The Jays scored three runs in the first inning off pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (who took the loss to fall to 3-5). As a result, the game was over for the Orioles – already. Things got worse in the 8th as Wil Ohman – who had a string of 25 consecutive scoreless outings – gave up back-to back solo homers to see the Orioles’ hole get larger.

After the opening inning, the Orioles looked like the team we’ve seen throughout the year. They could not do much else at the plate and they only mustered six hits on the night – all singles.

They made Toronto pitcher Ricky Romero look like Cy Young had he sailed to the easy victory, giving up only a run in nine innings of work.

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Tillman, Trembley and a Loss...

On Saturday, the Orioles lost their 35th game in 50 chances as the Toronto Blue Jays beat them again, 5-2. The team recalled Chris Tillman from the minors to pitch and overall he did well, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on six hits. Tillman would take the loss.

Toronto jumped on the Baltimore bullpen in the eighth inning as they scored three times – via a Vernon Wells monster homer off Jason Berken and a Lyle Overbay two-run shot – off pitcher Albert Castillo to sail to the victory.

The Jays took an early 2-0 lead off a Overbay two-run homer in the second inning; however, the Orioles tied the game thanks to back to back RBIs from Julio Lugo and Nick Markakis.

Brett Cecil for Toronto was excellent, going eight inning and giving up two runs for his fifth victory. Jays’ closer Kevin Gregg got his 13th save.

There’s not much else more to say about Saturday. I can’t imagine this season could possibly continue that way it’s going. Do you all think that there’s going to be change this week or so coming down the horizon? Who knows what will happen, but I think a change in personnel is coming sooner rather than later.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sputtering, Stalling and Going Nowhere...

Last night, Kevin Millwood - much like the other times he's appeared on the mound for Baltimore - perhaps pitched well enough for a better result; however, his offense could not get anything going at all. In the end, the Orioles lost for the 34th time in 49 chances, to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-0.

As much as everyone rails on Dave Trembley, the loss on Friday cannot be blamed on him unlike the previous night. Sadly, the Orioles do not have the players to compete right now even with the Toronto Blue Jays - a team most people picked to finish last in the American League East.

It's not good.

The Orioles had a horrific first inning defensive as Scott Moore - who was at second - seemingly could not do anything right in the opening inning made several poor plays in the field that helped the Jays score three runs. Moore was not the only Oriole who was feeble in the field, but it doesn't matter now -- they were that awful in that frame. From there, the game was decided and the Orioles dug themselves a hole they could not get out of at all.

The fundamentals were not there on Friday night. I don't know if the team was tired, just out of it or what, but the mental mistakes in the first inning should have never been made by a professional team. Are the Orioles what they are?

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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Same as it Ever Was...

I'm having a hard time watching the Baltimore Orioles this season and last night's game against the Oakland Athletics illustrates why. Not to go over the gory details again, but Brad Bergesen gets into a wee bit of trouble in the eighth inning and is yanked with a 5-2 lead.

A lot of fans have ragged on Dave Trembley's bullpen management and they were justified in doing so after what I saw. Personally, after Beregesen gave up two base runners - I would have left him in the game to see what he can do. He'd only thrown 90+ plus pitches before being pulled and if he gets a ground ball, he's close to finishing up the frame. However, Trembley brings in Berken - who gets one out, then brings in Hendrickson who allows a lucky single, and opens up the allowing three runs while recording an out.

Thereafter, Herndrickson is yanked in favor of Cla Meredith - who has been struggling - with the bases loaded (nevertheless) and then Kevin Kousmanoff makes a 5-4 O's lead go away witha 3-run double. Minutes later, what looked to be a potential Baltimore victory turned into yet another loss, the 33rd of the season. The fans aren't happy, everyone is in disbelief, and another victory is down the drain.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Koji Uehara & Dave Trembley

It's too bad what's happened with Koji Uehara.

Sadly, it just might be time to assume that Koji may never pitch another game for the Orioles.

After missing the second half of last year and Spring Training with injuries and other physical ailments, Uehara looked good in his minor league outings in an attempt to pitch again in the majors. It looked likebe that he could potentially serve as a viable member of the bullpen - especially with the problems seen so far - however, he's now having elbow issues.

Much like many of the free agent signings the past twelve or so years for the Orioles, this one didn't work out. It's the chance you take in the game and in life, right?

In a attempt to inflitrate the Asian player market as well introduce Japan to the Orioles, Uehara was given a two year deal by the organization. Although most experts considered Uehara to be a reliever, the team gave him a chance to start games in 2009.

Remember, Koji was a highly regarded pitcher in Japan and was supposed to serve a small role in the rebuilding process of the Baltimore Orioles. I was prety intrigued at the time with the deal and hoped he'd have a small tole in perhaps shoring with the pitching corps and inching the team closer back respectability.

What in the world happened?

Uehara simply has had a mediocre record as a starter, seemingly had conditioning issues and just never could stay healthy. He's now officially a bust and while it pains me to say it; however, at the time he signed with Baltimore, a lot of people liked the move.

That being said, Uehara will hit the DL again along with Alfredo Simon - who strained his hamstring on Sunday. According to the Baltimore Sun, pitchers Alberto Castillo (LHP) and right-hander Frank Mata (RHP) will be called up to the majors.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Orioles give it up in extras - Trembley may be fired

The Orioles lost in extras to a Josh Willingham homerun falling 4-3 spoiling a nice ninth-inning comeback for the downtrodden team. Btu the real news is coming from Baltimore Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd. In an article posted tonight he reports that "whispers" are saying Orioles manager Dave Trembley could be fired as early as tomorrow.

I have been one of Dave's biggest supporters - but this needs to happen. Last year I wrote that "if the team is struggling by the All-Star Break" you need to make a move. Well this team has had a first-half thus far that will rank as one of mankind's greatest crimes. How much of that is Dave's fault? That is up for debate. Baseball is not like football, Dave isn't calling plays like a football coach all he can really do is set the pieces and let the game play out and react to what happens. Dave can't call for a three-run homer or tell the pitcher to get a double play. Success in baseball, unlike almost any other team sport, is truly in the hands of the players. But still, you can't fire the players so the manager goes.

What has Dave Trembley done to keep his job? Well I think he has done a good job of keeping this team together and not imploding. I think he has done a good job and handled a very tough season with a sense of class and professionalism. I think that ideal has filtered down through the players as well. There have been no outbursts in the media, there has been no finger-pointing. When you listen to the team talk, even candidly, you still get the sense that they are playing for one another. Take today for example, they did not play like a defeated team. Even Julio Lugo, who was nearly run out on a rail for loafing after a short grounder, gutted out a single with two outs to score the game-tying-run and send the game into the bottom of the ninth.

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Bullpen falters again, Nats squeek by O's

The Orioles bullpen was unable to hold down a lead again as the Orioles fell to the Washington Nationals 7-6. The birds took a 6-3 lead going into the sixth inning at Nationals Park thanks to two two-run homers from Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones. Wigginton's homer was a outright blast into the left-field seats while Jones' homer was a bit more exciting.

Jones, who hit a long two-run homer on Friday, smacked a line drive to almost straight away center-field. Nats' center-fielder Nyjer Morgan was tracking the ball, he jumped against the wall and the ball hit his glove and trickled away. But Morgan did not see the ball fall and, assuming he had just helped the ball go over the wall, had an ill-advised temper tantrum on the field. Morgan chucked his hat and glove to the ground as he strolled away from the ball that was still lying on the warning track. Josh Willingham ran over to pick it up and get it back to the bases. Meanwhile, Adam Jones did exactly what you are supposed to do, he kept running. Jones rounded third as the throw from the cutoff man was a bit offline and Jones slid into home with his first career inside-the-park homerun.

You could see how excited Jones was when he slid home yesterday it appears he is finally breaking out. The last seven days Jones is batting .318/.338/.636/.984 with two homeruns and five RBI.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Matt Wieters: should we be concerned?

Last year Matt Wieters came up to the big leagues and every one held their breath. They held their breath in anticipation for the one player that was going to single-handily save Baltimore baseball. Matt Wieters facts abounded, national sports writers called him "Switch-hitting Jesus" and Baltimore put the weight of its collected hopes on the broad shoulders of a young catcher. he struggled at first last year, but that was normal we all said. He then caught serious fire at the end of the 2009 campaign and we all exhaled a bit. Matt  Wieters -

Virtually everyone expected Wieters to pick up right where he left off, but he hasn't. Right now the young catcher (and once and future king of Baltimore sports) is batting .262 with a .693 OPS; he hasn't hit a homerun since May 5 which was also the date of his last RBI. Wieters is mired in a tough stretch of late. Over his last nine games Wieters is batting only .229 with an atrocious .518 OPS, he has no extra-base hits and has struck out eight times. He has been taking bad at-bats, his swing has looked long and it just doesn't seem like he is seeing the ball well right now.

The question needs to be asked: Is this just a slump, or should we be concerned by Wieters performance in year two?

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Hernandez Finally Wins, Scott Moore; Angelos Speaks of MASN, O's and the Nats

Friday’s start was huge for David Hernandez in more ways than one. Mired in an awful 11-game losing streak and a lack of offensive support, Hernandez came through huge by giving up a run on one hit in six innings as the Orioles defeated the Nationals, 5-3, in their first game of a three game inter-league set in the "Battle of the Beltways".

After seeing Brian Matusz getting shelled on Thursday and losing a close one on Wednesday, Hernandez served as a stopper on the mound and he had a no hitter into the fifth inning.

Hernandez showed he can be a viable major league starter and all he has to do is be consistent.

However, he *still* threw way too many pitches in his start – at least early on. He really needs to work on that. Who knows if the Hernandez we saw on Friday was a pitcher who turned the corner, or just had a good start in line of somewhat mediocre ones, but let’s hope he can build on it.

Before the series, the Orioles brought up Scott Moore and sent down Alberto Castillo - again. I figured the team would have called up Michael Aubrey; however, the Orioles might have needed Scott Moore's flexibility - he can play pretty much every infield position and some outfield. As well, I guess it gives the organization a chance to see if Moore is a viable major leaguer or not.

Finally, on the eve of the interleague series with Washington, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles spoke about the state of the two organizations. Keep in mind, MASN is owned by Peter Angelos and Orioles, plus has the rights to air Nationals games. Also, the Orioles according to various sources pay the Nationals tens of millions for the privilege to air their games.

Now, Angelos commended the Nationals for the job they have done so far and adds that the success of their franchise is good for the Orioles.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Matt Wieters at the ESPN Zone - Photos and Very Brief Thoughts...

On Monday afternoon, the ESPN Zone in Downtown Baltimore held their second Q&A of the season. This time, featured this time around was Oriole catcher Matt Wieters. CBS Radio/MASN’s Tom Davis emceed the event.

Unlike in years past, Wieters’ Q&A literally had the place packed. From what I got from the staff at the ESPN Zone, the first patron was in line as early as 7am to be first into the building.

Then again, from the line I saw approaching the restaurant – it extended almost down Pratt Street near the back lot – fans had to get there early this time around.

The Q&A barely lasted ten minutes due to the overflow crowd – in and out – of the ESPN Zone, plus trying to get many fans as possible through the autograph line.

Wieters talked about the season so far, life in the majors, finding out he’d be called up to the majors (almost one year to the day), Baltimore and other miscellaneous items (he’s a Cowboys fan).

This time, I’ve got only got photos. There’s no video or sound this time due to not having a space to really setup anything as every stool and table was literally occupied well before I got there.

If you want more new, quotes and thoughts on the event, check out Kate Wheeler’s Orioles Buzz blog on MASN Sports.

>>> Read More

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Record Low Crowd See Orioles Lose; What Happens Now?

(AP Photo)

Last night, I had wanted to go the game; however, because of the weather and the fact I would have not have it to Camden Yards before at least the third inning, I stayed home.

Once I turned on the TV, I was stunned by the amount of green seats in proportion to actual people in them. The crowd was announced at 9,299 – the second lowest in Camden Yards’ history – but watching on TV, there could not have been more than 2,000 or so (if even that) people at the ballpark.

Seriously, did 2/3 of the ticket holders for last night's game just suddenly decide to stay home? Well, the weather sucked and the Royals were in town – but still?

Honestly, I don’t blame anyone who didn’t go to Camden Yards last night. The product isn’t good right now.

Baltimore lost again, this time to Kansas City, 4-3. The game was close and they had a chance to win it in ninth inning with the bases loaded with two outs, but Miguel Tejada hit a grounder to second to end things.

Again, the Orioles could not do much with runners in scoring position (they went 1-for-12 ) and left ten men on base. They mustered ten hits on the night – including two bunts – however, they could not jump on Royals starter Kyle Davies who won the game, nor closer Joakim Soria – who got his 10th save.

Brad Bergesen pitched fair enough, but instead took the loss. He issued a run in on a balk in the second inning, but went 6 2/3 innings on Monday. He gave up four runs on two hits.

The Orioles are 12-27 and sorely in need of some serious help offensively. Adam Jones has been better, but not producing much and finally blew a gasket last night; Nick Markakis has been hitting, alas, isn’t driving in any runs; Cesar Izturis isn’t hitting .210; of course, we know about Garrett Atkins and I could go on and on.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Same as it Ever Was... Orioles Lose To Indians, 5-1; Reimold at 1st?

On Sunday, the Orioles were deftly handled by Jake Westbrook and the Cleveland Indians, 5-1.

As time has shown us fans again and again this season, the offense could not break through and Westbrook – who missed more than a season with an injury – pitched nine strong innings. He would have had a shutout if not for a late Luke Scott solo homer in the ninth inning.

In the end, Baltimore made Jake Westbrook look like a Cy Young candidate – literally.

The Orioles had nine hits on the afternoon; however, they stood no chance against the Tribe – who took the three game series winning two of them.

Baltimore’s Mark Hendrickson started in place of David Hernandez (who was schedule to start the game) because of a sore shoulder. He lasted five innings while giving up three runs.

Cleveland got the majority of their runs off homers both two-run shots – one from Matt LaPorta in the fifth and the other from Russell Branyan in the 9th inning.

>>> Read More

Matt Wieters at the ESPN Zone This Afternoon

WHAT: ESPN Zone and the Baltimore Orioles will continue their Q&A series on Monday, May 17 at 12 p.m. At the free event, second-year Oriole Matt Wieters will field questions from fans.

Wieters, who was the 5th overall draft pick for the Orioles in the 2007 MLB draft, will chat with fans and answer questions about getting called up to the majors, playing with Baltimore’s pack of young talent, and enjoying his home in Birdland.

The Q&A will be moderated by an Orioles broadcaster and will be followed by an autograph signing for the first 150 fans to arrive at the event. Fans will also have the opportunity to win tickets to an upcoming game.

This is another in a season-long series of Q&A events, featuring up-close access to popular O’s players. Remaining Q&As will take place on the following dates: June 23, July 22, August 4, August 18 and September 15.

WHEN: Monday, May 17, 2010, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: ESPN Zone, 601 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Better Ball, with a Bump in the Road

Sunday morning in Baltimore, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Half of the area is restinge their beer addled heads after a very successful Preakness and a not so successful Alfredo Simon. The Orioles' closer by default fell apart in the ninth inning last night spoiling a fantastic start from the young Brian Matusz. Matusz pitched seven scoreless innings with six strike outs before handing over the ball to the Orioles pen in the eighth. Trembley decided to play matchups today using Albers, Ohamn and Uehara to get through the inning unscathed. Alfredo Simon came up in the ninth and after getting one quick out he came unhinged. He was wild and did not fool anyone. With two men on and a run already in Simon gave up a no-doubt-about-it blast to Austin Kearns. With one swing the Orioles lead was gone and so was Simon walking off the field to the sound of a very angry crowd. Cla Meredith was no better, giving up four more runs leaving the Orioles down 8-2 in the bottom of the ninth. Ugh.

So the bullpen, that has been very solid of late, blew up. The wheels came off in the ninth and we got skunked. Horrible yes I know, a real gut-punch. So now what do we do? Does Simon get another chance in a close game? Or, are the Orioles in a situation where mistakes like that simply can not be tolerated and you have to go with the hot hand? Most arm-chair managers out there think that is an easy call, but I don't think it is that simple. Even elite closers blow saves. Rivera and Papelbon have blown saves this year and will blow a couple more. You'd like to think a guy like Simon if given say 30 save opportunities would blow no more than say 5-7 of them, but is Simon even that guy?

As I stated above Simon was the closer by default. A hard-throwing converted starter who found a bit of success on a team looking for just that. Since being thrust into the role he has been okay, but shaky at times. With the return of Koji Uehara to the pen, and his continued success, the Orioles have a decision to make. Koji or give Simon another chance.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yikes. Simon Blows it in an Ugly Loss to the Tribe.


What was looking to be a great game for the Orioles after rolling off three straight wins, got real ugly in the ninth as their bullpen allowed the Indians to plate eight runs.

In the end, Baltimore lost to Cleveland, 8-2, as Alfredo Simon blew a save and took the loss.

The Baltimore bullpen which had been performing so well as of late, absolutely went into the tank as Simon gave up four runs in the ninth. The damage was done when Simon gave up a three-run homer to Austin Kearns. Cla Meredith - who came into the game after Simon was pulled - poured more gas on the fire as he too gave up four runs.

It was not good. Simon has five saves, but seeing him on the mound, he was never lights out or got through any of his outings in clean fashion. You can live dangerously for only so long, but the hitters will catch up to you sooner rather than later. He threw too many pitches, ran up the count for the hitters and got hammered. Lest we forget, Simon almost blew the save on Wednesday; however, Patterson and Wieters bailed him out with the amazing play during the ninth inning of that game.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bergesen and Orioles Deliver in Win Against the Mariners; Andy MacPhail Speaks

The Orioles got a nice quality win to snap a three game losing streak, as Brad Bergesen pitched 7 2/3 innings of stellar baseball and both Adam Jones along with Luke Scott came through huge with excellent nights at the plate.

In the end, Baltimore beat Seattle, 5-2, on a rainy night at Camden Yards.

After a disastrous start to the 2010 season – is Bergesen regaining the form that made him a pitcher to watch in 2009?

Well, perhaps so, after only three starts since coming back from Norfolk.

Bergesen only gave up a run in his start, walked two and struck out three; however, he used his sinker to induce groundball after groundball and that made the difference.

Seattle did get two runs at towards the end of the game – once in the eighth and ninth, but Alfredo Simon came in closed out the game. Koji Uehara nearly opened up the flood gates for the Mariners as he was ineffective and allowed a run his 1/3 inning of work.

At the plate for Baltimore, Miguel Tejada had a two-run double to give them a 2-0 lead, and then in the fourth inning, Luke Scott hit his 5th homer of the year – a solo shot – to increase their lead to 3-0.

The Orioles got two more runs in the sixth off a Cesar Izturis sacrifice fly and a Jones RBI-single.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Corey Patterson Returns to Baltimore, Reimold Sent Down - Change I'm Not Sure I Believe In...

As pretty much everyone in the media and among the fan base predicted, Corey Patterson is back to Baltimore; meanwhile, Nolan Reimold has been optioned to the minors. At 9-23, the Orioles had to do something to wake up an anemic offense and also put the batters on notice.

The message: hit or your job might be in jeopardy.

I think Nolan's fate was sealed yesterday as he was just plain terrible out in the field and his struggles at the plate - a .205 average with only two homers and 10 RBI's sealed his fate. I figured Lou Montanez might have been a candidate to be sent down; however, Reimold is a part of the Orioles future at the major level, so he must play every day.

He'll get an opportunity to do it in Norfolk.

As for Patterson, he's not done much since he left the Orioles. In fact he's been terrible...

Well, then again, he's been red hot at Norfolk.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

O's Lose Third Straight; Hernandez, Reimold & Patterson...

On Tuesday, the Orioles dropped their third straight game as they were defeated by the Seattle Mariners, 5-1, to open their three game series.

Baltimore starter David Hernandez dropped his 11th straight decision as he went 5 2/3 innings and gave up five runs (four earned) to have his record fall to 0-5.

Seattle broke open a scoreless game in the fifth inning as they tagged Hernandez for two runs, and three more in the sixth inning. In the end, that’s all they needed for the easy victory. Folks, Baltimore was done once Seattle got on the board.

Baltimore’s only run came in the seventh inning as Garrett Atkins drove in Ty Wigginton with an RBI single.

Seattle’s Cliff Lee – who started the game on the mound – easily earned his first win of the season as he went 7 1/3 innings and gave up only one run.

Once again, the Orioles offense failed miserably despite getting eight hits on the night and left six men on base.

Now, the question is what does the team do with Hernandez – do they keep trotting him on the mound, or do they bring up some reinforcements (mainly, Chris Tillman or Jake Arrieta)?

It’s too early to say right now if Hernandez should be slotted into the bullpen or remain as a starter.

Personally, I’d give him half the season to figure himself out before we can make a judgment call. He’s got the stuff to either be a starter – or reliever. We all should exercise patience with him right now.

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The Adam Jones Quandry

A question that has been brought up over and over throughout the Orioles horrific 9-23 start in their first 32 games aside from the obvious is this – should Adam Jones be sent down to the minors?

As of today, he’s currently hitting .230 with an abysmal .257 on-base-percentage along with three homers and seven RBI’s. This is not good considering Jones was an All-Star in 2009, featured prominently in commercials for both the Orioles/MASN and he’s -- for better or worse -- one of the ‘faces of the franchise’.

Then again, your franchise player should not be hitting .230 nor find himself absolutely lost at times batting.

I don’t think Adam Jones should be sent down to the minors at this time. Honestly, he’s had a fair track record the past couple of seasons; sadly, he’s probably not hit his weight since his All-Star Game nod in 2009.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Turning the Corner?

The Orioles have been playing some pretty stiff competition lately and they have stepped up. The split of yesterday's double header ensured that the Orioles would escape Minnesota with a series split, though a win today would be really nice. The Birds' record it still an abysmal 9-22, but since their 2-16 start they have played baseball that is more like we expected and played to a record of 7-6, with five of those six losses coming against the Yankees. A win today would mean the Orioles are no-longer the WORST team in baseball and we can all breath a sigh of relief over that.

Also, the Orioles welcomed back Koji Uehara, and his sideburns, to the bullpen. Koji has been in two games so far and has yet to allow a run. His location has been perfect and his pitches have a lot of movement. Alfredo Simon has stepped up into the closers role nicely notching career saves one, two and three. Will Ohman continues to quietly dominate batters in his role. Ohman has yet to give up an earned run this season and has cemented himself as the late-mid-inning bridge to Koji and Alfredo.

Nick Markakis has been absolutely raking lately.Nick is hitting .333 with a .907 OPS in the last 25 games, Ty Wigginton continues to impress as he has notched 10 home runs in this young season, he only hit 11 all of last year. Guthrie earned his first win with a quality start against a feisty Twins team yesterday afternoon. Brad Bergesen pitched like his old self again earning a second win and the first Orioles shutout of the year. Matusz continues to be Matusz.

Problems still remain however. Adam Jones is still lost. The young center fielder has been scuffling at the plate since the second game of the year and still looks uncomfortable. He had a good day yesterday, going 3-6 with an RBI in the two games, and raised his paltry average to .250. It amazes me how many people I am reading that seem to be lining up to dig Jones' grave. Jones has the talent. He is not Corey Patterson; he is not Luis Matos. It is still very early and one good week can send Jones' average back to respectability. I agree that, ideally, Jones would take one or two days off and give Pie some at bats so he can work with the coaches a bit more and get his head together but injuries and ineffectiveness in the minors will not allow that to happen. Jones needs to work through it and he is a worker. I have heard nothing that leads me to believe that Jones isn't working his butt off to get things right.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bergy & Wiggy Come Through; O's Defeat Twins, 2-0

The Orioles rebounded from their sweep in New York as they beat the Minnesota Twins on the road, 2-0. Pitcher Brad Bergesen after starting off the 2010 season on a rough note and seeing himself demoted to Norfolk came back in a big way as he went scoreless 6 2/3 innings.

Although Beregesen didn't strike out anyone and gave up six hits, he showed the form that made his 2009 rookie season so successful before his leg injury. The Baltimore bullpen came out in a big way to support Bergy as reliever Will Ohman came through in a big way by striking out Jim Thome with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to quash a Minnesota rally.

Koji Uehara finally made his return to a major league mound after a rehab stint in the minors and pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Alfredo Simon pitched anti-climatic ninth inning for the save.

The Orioles' MVP so far, Ty Wigginton suppiled the offense for the squad by hitting a two-run homer (his tenth in '10) to left in the second inning.

At least for one night, fans don't have to whine and bitch about Baltimore baseball. It feels good to finally be in the win column once again.

Garrett Atkins at the ESPN Zone...

Last week, Baltimore Orioles first baseman/designated hitter, Garrett Atkins held a Q&A at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore's Inner Harbor last Wednesday. I thought I recorded the event onto my recorder, but my SD card in my recorder had somehow gotten corrupt; therefore, I only have pictures available.

MASN's Kate Wheeler has a writeup of the event on her blog, Orioles Buzz.

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O's Swept by Yankees: MacPhail Puts Team on Notice...

Once again, the Orioles lost to the Yankees, 7-5, and were swept in the Bronx. Again, the Orioles suffered from a lack of clutch hitting, poor defense and a crappy pitching by young David Hernandez.

At 7-21, the Orioles are by far the worst team in baseball and record-wise even worse than they were last year.

The Yankees sent Hernandez to the dugout early as he barely lasted over three innings and gave up six runs in his outing. He’d take the loss.

Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte continued his dominance over Baltimore, as he gave up only a run in five innings of work. However, he left the game early due to injury.

Down 6-1 in the ninth inning and on their way to yet another loss, the Oriole bats rallied, but could not complete the comeback. Ty Wigginton hit a two run homer in the eighth, and both Matt Wieters plus Nolan Reimold had back-to-back solo homers in the ninth.

At this point in the 2010 season, I don’t know what to say anymore.

It’s clearly evident that the problems with the Orioles can be mostly attributed to the severe lack of offense. For the most part, the starting pitching has done its job in the past few weeks and the bullpen has been a lot better.

When you’ve got Adam Jones, Luke Scott, Nolan Reimold, Lou Montanez, Julio Lugo all hitting below .230, you’ve got issues aside from Roberts and Pie on the shelf with injuries.

Yesterday before the game, Andy MacPhail in a subtle, but obvious way noted that that hitters have to do better, or he’ll have to start making alternate plans.

>>> Read More

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

About Last Night, Luke Scott & Ernie Harwell...

The Orioles lost to the Yankees last night in the second contest of a three game set, 4-1. This week, it looks like they have reverted back to the team we saw in April, and not during the Red Sox series.

Once again, a Oriole pitcher - Brian Matusz - threw a respectable game; however, the bats once again could not get anything going at the plate. He took the loss, and gave up three runs - only one earned - in six innings of work. Matsuz gave up and run in the first inning, plus two runs in the fifth in his outing (which were unearned and off a throwing error by him).

The Orioles only scored once off Yankee starting picher A.J. Burnett, who won on Tuesday, went 7 1/3 innings for the win. Baltimore scored a run in the third inning off a Burnett error, but could not capitalize on it with two men on base.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Photos from this Afternoon: Red Sox vs Orioles

Here are some photos from the Orioles 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Ty Wigginton delivered with the walk-off hit in the 10th inning, Kevin Millwood had another solid outing and reliever Will Ohman came through big time on the mound in the ninth inning. Matt Albers got the win, but importantly, the Orioles got a sweep over the Red Sox.

Could the results of this weekend be the start of something? Let's hope so...

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Going forward

The Orioles hellacious April ended on a high note last night, a very high vote indeed. Miguel Tejada singled up the middle scoring Adam Jones (who had doubled to lead off the inning) giving the birds a very uplifting 5-4 victory over the Red Sox. I honestly think no one was happier in that ensuing dogpile than Adam Jones. Jones is off to the worst start of his young career coming into last night's game batting just over the mendoza-line. But after a 3 for 5 night his average bounced up about 20-points to a slightly less gut-wrenching but still vastly under-performing .223.

A wise man once said "April is the cruellest month" - there is no better way to describe the Orioles' April. The worst start since the 0-21 start in 1988, the first losing April since 1996 and (the worst part) the hope of a city crushed.

I will tell you something, people were excited for this team. People were talking, people were ready. As I walked through my neighborhood to run my errands (the benefits of living in one of the most awesome neighborhoods of the city) I usually have some sort of O's covering on. This usually garners me little attention, but this past March was a different story. People were stopping me on the street wanting to talk baseball. Strangers and neighbors alike were completely jazzed, some would even say giddy, over the prospect of this team. Even after the poor start in Tampa Opening Day at the park was electric, Pratt Street was overflowing in orange and black. I have been to many opening days including the last six-straight and I can honestly say that this past opener was the biggest celebration I have ever seen. People want this team, Baltimore is aching for a winning team, they are quivvering in anticipation for their Orioles to return to prominence.

But then - April happened.

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