Monday, April 30, 2012

Orioles lose up in the Bronx against the Yankees...

The Orioles have a tough road ahead in May as we all know, but their first stop was in the Bronx not too far away from the George Washington Bridge to face the New York Yankees.

For the Orioles, the start of the three game series against the New York Yankees is seen by many as a litmus test as to where they stand in the sport.

They had a tough test on Monday and fought; alas, they would not emerge victorious.

Although they lost 2-1 tonight against the Yankees, the Orioles played well; however, they could not get the bats going and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda – in his first start against Baltimore – stymied them.

He only allowed one run in seven innings and the New York bullpen did the rest on the evening. Mariano Rivera got the save – his fifth on the season.

Meanwhile, Jason Hammel was the hard-luck loser, as he went six innings and allowed two runs. You could say Hammel pitched a great ballgame, but his only real mistake came in the second inning. He allowed a two-run homer to Eric Chavez.

The Orioles did have a few opportunities to score – especially in the seventh inning as Nick Markakis got nailed at home after attempting to score on a wild pitch – but could not make anything come of it. They scored their only run in the second inning off a Chris Davis sacrifice fly that plated Adam Jones.

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Press Release: Baltimore Orioles Legends Series; April 28, 2012 - Frank Robinson

From the Baltimore Orioles...


Baltimore Orioles Legends Series; April 28, 2012 - Frank Robinson

Quotes about Frank from Other O's legends

Brooks Robinson: “I am thrilled that Frank is being honored today with this statue.  He was a fantastic player.  His arrival put us over the hump and turned us into a championship team.  He has also had numerous accomplishments after his playing days including being named the first African-American manager in Major League history.  His work in the Baseball Commissioner’s office continues to make an impact on the game today.  He is a great friend and we had a lot of good times together.  He deserves this honor and I congratulate him.”

Earl Weaver: “The Orioles are honoring a man who played the game of baseball the way it should be played; with intensity and intelligence.  Each at-bat was a war against the fellow who stood on the mound to oppose him.  His success shows in the statistics he posted through his career.  Baltimore, after getting back into the Major Leagues in 1954, became a pretty good ball club in the early ‘60s.  But when Frank was acquired in 1966, they became the powerhouse of baseball for the next eight to 10 years.  He was a leader on the field and expected his teammates to play just as hard as he did.  His influence in the clubhouse was very noticeable, and had a lot to do with the Orioles first two World Championships.  Now with the statue being placed in Camden Yards, his feats as an Oriole will always be remembered, as well they should be.”

Jim Palmer: “Frank coming to the Orioles took the club from good to great. He was by far the best hitter I ever played with. While not the fastest runner, he had great base running instincts. In the outfield, he always seemed to be in the right place. Middle infielders beware; when he was breaking up the double play, it did not take long for me to realize that I was glad he was on our team. He made us all proud to wear the Orioles uniform.”

Eddie Murray: “I want to congratulate Frank on this honor today.  He has had such an impact in Baltimore and it is fitting that the Orioles dedicate this permanent monument honoring his achievements.  As a player, he set the standards for how the game was played.  I am thrilled to be part of this tribute today.”

Cal Ripken, Jr.: “Frank is one of the game’s all-time greats.  He has dedicated his life to baseball as a player, a ground breaking manager and executive and I am very happy to see him being honored.  Frank was a rare combination of hitting for power and average and Orioles fans will always remember his greatness as a triple crown winner and a leader on the O’s championship teams in 1966 and 1970. I will remember our conversations about hitting. He really studied the game and we all benefitted from his wisdom.”

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The Baltimore Orioles: Is the improbable now possible & Frank Robinson

So far, in the month of April, the Baltimore Orioles have been a complete surprise in the world of Baseball.

In the offseason, I predicted the Birds would see their win total in the sub-70’s.

If they keep playing at this rate, that won’t happen.

Well, once again, the Orioles’ improbable start to the season continues its amazing storyline, as they beat the Oakland Athletics, 5-2, on Sunday. The Orioles scored five unanswered runs in the bottom of the ninth inning sending the Yard into frenzy.

No matter what happens from here on out with the Orioles, they look much improved and are a team holds a never-say-die mantra. They are supposed to suck this season, but are proving all the experts and naysayers wrong.

Statistically, they had little chance winning of the game; however, a Matt-Wieters two-run double, Oakland reliever Grant Balfour’s inability to finish off the contest, and a Wilson Betemit three-run shot made all the difference.

The Orioles got to frolic. The fans were happy and a wonderful Sunday even become more so.

I was in attendance at Camden Yards and I didn’t think the Orioles could pull out a win.

Rotund Oakland starter Bartolo Colon – at age 38 – dominated the Orioles for eight innings, until the final frame. Tommy Hunter – who started for the Orioles – looked like a potential hard-luck loser, giving up two runs in seven innings of work, providing the Birds another quality start. The offense was dead, and it didn't seem like things were clicking.

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What is reality?

Is this team for real? Is this what we can expect all Summer?

You know that opinions are starting to change because the level of snark on twitter has reduced significantly. No longer does it seem as some bloggers are actively rooting for a collapse, they are just in stunned silence. Whenever the Orioles are going well the general feeling among many Orioles fans is one of dread and anticipation. That is to say we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

After the series loss in Los Angeles people were convinced that it was the end. Then the Orioles go on and sweep the pesky Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles lost the first game against the Oakland A's on Friday: Here it comes - then the Orioles destroy the A's last night behind a workman-like performance from Chen and a seemingly endless string of clutch hits. This is all coming at the same time as a flu-bug is tearing through the clubhouse and forcing some key players out and probably affecting the play of others.

The Orioles are currently 13-8, they have one of the best records in the American League. Let that sink in. The Orioles are tied with the Rays atop the AL East with two days left in April - the last time the Orioles got win 13 in April was 2008 in 2010 the Orioles did not get win 13 until the third week of May.

But is it real? Is it real or is it just another April mirage that will crush the hearts of the greater Baltimore metro-area once again.

I don't know - but I know I want it to be real. I want this to be a great Summer and I want this team to make a lot of national writers and local personalities eat healthy batches of crow.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Orioles walk-off in a huge win

The Orioles walked-off in dramatic fashion today against the Oakland Athletics. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth the Orioles got the leadoff man on and the tying run to the plate on plays that were pure hussle. JJ Hardy and Adam Jones beat out two slow grounders and forced the A's to make plays - the A's would fail and the result would be the tying runs in scoring position with one out and Matt Wieters at the plate.

Wieters launched a high fly ball to deep left-centerfield that looked like it had a chance to get out of the park but it hit off the wall for a 2RBI, game-tying double. After a Chris Davis intentional walk Wilson Betemit came up and tagged a 2-1 fastball over the right-centerfield wall for a walk-off three-run homer to give the Orioles a a dramatic, exciting and outright wonderful late-inning win over the A's.

Betemit's first career walk-off homer salvaged a win from a frustrating day for the Orioles' offense going up against the genetically re-engineered neo-human that is Bartolo Colon. As you, dear reader, will remember: Colon was nearly out of baseball before having a controversial stem-cell rehabilitation procedure done. Since then he has been one of the more reliable pitchers in baseball. The portly frame of Colon was working hard and effectively all day. His velocity is certainly done, but his command was impeccable and the Orioles could not muster much.

Tommy Hunter had another solid day on the bump for the Orioles. hunter went seven innings giving up two runs on seven hits. He did give up another homerun, his eighth on the short season, but all in all hunter had another strong outing and gave the Orioles a chance to win. He was simply getting out-pitched by Colon all day.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Press Release: All Star Voting Begins Tonight At Oriole Park

All Star Voting Begins Tonight At Oriole Park

In-park voting for the 2012 Major League Baseball All–Star Game begins with tonight’s game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and continues through Wednesday, June 13. Fans can vote for their favorite Orioles by visiting multiple locations throughout the ballpark, including Fan Assistance Centers, or by obtaining a paper ballot distributed by ushers in the seating bowl and collected in-game.

Fans can also cast their votes for Orioles players up to 25 times online at using the 2012 All-Star Game Ballot.

In honor of Oriole Park’s 20th anniversary season, fans who vote at least 20 times online and select the Orioles as their “favorite” or “other favorite” club will automatically be entered into the 2012 Orioles All-Star Sweepstakes with a chance to win an autographed jersey from a 2012 Orioles All-Star.  Online voting concludes on June 28 at 11:59 p.m. For a complete list of sweepstakes rules visit

>>> Check out the Oriole Post for more...

Andino back; Berken sent down...

Looks like Jason Berken's stay with the Orioles was short. Robert Andino returned from paterntity leave, and someone had to be sent down to Triple-A...

O's reinstate INF Andino from paternity list; RHP Berken optioned to AAA Norfolk

The Orioles today announced that they have reinstated INF ROBERT ANDINO from the Paternity List and optioned RHP JASON BERKEN to Triple-A Norfolk.
Andino, 28, started the first 17 games of the season (16 at 2B, one at SS) and batted .300/.333/.433 in 60 at-bats.  He missed two games for the birth of his daughter, Amarise Hazel Andino.
Berken, 28, has pitched to a 0.60 ERA (15.0IP, ER) with four walks and 10 strikeouts in three starts for the Tides this season.

Orioles end four-game win streak; Nats promote Bryce Harper

The four-game win streak for the Orioles was snapped on Friday night, as they lost 5-2, to the Oakland Athletics in the first contest of a three-game set. Baltimore is now 12-8 on the season.

Jake Arrieta took the loss, as he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He got hit hard by two homers – a two-run shot in the second by Eric Sogard and a solo shot by J.J. Reddick – that did him in.

J.J. Redick drove in another run in the eighth inning with an RBI-single.

Baltimore’s offense was hamstrung by starter Oakland Brandon McCarthy, who threw seven innings and only allowed two runs on five hits. Ryan Cook – who came in the game in the eighth inning, struck out four; however, Adam Jones did reach base on a wild pitch. Grant Balfour earned his sixth save on the season.

The Orioles scored their first run in the opening inning off a Nick Markakis sacrifice fly, and then second in the sixth when Adam Jones plated in J.J. Hardy.

And yes, it looks like another fan decided to run on the field during the seventh inning stretch; however, the home plate umpire – Jeff Kellogg – pounced on the fan before the police could, as he tried to slide into home. It’s beyond asinine that fans feel the need to run onto the field and the Orioles and city police need to prosecute these idiots to the fullest extent of the law.

That being said, despite the loss, the Orioles have been playing very well in the first month of the season. The offense has come through in key moments, the bullpen is doing spectacular; however, much of Baltimore’s success has come through the starting rotation.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Matusz improved; Orioles win 4th in row, sweep Blue Jays

The Baltimore Orioles continued their surprising start to the new season as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, to earn a series sweep and win their fourth in a row. They are now 12-7 and have a share of first place in the American League East with the Tampa Bay Rays.

For Brian Matusz, Thursday night’s start was crucial. If he faltered, or got hit hard again, the southpaw probably would have found himself back in the minors. However, Matusz pitched a lot better, as he only allowed two runs – both unearned in the sixth inning off a Nick Johnson error – during his outing. He probably threw better than I have seen him all season, mixing up his pitches and keeping hitters off balance.

Now, the key is to see if Matusz can do what he did on Thursday again, and again, and again. He did not snap his 12-game losing streak; however, he can build from the start and go from there. He is still part of the team’s future, and if the Orioles are to keep winning this season and beyond, they will need him.

If not, the Orioles have plenty of arms in the minors – one of which, Jason Berken is already up with Baltimore – to replace Matusz, if he struggles.

Once again, the Oriole offense woke up at the right time. With the score tied at two in the bottom of the eighth inning, Adam Jones hit his sixth homer – a solo shot – off a hanging breaking-ball from Casey Janssen, making the score 3-2 in favor of the Orioles. Two batters later, they took a 5-2 advantage as Chris Davis launched a homer to right-center field off reliever Darren Oliver, who had come in for Janssen.

Reliever Luis Ayala came into the game and got the save in the ninth inning. Darren O’Day, who came into the game in relief earned the win, his second of the year. Janssen took the loss for Toronto; meanwhile, Drew Hutchison – who started the game for the Jays – did not factor in the decision.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead off Ryan Flaherty’s sacrifice fly, and he also got his first major-league hit in the game. They tied the game at two in the sixth as Nick Markakis scored off a Yunel Escobar error.

In other news, Jim Johnson is still in the hospital, but may be released as soon as today; however, I’d expect him to go on the disabled list. As long as he was in medical care, I cannot imagine Johnson even having the stamina to pitch right now – even if he says that all is well.

Finally, Tsuyoshi Wada might need elbow – or even more so, Tommy John surgery. Oh boy.

With all that being said, the Orioles host the Oakland Athletics this weekend at Oriole Park.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Press Release: Orioles Legends Celebration Series Kicks off with Frank Robinson Sculpture unveiling this Saturday

From the folks at the Baltimore Orioles...


Orioles Legends Celebration Series

Kicks off with Frank Robinson Sculpture unveiling this Saturday

The Orioles Legends Celebration Series kicks off this Saturday, April 28, with the unveiling of a sculpture of FRANK ROBINSON at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the area beyond left-center field. Robinson’s larger-than-life bronze sculpture is the first of six the Orioles will reveal this season, each depicting one of the greatest Orioles of all time.

There will be a limited amount of space available for fans to view the unveiling itself, so those interested in watching should arrive at Eutaw Street Gates A or H at Camden Yards by the time gates open at 5:00 p.m. The ceremony will begin at approximately 5:15, with remarks from special guests and then from Robinson following the sculpture unveiling. Robinson will also participate in an on-field ceremony prior to the Orioles’ 7:05 p.m. game against the Oakland A’s and will throw out the ceremonial first-pitch. Fans are strongly encouraged to get their tickets in advance as a significant walk-up crowd is expected.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Press Release: Robert Andino on Paternity List; Berken Called Up

In case you have not heard, Robert Andino is away from the team for a few days. He and his wife are expecting a new addition to their family. Congrats to them.

Jason Berken, who has been pitching well down in Triple-A Norfolk was recalled to the Orioles.

Orioles place INF Robert Andino on Paternity List

RHP Jason Berken recalled from Triple-A Norfolk

The Orioles today announced that they have placed INF ROBERT ANDINO on the Paternity List and recalled RHP JASON BERKEN from Triple-A Norfolk.
Andino, who turned 28 today, has started all 17 games (16 at 2B, one at SS) and batted .300/.333/.433 in 60 at-bats this season.
Berken, 28, has pitched to a 0.60 ERA (15.0IP, ER) with four walks and 10 strikeouts in three starts for the Tides this season.  He made one scoreless appearance in spring training.
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Hammel stifles Ble Jays; Orioles win third in a row...

Wow, the Orioles are on one heck of a roll. For the second night, they beat the Toronto Blue Jays, this time shutting them down, 3-0.

Baltimore has won three in a row.

Jason Hammel – who has been a big-time revelation for Baltimore – had yet another impressive start, stifiling the Blue Jays with seven shutout innings. Pedro Strop got the save, his second on the year, despite allowing two runners to reach base in the ninth innings. Matt Lindstrom threw a scoreless eighth inning.

Well, Hammel is 3-0 and has a 1.73 ERA. I wondered why the Orioles traded for him, and perhaps Dan Duqette knew something we didn’t.

Chris Davis and Wilson Betemit each hit solo home runs to lift the Orioles to an 11-7 record and still hold first place in American League East. Adam Jones drove in a run during the eighth inning. They defeated Kyle Drabek – who gave up two runs in five innings – on the night.

It was nice a night out, but only 10,415 fans showed up to Oriole Park. The team is winning, playing some great baseball, going it at hard and showing everyone that the demise that many were expecting from the black and orange may not be. Too bad more people could not have seen it.

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Orioles win close game last night; Hunter delivers on the mound...

A small crowd last night at Camden Yards saw the Orioles win their second game in a row, and their 10th on the season, as they beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1.

There's nothing like a well-pitched, low-scoring ball game, and both teams did that last night.

In the first contest of a three-game set, Tommy Hunter pitched six innings, and only gave up a run to record his second win of the season. Meanwhile, Pedro Strop struck out two in the ninth inning to earn his first major league save. The bullpen came through in a significant way and shutdown the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Henderson Alvarez also pitched well for the Jays; however, he took the loss, giving up two runs in seven innings. He only allowed five hits.

The Orioles with a 10-7 record are among the American League East leaders along with the Yankees, Jays and Rays.

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Press Release: Orioles to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at Camden Yards

From the good folks at the Baltimore Orioles...


Orioles to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at Camden Yards

In recognition of the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, the Orioles will honor a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar in a special pre-game ceremony before their game Tuesday, April 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Matthew Robinson, a student at Howard University from Chicago, IL, will be presented with a #42 jersey by Orioles OF ADAM JONES. Robinson is one of over 1,300 young men and women who were able to attend college thanks to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles.

On Sunday, April 15, all Orioles uniformed personnel wore #42, Robinson’s number, during the game against the Blue Jays in Toronto, joining all other major league teams in honoring Robinson’s historic achievement. Each player’s authenticated game-worn and autographed #42 jersey is currently being auctioned at to benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The auction concludes tonight at 11:59 P.M.


Pitcher BRIAN MATUSZ will visit with pediatric patients at the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai on behalf of the Casey Cares Foundation on Wednesday, April 25. The Casey Cares Foundation is a charity that provides uplifting programs for critically ill children. This visit is not open to the public or to media coverage.


First baseman CHRIS DAVIS will visit with children from the Christian Youth Athletics program on Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Davis will speak to the children and then throw out the first pitch before the league’s opening game. This event is not open to media coverage or to the public.


On Wednesday, April 25, Gordon Huggins, an Orioles employee for over 50 years, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in recognition of his five decades of service to the club. Huggins has been an usher for the Orioles since 1962 at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards. He has worked six World Series and witnessed the careers of all six of the Orioles Hall of Fame members. He is currently an usher in the lower deck and resides in Eldersburg, MD.


On Saturday, April 28, Orioles Hall of Famer FRANK ROBINSON will be honored as part of the Orioles Legends Celebration Series. A larger-than-life bronze sculpture of Robinson will be revealed prior to the game, and all fans in attendance will receive a replica sculpture. Robinson will also participate in an on-field ceremony and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m., with the unveiling ceremony to begin at 5:15 p.m.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baseball and Life Journeys: A Trip to New York City, Citi Field, Giants vs. Mets, and Tommy Lasorda

Last weekend, I went up to New York City to not only visit friends, but also to venture of the greatest cities on earth, check out old hangouts and take in the ambiance of it.

I had been there for a concert, and never a ball game until Friday. Yes, Citi Field is beautiful -- amazingly so. I'd rank it above Yankee Stadium in terms of the New York ballparks; however, since it is built in an industrial there's nothing at all to do in the vicinity of Citi Field. That was a major downside.

Anyhow, on Friday night, I caught the Giants and Mets at CitiField. My buddy got us tickets to the game, and we also got access to a suite where we met up with more friends, members of his family and new acquaintances. To my complete and everyone's shock, the suite also had Tommy Lasorda as a guest.

Obviously, a total thrill. One thing - he loves kids and knows when to turn 'it' on. When Lasorda gets active and going, chatting about the Dodgers, baseball and life -- he gets going. I really didn't get to talk him much, since he was with some associates, and seemed to want to have his 'space' at times.

After a while, he just became another person a suite. I forgot he was the 'Tommy Lasorda', but a celeb in a room who was like everyone else. He pretty much stayed from beginning to end, and spent a lot of time talking with the various people in booth, especially my friend's nephew and niece.

Oh yes, the Giants won in extra innings -- I don't even remember the score, but it was an awesome night had by all.

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Willis leaves Triple-A Norfolk; Team stuck in an conundrum

When Dontrelle Willis by signed by the Orioles during Spring Training, it was an intriguing option. He was a pitcher who had past glory and could perhaps help the team as a left-handed reliever.

However, there’s been a bump in the road. It looks like Willis, according to several reports has left Triple-A Norfolk.

From the Baltimore Sun: Orioles minor league pitcher Dontrelle Willis has reportedly left the club’s Triple-A affliate in Norfolk left the club’s Triple-A affliate in Norfolk without the organization’s permission after being placed on the minor league restricted list, but the Orioles appear to have no plans to release the left-hander.

When the Orioles signed Willis, he said he was willing to do anything for the opportunity to get back to the big leagues, including beginning the season in the minors, something Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said was likely in order to give Willis time to get adjusted to the role.

Willis went on Norfolk’s disabled list with a left forearm strain April 12, but was abruptly placed on the club’s restricted last night.

He left the Tides on Wednesday after a meeting with Duquette, Tides manager Ron Johnson and Tides pitching coach Mike Griffin.
Duquette told MondayDuquette told Monday that Willis left the team without permission following a difference of opinion on whether he should be a starter or reliever. Duquette told the website that the organization welcomes Willis' return.
Now, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, Willis doesn’t want to come back to the teamWillis doesn’t want to come back to the team.

Well, Willis still sees himself as a starting pitcher; however, he’s not been very effective in several seasons now. He figured that he could be released from his contract, but now is confused as to why he was placed on the restricted list.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Orioles sign Bill Hall

It looks like the Orioles have gotten another player off the market, this time a major league veteran in Bill Hall.major league veteran in Bill Hall.

From the Baltimore Sun: The Orioles have agreed to terms with veteran free-agent utility man Bill Hall, according to multiple industry sources.

He will report to the club's Triple-A team in Norfolk and will replace Josh Bell, who was dealt to the Diamondbacks this weekend after he was designated for assignment.

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Orioles Finish Road Trip out West with win, Markakis, Chen & Reynolds

The Baltimore Orioles finished up their long ten-game road trip as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 3-2, in ten innings on Sunday afternoon.

They finished up their road trip with a 6-4 record – a good thing – considering how recent history has gone. Right now, the Orioles have a 9-7 record, and we all should enjoy it. The young players – especially Adam Jones and Matt Wieters have developed into possibly All-Stars and definite pillars this early season.
I’ve seen Jones play with a greater focus than ever, and also like the fact he is using his athleticism to be more aggressive on the basepaths.

Nick Markakis – who had been struggling  as of late – came through with two clutch hits, one in the eighth inning to tie the game at two, and the other to decide the game in tenth. Of course, he could have been ejected – if not for Buck Showalter stepping in to protect him with grievances over ball/strike calls. The calls have been terrible this series, and I’m surprised the issue had not been brought up sooner.

Pedro Strop, despite giving up a game-tying homer to Howie Kendrick in the eighth inning earned the win, his second of the year; meanwhile, Jim Johnson got the save, his seventh of the season.

Wei-Yin Chen looked exceptionally strong on the afternoon as he went 6 1/3 innings and gave up a run on five hits. It will be intriguing to see how he acclimates to four days of rest, in comparison to five or six days rest – customary in Asia.

As well, as the weather gets warmer in the mid-Atlantic, I’d like to see how his body holds up. Koji Uehara seemed to not do well in the heat and seemed to need his rest, so I wonder if Chen will go through the same issue – or not.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

A stroll over to the MLB Fan Cave

While in New York City this weekend, I and some friends got to visit the MLB Fan Cave at the corner of 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Walking in the Fan Cave was pretty cool, and it was quite the decorative decor. We got to see the participants of this year's edition; however, we didn't get to interact with them at all, as they seemed to be on their computers and watching the games.

Anyhow, enjoy the pictures.

A turnstile from the old Yankee Stadium

Happy trails, Josh Bell. The Orioles sent him to the Arizona Diamondbacks after he was designated for assignment last week.

The Orioles today announced that they have assigned INF JOSH BELL to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a player to be named later.
Bell had been designated for assignment April 16 when the Orioles claimed CA LUIS EXPOSITO on waivers from Boston.

Bell, 25, batted .200/.221/.264 in 79 games with the Orioles in 2010 and 2011.  He was acquired by Baltimore on July 30, 2009 in exchange for LHP GEORGE SHERRILL.
Bell, when he has played in the majors (sparingly), looked good at points in the field; however, he never figured out how to hit at the major league level. He came to the team overweight, got in shape and seemed to be making an effort, but it all never clicked.

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One bad inning kills Arrieta and Orioles; Valentine and the Red Sox

One lousy inning on Saturday befell Jake Arrieta and the Baltimore Orioles and there was little they could do to dig out of it. In the end, they would lose their second straight game to the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 6-3.

The Orioles were up 2-0 in the fifth inning and Arrieta had been cruising through the game. It looked like that he would cruise to his second victory of the season; however, his start would fall to pieces.

The frame started off with Torii Hunter reaching base, but then advanced to third off an errant pickoff throw. He was driven in by Mark Trumbo, and then Angels tied the game at two via a bases-loaded single by Erick Aybar.

The Angels were not done with the scoring, as Bobby Abreu plated in two runs with the bases loaded again, raising the score to 4-2. Thereafter, Kendry Morales made the score  5-2 with a bases loaded single.

Even though the Orioles were down by three at that point, the game might as well have been over.

Arrieta only lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits. It was quite shocking to see him fall apart in the fifth inning, considering how well he was doing. For the first half of the game, it looked as if he and Waver were going to be involved in a duel; however, it was not to be. It was like Arrieta just lost it and could not get things back into check.

Jered Weaver won his third game of the season, as he mastered the Orioles, striking out five and walking none.
Of course, the Orioles had yet another error – this time by Mark Reynolds in the seventh inning that led to another run for the Angels. They have committed 15 errors – in 15 games. That is inexcusable.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Brian Matusz struggles again; Orioles Lose first out West against Angels

We all as fans are wondering if Brian Matusz will ever again show promise as a pitcher that was on display at the end of 2010?

On Friday night, that wish did not manifest itself as Matusz lost his 12th straight game and the Orioles lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 6-3.

The Orioles are now 8-6 on the season; meanwhile, the Angels who have been struggling – losing three in a row before Friday – are 5-9.

Friday’s loss was not all his fault, as the Orioles committed three errors – including two by Robert Andino, a throwing error by Adam Jones in the sixth that allowed a run to come in - on the night. The offense did not help much at all, as they mustered seven hits and could not get to Jerome Williams – who started the game for the Angels and got the win.

Watching on from the Big Apple this morning, it was fairly frustrating to watch this team for the first time in a while. Matusz was shaky, as he allowed two runs in the first inning, another in the first, got through three more frames that teetered on potentially disastrous. After he was removed from the game in the sixth inning, Matusz was lifted in favor of Darren O’Day, who gave up two more runs.

Overall, Matusz only lasted five frames and gave up runs – four earned on nine hits. I guess if you are looking for positive out of Matusz’s start, he struck out six Angels.

Baltimore’s scoring came in the third inning as J.J. Hardy plated in a run with an RBI-single, and they added two more in the sixth as Nolan Reimold – hit a two-run homer – his fifth on the season.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Angels Are on the Docket; Thoughts Around Baseball - Bobby Valentine, The Red Sox, Kemp and More

The first place team in the American League East – yes, the Baltimore Orioles – head to the left coast this weekend to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is the last stop on their ten game road trip. They are 8-5 on the season.

So far, it has been good for the Orioles. They took three out of four from the White Sox, and the Angels are reeling with a 4-9 record so far.

The season has not been kind to Angels at all. They have had issues with their offense, and also some slight pitching woes, especially with their bullpen. As well, Albert Pujols – who signed a mega-deal with the Angels in the offseason – is hitting, albeit without much power.

Pujols’ track record shows that he’ll be fine. Once he learns the pitchers in the American League, the Angels should be rolling; however, it is still surprising to see. Like I said months ago, Pujols was better off in St. Louis and despite what the Angels offered, why did he leave?

I would say if the Angels don’t get going soon, they’ll be in big trouble considering how hot the Texas Rangers are and the level of talent they have.

Although the Angels are down and out right now, this will be a test for the Orioles. The Angels still have very good pitching on paper, and their offense can break open at any time. That team has way too much talent to be saddled with a bad record.

Moving on to other thoughts around baseball…

Seriously, does anyone think the Boston Red Sox may just not be that all that good? They are in last place in the division, and their pitching rotation, plus bullpen seem to be in shambles. As well, the whole Bobby Valentine/Kevin Youkilis episode this week doesn’t bode well for them at all.

I mean, I thought managers are supposed to have their players back – even if it means lying. I don’t know too many men in Valentine’s position who would have done what he did. Then again, if the players don’t for care him, they should have thought twice about the ramifications before their collapse last season.

But, Valentine needs to stop being a provocateur.

It’s just amazing that Robert Andino’s hit in game 162 of the 2011 season altered the course of the Red Sox’s future as much as it has. If the Red Sox just won that game, perhaps everything that came out afterward and the changes made don’t ever happen.

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Role finally solidified, Reimold on a roll: Special for

As most fans know, it has been an extremely tough road for Nolan Reimold during the past few seasons. Life is always full of ups and downs, but the true test of someone's character depends on how they persevere.

So far, Reimold is passing that test - at least professionally.

During the early weeks of the season, he has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball, batting .341 with four homers - all in key spots - with eight RBIs.

As it is, you can say that Reimold has had a critical role in the Orioles earning seven wins in their first 12 games.

Whether or not the Orioles keep up their winnings ways or start fading in weeks to come, this is all certain at least for now: Reimold is still part of the future with the Orioles.

Now, he is showing the promise that made him one the rising faces of the Orioles in 2009 when he batted .279 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs.

As well, one could say that Reimold should be in the lineup every day from here on out - whether he bangs out four hits, or goes hitless in a game. They key with Reimold in the past has been consistency, but so far this season, that has not been a problem.

Between personal problems, battling for playing time, plus bouncing up and down between the minors and majors over the past years, it has been a wait-and-see game with him. However, Reimold become an indispensable part of the Orioles and has had a knack for the dramatic.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Press Release: Gilman and Mount St. Joseph to meet in President's Cup Championship at Camden Yards this Saturday

If you'll be in the Baltimore area on Saturday, and want to watch some high school baseball. From the Baltimore Orioles...

Gilman and Mount St. Joseph to meet in President's Cup Championship at Camden Yards this Saturday

Hall of Famer FRANK ROBINSON to throw out ceremonial first pitch

The Orioles will host Gilman and Mount St. Joseph in the President's Cup Championship Game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards this Saturday, April 21. The President's Cup is a 16-team, single-elimination tournament that gives public and private schools in Baltimore City an opportunity to compete against one another.

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Orioles Take Three Of Four From Sox; Hammel Shines, Jones Homers

Yes, folks – the Baltimore Orioles are in first place in the American League East, and this afternoon, they beat the Chicago White Sox, 5-3.

They took three out of four from the White Sox, and sit atop of the division with an 8-5 record.

I was a little bewildered by the Hammel trade when it happened; however, he is working out quite well. He struck out ten in six innings, gave up two runs, and got the win – his second of the season.

Jim Johnson earned his sixth save of the season. Yes, he made it exciting again – loading the bases – and striking out Alex Rios to end the game. in the bottom of the ninth

After being silenced at the plate, the Orioles got it going. They scored twice in the opening frame, and then Adam Jones hit a three-run homer – his 5th of the year – laid the hammer down on the White Sox.

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This season is critical for Adam Jones: Special For

During the offseason, one the biggest names on the Orioles - Adam JonesAdam Jones - was a target of trade rumors, specifically talks with the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Jair Jurrjens and infielder Martin Prado.

Baltimore didn't wind up trading Jones, as we all know; however, will he stay with OriolesOrioles throughout his career or move to greener pastures and go to a winner?

Jones' profile has risen in the game, and he has steadily improved over the past few years. One would think that considering the Orioles are mired in a 14-year losing skid, perhaps trading away Jones for young pieces to build on is a prudent move.

Based on what I've read, executive vice president Dan Duquette wants to keep Jones. Then again, he isn't ignoring offers for him either. I would imagine it would take quite a haul to acquire Jones, and a lot of teams right now won't give up what it would take.

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Not Much to Say, Orioles Lose to White Sox; Tommy Hunter Struggles...

This week, the Orioles have been riding high in Chicago; however, on Wednesday night it all came to screeching halt. The White Sox earned their first win of the series with an 8-1 drubbing of the Orioles in the Windy City.

There’s not much to be said on part of the Orioles. Endy Chavez plated in a run in the second inning, but the bats were quiet after that.

Jake Peavy – who started for the White Sox, and is 2-0 now on the season – held the Orioles to one run over seven innings, and gave up only four hits.

Sadly for Baltimore, pitcher Tommy Hunter (1-1) got shelled. He took the loss and only went 5 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs – all earned – on nine hits. Ok, a positive -- he struck out eight.

He still lost badly.

Hunter didn’t have it at all. He had two strong starts to begin the season; however, yesterday he just could not get his pitches to be effective and gave up a run in each frame except the first inning.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jamie Moyer is Amazing...

Jamie Moyer – who is 49 years old – became the oldest man to win a ball game last night. He pitched seven innings against the San Diego Padres and won his 268th game in his career.

He’s a former Oriole that I remember vaguely watching in the 1990’s, and back then one would have never thought the he would be pitching in the majors for a fourth decade. Now, he is with the Colorado Rockies after missing last season due to Tommy John surgery.

You would never have considered Moyer as one of the more dominant pitchers of his generation; however, he’s intelligent and knows the nuances of pitching.

He’s won as many as Hall-of-Famer and Oriole legend Jim Palmer, who has 268. Do I think he’s getting in the Hall of Fame, no.

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Reimold and Hardy Help O's and Chen Win...

So, the Orioles are only eleven gamesonly eleven games into the 2012 season. I felt that they would struggle throughout the season considering the state of their pitching; however, so far that has been wrong.

The Baltimore Orioles wonBaltimore Orioles won again in Chicago as they defeated the Chicago White Soxdefeated the Chicago White Sox, in a razor thin 3-2 victory. Wei-Yin Chen earned his first major victory,Wei-Yin Chen earned his first major victory, and the bullpen – Darren O’ Day, Troy Patton, Troy Patton, and Jim Johnson – came through in the end.

Baltimore loaded the bases in the ninth inning, and Johnson was taking a tight-rope; however, he got the final hitter of the game, Brent Morel, to groundout and secured the win.

Chen – who went 5 2/3 innings – was rolling through the game until the sixth inning. With Baltimore leading 2-0, he ran into trouble and labored through the frame, giving up a two-run double to A.J. Pierzynski before O’Day came in and stopped the Chicago threat.

The Orioles too did their scoring in the sixth inning, plating in three runs.The Orioles too did their scoring in the sixth inning, plating in three runs. Two homers – a two-run shot from Nolan Reimold, and a solo shot from J.J. Hardy, back-to-backback-to-back – made all the difference for Baltimore.

Hardy’s homer was his third on the season; meanwhile, Reimold hit his fourth on the season. Boy, has Reimold been super hotbeen super hot. Good for him. I’m glad he’s finally getting a chance to play every day and succeeding so far.

Yesterday, Peter Schmuck in a column on the Baltimore SunPeter Schmuck in a column on the Baltimore Sun is cynical of the team’s performance so far. Considering the history of the franchise over the last 14 years, a fall will happen sooner or later.

It’s in the back of my mind, and perhaps many fans.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Minor Leaguer Ohlman Suspended; Dylan Bundy Dominates Again

Looks like an O's minor leaguer has been suspended for drug use...

From the Orioles: The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Baltimore Orioles Minor League catcher Michael Ohlman has received a 50-game suspension after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse.

The suspension of Ohlman, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds, will be effective immediately.

The Baltimore SunBaltimore Sun and Roch's blogRoch's blog has more on the news. Ohlman was not suspended for steroids.

Not sure why any player would want to risk their career or development to use drugs; however, temptation is a hard thing to beat. I'm sure Ohlman is sorry for everything, and he'll learn a lesson in a hard way from this.

Finally, Dylan Bundy has dominated in yet another minor league start -- this time at home for Delmarva.

From MASN Sports, Steve Melewski's blog: OriolesOrioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy just completed his third outing as a pro and he has now pitched the equivalent of a nine-inning no-hitter over his three games for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds.

In the first inning tonight versus Hagerstown, the 19-year-old right-hander got a strikeout, followed by a pair of ground outs. In the second inning he got a fly out and then a pair of strikeouts. In the third he retired the first two hitters on ground outs before allowing a two-out walk before getting an inning-ending ground out.

Bundy retired the first 26 batters he faced as a pro before allowing a two-out walk in the third inning tonight.

Well, I don't think Bundy will be with Delmarva for too long. As it is, it may look like Bundy too good for the level of ball that he is in.

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Orioles Get Catcher, DFA Bell

The Baltimore Orioles made a move today, acquiring a catcher, while designating Josh Bell for assignment...

The Orioles today announced that they have claimed CA LUIS EXPOSITO on waivers from Boston.

Exposito, 25, is a career .268/.324/.420 hitter in seven minor league seasons in Boston’s farm system. He was the Red Sox 31st round selection in the 2005 First Year Player Draft.

To make room for Exposito on the 40-man roster, INF JOSH BELL has been designated for assignment. Bell, 25, batted .200/.221/.264 in 79 games with the Orioles in 2010 and 2011. He was acquired by Baltimore on July 30, 2009 in exchange for LHP GEORGE SHERRILL.

Too bad about Josh Bell. If he is not picked up on waivers, he should stay in the organization.

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The Orioles Do the Improbable. Again. They Win Late Against the White Sox...

It has been an improbable start to the Orioles’ season so far. They earned another come-from-behind victory, this one in even more dramatic fashion than previously this season on Monday

The Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox, 10-4, in ten innings as they used the long ball late to take the first contest in a three-game set.

As has been noted over and over again during the past week, the Orioles are winning games late in the clutch that they would have ordinarily lost in seasons past. Perhaps it is not a smart strategy to fall behind an opponent, climb back and won, but it is working for Baltimore so far. Plus, it is making things real entertaining for us fans.

In a stunning turn of events, the Orioles used four home runs, including two from Matt Wieters, and one each from Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold to raise their record to 6-4. Yes, they are still in first place in the American League East.

Baltimore was down 4-1 until Matt Wieters homered in 8th, and then they tied the game in the 9th off two solo homers from Nolan Reimold and Adam Jones.

In the tenth inning, the Orioles batted around they broke a 4-4 tie as Chris Davis plated in a run with a long double, and Nolan Reimold drove him to make the score 6-4.

Reimold, who did not start the game due to a hamstring issue, came in to pinch hit for Endy Chavez – who is batting only .067 – and delivered. He is probably the hottest hitter on the Orioles, hitting .353 on the season right now. If anything, his bat must stay in the lineup at all costs.

A few batters later, Matt Wieters – with the bases loaded – launched a grand slam home run to put the game out of reach for the White Sox.

Wieters is hitting .344 on the season, and Adam Jones is hitting .341. Both men had two enormous hits on the night.

The White Sox bullpen, aided by a big gaffe in the tenth in the center field by the center-fielder allowed Mark Reynolds to reach on a triple vaulted Baltimore.

Pedro Strop pitched two excellent innings in relief to earn his first win of the season. Meanwhile, Zach Stewart, who was pitching for the White Sox when they imploded, took the loss.

Jake Arrieta pitched well but got hampered by his defense. Both Matt Wieters and Chris Davis committed errors that allowed Chicago to get the advantage early.

However, Davis redeemed himself in a big way with a three-hit night. He is currently batting .387.

Overall, Arrieta went 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs – two earned – on seven hits. He struck out seven.

Despite not earning the win yesterday, Arrieta has stepped up as the best pitcher on the staff so far during the young season. He is healthy, and it is certainly showing with the results. His ERA is at 2.66, and he seems to be throwing as well as ever.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

The White Sox on the Docket; Thoughts Around Baseball...

After winning two out of three games up in Toronto, the Baltimore Orioles return stateside and face the White Sox in the Windy City.

Over the past nine games to start the season, the Orioles have looked much improved from last year.

Granted, it has only been two weeks, but the pitching – for the most part – has kept the team in games, and the batters have come through in key moments.

Nolan Reimold, Wilson Betemit and Adam Jones deserve serious props for their hitting up in Canada.

Matt Wieters continues to look like a stud, and Ronny Paulino – no slouch at all – has swung the bat extremely well, compiling a .538 average in the early few weeks.

Although Matsuz has been hit around at times, overall, the staff has done remarkably well. They’ve pitched into the sixth inning most of the time, and that has given the bullpen a break.

So far, the bullpen has not had to come into a game in the early innings and salvage a poor start by a pitcher. That is highly encouraging to see.

Although Sunday’s loss was painful to watch, the Orioles have started their road trip on a high note.

The White Sox are 5-3 and are atop the American League Central – along with the favored Detroit Tigers. They had a seriously disappointing year in 2011; however, much like the Orioles, they are off to a decent start.

The White Sox pitching – and especially offense, plus defense – was a mess at times last year, but they have looked much improved. They nearly swept the Tigers over the weekend but lost on Sunday.

Tonight, Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Orioles. He has been pitching well, as he is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA.

Last week against the Yankees, Arrieta gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings of work, but he might do better against a White Sox lineup – outside of Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski – that hacks a lot at the plate.

Arrieta will counter against Phil Humber, who is making first start of the season.


It is refreshing to see the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals off to hot starts and leading their respective divisions.

We all know about the drama that Dodgers fans have been through and now that Magic Johnson and friends have saved the franchise with a golden parachute, the sport will await to see what happens next.

And yes, Matt Kemp – who should have been MVP last year – is crazy talented and already has hit six homers and 16 RBI, plus is batting .487.

You have also got be amazed by the Nationals. They are 7-3, and although they are a trendy pick for many to make a playoff run, they have done everything right so far.

They’ve got a talented rotation and one of the best bullpens in the game today. I would not be surprised to see them win the division if the Philadelphia Phillies struggle with age, and the Marlins implode.

As well, their division rivals, the New York Mets are 6-3.

That is invigorating to see, but a team from New York should not struggle with their finances at all. It is a travesty what has happened with that organization.

Speaking about the Marlins, manager Ozzie Guillen is a piece of work.
Of course, Guillen has been a blowhard and attention-seeker for a long time, so was anyone really surprised by what he said?

Yes, we all want our celebs to speak their mind and be entertaining; however, only if you actually know what you are talking about and do not offend.

I think the suspension over his Castro comments was warranted; however, the Marlins did it because it was a prudent business decision considering they play in ... well, South Florida, with a huge Cuban population.

If he is fired, it will not be for his comments; it will be because the Marlins fell apart or they take a hit at the box office. I would think from here on out Guillen keep his mouth shut, unless he is just dumb.

Finally, yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day throughout the Major Leagues. It is always surreal and also awe-inspiring to see all the players and uniformed staffs wear the number 42 on their jerseys.

It is always beautiful to see, and it is good to see Major League Baseball keeping his memory and legacy alive.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Matusz and Gregg Flatline in Toronto, O's Can't Sweep Jays

It was an ugly day for the Orioles, as they saw their brief two-game win streak snapped and a chance of a series sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays disappear.

The Orioles wound up losing to the Jays this afternoon, 9-2, and the role of Brian Matusz in the starting rotation may in be in question.

I had high hopes for him coming into the 2012 season; however, while Matsuz has shown some flashes of the promise he had a few seasons ago, his first two outings have been very shaky – perhaps concerning.

Well, the pitching fell apart in the in sixth inning as Brian Matusz and maligned reliever Kevin Gregg – was booed in Toronto also – gave up seven runs in the frame. It was quite unbelievable to watch considering Matusz up and to that point had only given up a run and the Orioles were in the lead, 2-1.

Matusz gave up a double, a homer, a single and walk before he was yanked from the game in favor of Gregg. He only opened up the floodgates he allowed five runs to come in with an RBI-double, followed by a two-run double, an RBI-double and then hit Brett Lawrie with the bases loaded.

By then, the Jays were up 9-2 and the game was out of reach for the Orioles. There would be no comeback or rally, but instead another confounding and painful loss.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Orioles Win Again Late in Canada; Reimold

So far, it’s been very good for the Orioles in Canada. On Saturday, they earned their second straight comeback win in as many days over the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4.

They are now 5-3 on the year, and in first place in the American League East. On Sunday, the Orioles will go for the sweep, as they have already taken the series.

Nolan Reimold came through in the clutch as he hit a two-run homer off Francisco Cordero – closer for the Jays – in the ninth inning to break a tie and give the Orioles a 6-4 lead.

What has made this weekend so great for us fans is that we’re seeing the Orioles win games that they would have lost in the past. While things are not perfect with the team, they are

Jim Johnson got the save – his third on the season - for the Orioles, by pitching a scoreless bottom of the ninth. Luis Ayala got the win for Baltimore by pitching the eighth inning and giving the Orioles their golden chance in the ninth inning.

Cordero took the loss for Toronto.

Henderson Alvarez – who started for the Jays – went seven innings and gave up three runs.

Jason Hammel started the game for Baltimore on the mound. His outing started off rocky as he gave up runs during first and second innings; however, he settled down. Hammel’s work on Saturday didn’t match his gem last Sunday, but he went five innings and allowed two runs.

The Jays helped out the Orioles in the second inning, as Brett Lawrie inexplicably tried to steal home with Jose Bautista – with the bases loaded; however, he was tagged out to end the threat at home by Matt Wieters. That frame could have made the game if Bautista got a base hit – or homered.Link

Both Alvarez and Hammel would earn no-decisions.

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Encouraged in April

The Orioles are off to a solid 4-3 start. At the beginning of the year if you told me that the Orioles would have that record, I would take it and be happy. however, getting swept by the Yankees in heartbreaking fashion after sweeping the Twins definitely stung. The Orioles needed that win against Toronto in Toronto last night for a couple reasons. They needed to halt an early three-game skid; They needed to get off to a good start on the road and they needed to start turning things around in Rogers Centre a notorious house of horrors for the team.

The road has been particularly harsh for the Orioles. The Birds have not had a winning percentage over .400 on the road since 2007. Against Toronto the Orioles are 18-36 over the last three seasons, and that number is inflated by a 9-9 season in 2009.

Last night the Orioles came out on top of a slugfest. The Jays and O's combined for seven homers, all solos, but it was the Orioles that got the last big hit for a change to finish with a 7-5 victory.That alone is good to see.

There are other reasons to be encouraged about the team in the neonatal 2012 season. There are the obvious ones: The core bats of the team are off to a good start, particularly Adam Jones and Matt Wieters; Robert Andino is simply tearing the cover off the ball right now and he is playing a very solid second base; The pitching has been solid outside of Brian Matusz' shaky start against the Yankees and Jim Johnson seems to have shaken off his spring training cobwebs and has already locked down his first two saves of the year with little effort.

One more thing that the Orioles are doing right now that I don't think is getting enough attention. This one aspect of their game early on is something that bodes very well for the team going forward: They are being patient at the plate. So far the Orioles as a team are averaging 3.9 pitches per PA. For comparison the Yankees and the Red Sox last season had a P/PA ratio of 3.92 and 3.95 respectively. Against the Yankees the Orioles allowed Freddy Garcia to nearly lose the game all by himself and the made CC Sabathia throw over 100 pitches through six innings any pitcher other than CC would have been chased by the fourth or fifth inning.

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