Friday, April 26, 2013

Flying High Out West

The Baltimore Orioles began their eleven-game West coast swing and started off on a high note as they defeated the Oakland Athletics, 10-2. The offense was clicking last night as every starter had a hit; Chris Davis hit his eighth homer; both Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis plated in two runs, plus Adam Jones – who is still red hot – had three hits.

Baltimore starting pitcher Jason Hammel was not great but did his job well. He went six innings, gave up two runs on three hits and kept the homer happy Athletics at bay.

The Orioles are now 13-9 and are two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

About Last Night and Dylan Bundy

The Baltimore Orioles pulled off another win against the Toronto Blue Jays last night, 4-3, as pitcher Mike Gonzalez won his second game of the season and Jim Johnson recorded his eighth save on the young season.
The Birds are now 12-8 on the season and will look for the series sweep as Josh Stinson – who was called up from Norfolk this week – will start the game on the mound this afternoon.

Baltimore was triumphant on the night as they used a four-run second inning and hit Toronto starter, R.A. Dickey hard. Aside from that, Dickey was not all that terrible, but the poor frame did him in.

Now that we’re on the topic of Dickey, what can you say about the Toronto Blue Jays? They were expected to contend and take the division according to many baseball experts; however, with an 8-13 record, they are mired in last place in the American League East.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

About Last Night and Arrieta Demoted

Last night, the Orioles pulled off a walk-off victory as Nick Markakis singled in the winning run to help them win, 2-1.

Chris Tillman – who started for Baltimore – pitched very, very well. He went 6 2/3 innings, gave up a run on four hits, and was rolling until the 6th inning. Despite solid outing on the mound, Tillman – as well as every Oriole starting pitcher – needs to go deeper into games.

It’s that simple. Each and every year with the Orioles (as well as the 29 other teams in the sport), it’s about starting pitching.

While the Orioles are off to a good 11-8 start, the bullpen should not be taxed as much as it has. It is still very early, but the starters should look towards pitching seven plus innings as night.

The bullpen – which was no doubt a strength for the team last year – is fairly deep, but as the year goes forth, the starting corps will have to do more to ensure the Orioles keep winning.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Curious Case of Jake Arrieta

Ah, Jake Arrieta.

If you bring up his name to a lot of Orioles fans, it often does not conjure up good thoughts at all.

Sunday’s game was a case exhibit for that opinion.

I saw the self-destruction of Arrieta live and in person at the Yard; however, before the game against the Dodgers, I and several season ticket holders in my respective section pondered how many innings Arrieta would toss.

Furthermore, we all wondered when he would finally implode.

“He’s going to last six innings”, said one person.

“I say five, plus”, harked another.

Although I consider myself an optimistic person, but I quipped, “Four and two-thirds.”

For the first three frames on the mound, Arrieta looked as good as ever, and the Baltimore offense was rolling.

With a comfortable cushion at the time, he breezed through a Los Angeles lineup has that been struggling and endured a long losing skid; however, starting in the fourth inning, the implosion happened.

Walk after walk, followed up by a hit, then more walks, wiped away a 4-1 Baltimore lead which led to a 7-4 loss.

The loss prevented a three-game sweep of the Dodgers.

During the fourth and fifth innings, we all shook our heads and looked up wondering, “Will he ever get it out there on the mound?”

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Press Release: Friday's Orioles-Dodgers game postponed due to rain

Friday's Orioles-Dodgers game postponed due to rain

Split-admission doubleheader Saturday at 1:05 and 7:05 p.m.

Tonight's game between the Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers has been postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a split-admission doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, April 20, at 1:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. Separate admission is required for each game. Tickets for the April 19 game will be honored for the April 20 1:05 p.m. game. Gates for the 1:05 p.m. game will open at 11:00 a.m. and gates for the 7:05 p.m. game will be announced at the conclusion of the 1:05 p.m. game.

Fans may also exchange their tickets for tonight's game for any remaining non-prime Orioles home game this season, subject to availability. Complimentary tickets are non-exchangeable. StubHub tickets are also non-exchangeable, but may be resold on StubHub up until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. Student Night tickets may be exchanged for equal value of the ticket price. All tickets are valid for the makeup game.

The Earl Weaver tribute will take place as scheduled prior to the 7:05 game.

Stadium parking lots open at 10 a.m. and prepaid parking permits dated for April 19 are valid for the 1:05 makeup game.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Some Thoughts on Opening Day

Once again Opening Da has come to Baltimore. There are few things in the world like Opening Day. There simply are not many annual events that take place that legitimately feel different every year. Even one’s birthday, over time, rings hollow at points but not Opening Day.

Every year a new Opening Day brings with is a new set of possibilities that may unfold. E very Opening Day brings with it the hopes a winning season; the playoffs, or even a championship. That is what makes it so great, the promise of a new year; the promise of another Summer of memories. And in a world of broken dreams, it is a promise that is virtually impossible to break.

The Orioles opened the 2013 season like they did last year, on the road. The delayed home opener gives us fans a chance to catch a glimpse of what our summer hopefully has in store. The Orioles took two of three from the Rays in three very hard-fought, extremely entertaining, baseball games. The story of the series was Chris Davis, the Orioles’ first baseman and default middle-of-the-order bat. If there was anyone doubting the ability of Chris Davis to be that middle-of-the-order-guy Davis has announced his presence with authority by hitting a homerun in each of the three opening games against the Rays. The only way he could top it would be to hit a game-winning grand slam at the home opener.

Chris Davis, of course, did just that. He hit a grand slam to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning during the home opener. Davis has hit four homers in four games and has hit a homer in each of his last 11 games dating back to last year’s regular season. Now, it is absolutely absurd to think Davis could sustain anything in the same solar system as this pace, but he has definitely proved that he is the “bat” that so many felt the Orioles needed to obtain.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

The Home Opener & Baseball is Back...

In a few hours, the home opener will take place at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This will be my tenth one in a row I’ve attended, and each one is like a holiday from life – if only for a few hours. The original forecast for today called for rain; however, driving into work on I-695, the skies started to clear and you could see a hint of blue peeking through the air.

I figured sitting out in the cold and damp rain was going to suck, but I do think things will clear up by game time and the view at the ballpark will be a picturesque one.

So far, the season has started out a high note for the Orioles and they did a good job against the always pesky Tampa Bay Rays. Chris Davis seems to be singlehandedly willing the Orioles to victory with three homers and 11 runs batted in during his first three games; Adam Jones has been hot at the plate, the starting pitching has been solid and the bullpen – with the exception of Wednesday night – has been dependable.
The bad news out Florida was that Brian Roberts got injured – again. That’s bad to hear considering how will he played in spring training and in the first three games of the season. Hopefully, he’ll be back on his feet on the field soon; however, with him – who knows?

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