Tuesday, October 7, 2008

O's 2008 Season in Review (Part 2)

Before I write this blog, I'd like to thank the guys at ABC Channel 2 for keeping my post up all season long...I don't know how many hits I had and I'm still bartending at Bertucci's but I certainly appreciate the help! I'll find a job soon...

Now lets talk Orioles baseball...for my final post (?) let's review the Birds by position...

  • Catcher: Ramon Hernandez is finished. I love the fact he can speak Spanish with the pitchers, but he can't block a ball, throw a runner out or hit the ball anymore. The O's were experimenting with him at first base, but I don't see that happening. Expect Matt Wieters to start before the All-Star Break.
  • First Base: I love Kevin Millar, but all signs point to Millar leaving the team. He's a bench player at best for the O's in 2009. The Birds started both R. Hernandez and Aubrey Huff at first last season, and all of Baltimore should be praying that Mark Teixeira starts at first next year.
  • Second Base: Brian Roberts. That's all I have to say...unless the Birds receive a monster offer for Roberts, he needs to stay. Another solid year for the O's leadoff hitter.
  • Shortstop: We don't have one.
  • Third Base: Melvin Mora had a career year. Aubrey Huff stood in nicely.
  • Outfield: The O's have one of the best squads in baseball. Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Luke Scott are solid, and Luis Montanez adds depth...I don't see any need for improvement here.

Unfortunately, the Birds need help in one area...pitching.

  • Starters: At this point I only trust in Jeremy Guthrie. Daniel Cabrera can't be trusted, and the rest of the staff is questionable at best. I liked Brian Bass in the last few games of the season. Minor League starters provide a lot of promise, but we need starting pitching NOW.
  • Relievers: They were great early, and horrible late. Injuries and wear and tear took a toll, and the trade of Chad Bradford to the Rays didn't help. Middle relief is almost as important as starting pitching, and the O's need both.
  • Closers: George Sherrill was incredible early on, but an injury mid-season killed the O's in the final inning(s). With both Sherrill and Chris Ray healthy in 2009, the Birds could have two great options in the later innings...

I'm sure I'll be back for at least one more post, especially since two AL East teams (Tampa Bay and Boston) are fighting to represent the AL in The World Series...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

O's 2008 Season in Review

The season is over for the Orioles...what have we learned?

Once again, two teams from the AL East are in the playoffs, and this time the Yankees aren't one of them. The Tampa Bay Rays took first in the division and the Boston Red Sox are back as the Wild Card. The Orioles finished in last place in it's division for the first time in 20 years.

So...how 'bout them O's?

Honestly, the Birds looked good this year. The offense was one of the best in the league...the O's had five 20+ home-run-hitters and almost became the first team in the history of baseball to have three players hit 50 doubles.

The problem? As usual, the O's pitching just couldn't cut it. Injuries hurt the starting rotation early (former first-round pick Adam Loewen will now try his luck as a hitter), and the bullpen just couldn't handle the added pressure. Starter Daniel Cabrera looked promising until the All-Star break, but then looked like the same old Danny...leading the league in all the wrong stats (walks, hit batters, wild pitches). At least he didn't lead the league in losses this season...

The bullpen looked good early but fell late...Chad Bradford went to a contending team (the Rays) and Jamie Walker stayed to blow every game he appeared in. George Sherrill went on the DL and Chris Ray never returned...

I'll be back on Tuesday to give a position-by-position opinion on the O's for 2008 and 2009...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

O's losing season ends...with a loss

It's finally over. The Orioles lost their final game of the 2008 season this afternoon, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1.

O's starter Jeremy Guthrie took the loss and lasted just four innings. Guthrie was charged with three runs off six hits (two were home runs). The bullpen added to the O's woes yet again, as Toronto tacked on seven more runs in the next four innings. There was one bright spot: George Sherrill pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing no hits while striking out two.

The offense? Nonexistent. The Birds couldn't get on the board until the sixth inning and managed just five hits all game. Melvin Mora's RBI double was the highlight of the afternoon. Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 and finished the season with a team-leading .306 batting average.

That's it. There is no next game, no tomorrow. The O's season is officially over. I'll be back later next week to talk about what went right and what went wrong this year..."The 2008 Season in Review."

Back-to-Back Rainy Days Produce Different Outcomes

Rain..you never know what the weather will bring you. For the Orioles, rain shortened their last two games: a 3-1 loss on Friday and a 2-1 victory Saturday night.

The O's had lost 10 straight before the rain worked in their favor last night...after heavy showers forced an early loss Friday, the precipitation allowed the Orioles to claim their first win in nearly two weeks on Saturday. Brian Bass pitched six strong innings, and the rain made sure that the O's bullpen couldn't allow any further damage...

In a few hours, the Birds will play their final game of the 2008 season. Jeremy Guthrie, who started the season off, will pitch for the final time this year...how fitting. I'll be there at Camden Yards for the final regular season game (no October series this year), and can only hope that the O's finish off the season with a bang!
I'll be back for the final game update shortly...GO ORIOLES!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

O's Lose Ninth Straight

The Orioles started off hot but cooled off quickly, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 11-6.

The Birds came out swinging, and were up 6-0 after two innings. Tampa Bay scored 11 unanswered runs from the fourth inning on, and the Rays swept the Birds in four games.

Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Markakis doubled in the fifth inning, and now has 48 on the year...both Markakis and Aubrey Huff need two more doubles to reach 50 for the season and join Brian Roberts to become the first trio of teammates ever to have 50 doubles each.

The O's (67-91) have one final series at home against the Toronto Blue Jays (83-75) before the season comes to an end. The Birds are off tomorrow and will send Chris Waters (3-4) to the mound on Friday. It looks like Jeremy Guthrie is well enough to make one final start this season; he's slated to pitch on Sunday...I'll be in the stands for the finale!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tampa Tops O's Twice in Doubleheader

It was a long day for the Orioles and their fans...the Birds fell 5-2 in Game 1 and then again 7-5 in Game 2 on Tuesday. After nearly seven hours of baseball, the Birds bullpen (Jamie Walker) imploded and sent any and every O's fan still in attendance home with a severe case of "WHY!!"

The O's were up 2-0 in Game 1 before the tragic fifth inning...need I say more? Worse yet was Game 2...the Birds sent Alfredo Simon to the mound for his first big league start...Simon left in the eighth with a 5-3 lead...enter Jamie Walker (my personal hero this season, he's just pitched so well!). Walker came in with the daunting opportunity to record ONE OUT, and was unable to do so...he allowed four runs on three hits, a walk, and two wild pitches...if he's still around in 2009 he better be wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform.

That's it for me...the O's play one more against Tampa tomorrow night before the Blue Jays come to town...

Welcome Home! O's lose again...

After being swept in New York, the O's returned to Baltimore and continued their losing ways, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2.

Sorry I missed Sunday's game...as both my readers know, I don't follow the Birds on Sunday unless they win (they did not) and I was too busy following Baltimore's winning team, the Ravens (2-0 and in first place).

I was at the game Monday night, and Brian Bass looked great until the fifth inning. Bass finished his evening after 4 and 2/3 innings and had allowed no runs on no hits. He was pulled after walking the bases loaded (with two outs), and reliever Randor Bierd allowed Tampas' first hit of the game, a two run single to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

The Birds answered right back, collecting their first hits of the game and tying it up 2-2 in the bottom of the inning. That was all the scoring for the O's though, and the Rays went on to score two more in the seventh to take the win.

The O's and Rays will play a doubleheader later today...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Burres magnificent but O's fall in ninth

The Orioles have finally found some quality starting pitching, but have lost their offensive spark... they fell to the New York Yankees 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The Birds have now lost three straight one-run games, and are 20 -29 in one-run contests on the season. Their 29 losses are worst in the AL and tied with the Atlanta Braves for the most one-run losses in the Major League.

Brian Burres sparkled, allowing just three hits over seven innings, while walking none and striking out two. The O's bullpen couldn't back him up though; Jim Miller took the loss and Jamie Walker allowed the game-winning single with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

The Orioles face the Yankees later tonight on prime-time TV...the final game at Yankee Stadium. The O's send rookie Chris Waters to the mound, opposing the Yankees' Andy Pettite. I was looking for a sweep...but not a Yankees sweep. Waters is coming off a complete game shutout, and needs to fight his nerves and pitch to his potential...the O's need to step up and give the young man some run support...

I'll be flipping back-and-forth between the O's game and the Green Bay Packers game...as you all know I've lost my enthusiasm for the Birds on Sundays (except for the Ravens)! I hope to have something worth writing about later tonight...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Offense can't get it done v. Yankees

The Orioles dropped their third straight game last night, falling 3-2 to the Yankees in New York.

O's starter Radhames Liz turned in his second consecutive quality start, allowing three runs in 6 and 1/3 innings. Liz walked three, struck out one and threw a wild pitch that led to the Yankees third run, which proved to be the game-winner. The bullpen allowed just one hit and walked two through the final frames.

The Birds offense started off hot...Brian Roberts led-off the game with his 50th double of the season (tying his career high) and came around to score on Aubrey Huff's single. The Birds scored again in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead...unfortunately, that was it for the offense. For the second game straight, the O's had a chance in the ninth inning but let it slip away...the Birds had runners on the corners with two outs and Brian Roberts at the plate...Roberts popped out to end the game (he grounded out with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth the night before)...

Brian Burres will start in place of Daniel Cabrera this afternoon...

Friday, September 19, 2008

O's miss late opportunity; lose again

The Orioles left the bases loaded in the ninth inning last night, and left Rogers Centre with a 3-2 loss.

Starter Garrett Olson (9-9) took the loss...Olson allowed three runs in 5 and 2/3 innings but his performance wasn't enough...the Birds managed just two runs in the fifth inning; Alex Cintron stroked a two-run single to put the Birds up 2-1 before the Jays came up in the bottom of the inning.

Down 3-2 in the ninth, the O's loaded the bases against Toronto's closer B.J. Ryan. With one out, Melvin Mora popped out in foul territory and Brian Roberts grounded out to end the threat and the game...

The Birds send Radhames Liz to the mound later tonight in New York City. It will be the final home series for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium...wouldn't a sweep be sweet? Go O's!

The Erik Bedard trade looks even sweeter...it looks like he'll be out for the next 6-9 months...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

O's fall just shy of three straight wins

The Orioles blew a big lead and eventually lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 at Rogers Centre.

The Birds were up 6-0 in the fifth inning before Brian Bass and the bullpen let the Jays right back into the game. The O's scored five runs in the top of the inning to take a commanding lead, but the Jays answered with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a one-run game. The bullpen allowed solo runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and Toronto escaped with the win.

Offensively, the O's were hot. The team combined for 14 hits, and every starter but one (Luis Montanez) had at least one hit in the game. Aubrey Huff connected for his 32nd homer of the season, and Melvin Mora topped the century mark with a two-run single (he now has 101 RBIs). Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis both doubled for the second straight game, and now the Roberts (49), Markakis (47), Huff (48) trio look to become the first three teammates in the history of baseball to hit 50 doubles a piece in a single season...10 games left!

In other news, Daniel Cabrera and Dennis Sarfate have been shut down, though Jeremy Guthrie may make one final start this season. The O's 2009 schedule came out earlier today...Go O's!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Waters nearly perfect in complete game shutout

It took just over a month, but the Orioles finally won consecutive games as Chris Waters pitched the O's past Toronto 2-0.

Waters (3-3) went nine innings, allowing just four hits. He walked two and struck out three, and needed only 106 pitches to blank the Blue Jays. The O's offense managed just six hits, but scored twice to give Waters the win. Brian Roberts had an RBI double in the third, and Luke Scott blasted a solo shot in the fourth to give the Birds a 2-0 advantage...it was more than enough for Waters.

Nick Markakis doubled in the first inning, giving him 46 for the season. Brian Roberts and Aubrey Huff each have 48 doubles, and they could become the first trio of players in MLB history to have 50 doubles in a season on the same team...there's always a reason to watch the Birds in late September!

The O's send Brian Bass to the mound tomorrow night in Toronto...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

O's use the long ball to take down Twins

The Orioles won for just the fourth time on a Sunday this season, spanking the Twins 7-3 in front of nearly 19 thousand fans at Camden Yards.

Radhames Liz pitched eight scoreless innings, and the O's offense tied a season high with five home runs. Nick Markakis and Oscar Salazar both went deep twice, and Luis Montanez hit his second major league home run. Markakis now has 20 homers, giving the Birds five players with 20-plus home runs on the season.

George Sherrill returned in the ninth inning, and was charged with three runs before Jim Miller recorded the final two outs. At least the game wasn't on the line...it's good to see Sherrill back.

The O's are off on Monday and begin their final road series on Tuesday in Toronto. Chris Waters is slated to take the mound...

O's Outscored 24-8 in Doubleheader

It doesn't get much worse than this...the O's dropped the first game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins 12-2 and then proceeded to lose the second game 12-6.

Starting pitching was ineffective, as Daniel Cabrera took the loss in Game 1 (5.1 innings, 4 runs, 5 walks) and Garrett Olson couldn't even make it out of the first inning in Game 2 (6 runs off five hits in 2/3 of an inning).

The Orioles turn to Radhames Liz on Sunday...let's hope they aren't swept out of town...

Friday, September 12, 2008

O's Split Series with Cleveland

The O's took the final game of the four-game set against Cleveland, winning 6-3. It may not have been a series win, but at least it wasn't another loss.

Melvin Mora returned to the O's lineup, and delivered a key two-run double in the third inning to give the Birds a 3-1 lead. Mora is now just an RBI shy of reaching 100 for the season.

Spot-starter Brian Bass kept the O's in the game...Bass allowed four hits and three runs (one earned) in four and 1/3 innings, and ended up with a no-decision. The bullpen held on, and reliever Lance Cormier was credited with the win, while Jim Miller picked up his first MLB save.

The O's host the Minnesota Twins later tonight...Daniel Cabrera (8-9) is slated to take the mound...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is getting ridiculous..

It just keeps happening; the same old story...the O's lost to the Indians 7-1 last night at Camden Yards. The Birds are now 34-35 at home, the first time they've had a losing record at home since Opening Day (if I remember correctly).

Once again, the O's were able to score just a single run off six hits, and again, the opposing teams' starter went eight strong innings.

Chris Waters, the O's starter, allowed five runs in just under six innings, and that was more than enough for Cleveland.

Aubrey Huff drove in the O's lone run...in the ninth inning. Melvin Mora was out of the lineup, and now Jeremy Guthrie is doubting he'll be able to start on Saturday. On the plus side, closer George Sherrill may return on Friday (as if the O's have had a save opportunity lately).

The Orioles (64-80) are now proving the experts right...they need to win just one more game this season to prove them wrong (the pre-season prediction was that the O's would finish 64-98).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

O's back in the loss column

For a brief day, the O's were big winners...they fell to the Indians tonight 6-1 at Camden Yards.

Radhames Liz (5-5) wasn't horrible, but his effort certainly wasn't enough. Liz lasted just four and 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) off eight hits. He walked three and struck out five. The bullpen fared a bit better, but the offense was flat...

A day after scoring 14 runs, the Birds managed just a single run off six hits. The ninth inning was the only frame in the game where they actually had more than one hit in an inning (though they were unable to score).

Chris Waters (2-2) takes the mound for the O's on Wednesday, and Melvin Mora (a late scratch today) is finally expected back in the lineup later this week...

Monday, September 8, 2008

O's, Huff bring bats in big win

The wait is finally over...the Orioles losing streak ended tonight as they took the first game of a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians, 14-3.

O's starter Garrett Olson (9-8) set the tone early. Olson went six strong innings, allowing just three runs off eight hits, while walking three and striking out six. You heard it right...an O's pitcher had a quality start in September (and it wasn't even Jeremy Guthrie).

The Birds were down 3-2 in the sixth inning, and then the bats came to life...the O's scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth and another five runs in the eighth to sink Cleveland.

The Birds bats' hit for the home run cycle...Luke Scott (solo shot), Ramon Hernandez (2-run dinger), Adam Jones (3-run blast) and Aubrey Huff (grand slam) all went deep to account for ten of the O's runs. Huff and Jones each went 3-for-5 with four RBIs a piece...welcome back Aubrey! Melvin Mora is expected to return Tuesday, adding even more power to the O's lineup...

Jeremy Guthrie was scratched as tomorrow's starter due to the flu; Radhames Liz is scheduled to take the mound...here's hoping the O's can start a winning streak at home...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

O's Drop Season-worst Eighth Straight

The losses continue to pile up...the Birds fell again last night to the Oakland A's, 5-1.

Daniel Cabrera took the loss, and was unable to make it through four innings. Cabrera allowed two runs off five hits through three innings, but walked six batters while striking out just one. He threw 84 pitches, 42 for strikes.

That was all the cushion the A's would need, as the O's were held to just one run in the eighth inning. The Birds managed just five hits all night...Nick Markakis' sac fly was all the bats could muster.

New relief pitcher Alfredo Simon came on after Cabrera exited, and allowed two home runs in an inning and 2/3...at least he didn't walk anyone (though he did hit a batter!). The Orioles have lost eight games straight, and have walked 63 batters in those games (averaging nearly eight walks per game).

As expected, the first game of the doubleheader was postponed due to Tropical Storm Hanna; a make-up date has yet to have been announced. That may have been good news for the Birds...the team has Sunday off before Cleveland comes to town. Garrett Olson is scheduled to start Monday...both Melvin Mora and Aubrey Huff are expected to return to the lineup...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

O's Bullpen Lets A's Walk Away with the Win

The Orioles lost their seventh straight game last night, falling to the Oakland Athletics 11-2 at Camden Yards. The Birds (63-77) are now worse than the A's (64-77).

Chris Waters (2-2) took the loss, but he kept the Birds in the game...he went five and 1/3 innings, allowing just three runs while walking three, hitting a batter and striking out two.

Enter the bullpen...three relievers (Brian Bass, Brian Burres and Kameron Mickolio) combined to walk seven batters (Bass even hit one) in a single inning. They walked in five runs...but hey, at least they didn't allow a single hit! Randor Bierd came on to stop the bleeding and he did allow a hit, a grand slam, to give the A's an eight-run inning and an 11-2 lead in the eighth inning.

Meanwhile, the O's offense was held to just six hits and managed just two runs (one earned). Oakland had just one more hit than the Birds, but allowed just two walks...it's tough to win when you walk ten batters (and hit two more) in nine innings...haven't I wrote this same column before?

The Orioles are scheduled for a doubleheader later today (weather permitting) so the Ravens can begin their season on Sunday with no interruptions. Garrett Olson and Daniel Cabrera are scheduled to take the mound for the Birds...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bullpen Blows it as O's Swept on the Road

For six innings, it looked as if the O's losing streak was finally coming to an end...after nine innings, though, the Birds were in the loss column yet again, falling 5-4 to the Boston Red Sox.

The bullpen surrendered five runs in the final three frames, and the offense couldn't come through as the Birds were swept out of Boston and back to Baltimore. The O's have now lost six straight and have won just once in the past 12 games...the team is a season-worst 13 games under .500 and things may get worse before they get better...

Relief pitcher Lance Cormier started the game for the O's and went three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Dennis Sarfate pitched another three scoreless innings, striking out five batters. Jamie Walker and Rocky Cherry combined to pitch the next inning and 1/3, and were charged with four runs off four hits and three walks. Jim Miller came on in the eighth with a man at third and just one out; Miller struck out both Jason Bay and Jason Varitek to keep the game knotted at four heading to the ninth inning...a hit, a bunt single and a throwing error later, the Birds were heading to the locker room wondering just what happened...

The O's enjoy an off-day today before opening up a 10-game homestand on Friday...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Birds Getting Banged-Up in Boston

The O's continued their losing ways last night, dropping another game to Boston 14-2.

The Birds have now lost five straight and are in danger of going 0-6 on the road trip. After losing to Boston 7-4 on Monday, the team turned to Radhames Liz to stop the bleeding...Liz took the loss and was charged with nine runs in just three and 1/3 innings.

In the past two games at Fenway, Oriole pitchers have given up 19 runs on 28 hits (20 hits last night), and have given up 18 walks (averaging one walk per inning).

It gets worse...the team is skipping Jeremy Guthrie's start later this afternoon...reliever Lance Cormier will make the start in his place...manager Dave Trembley hopes to get three innings out of him.

There have been a few bright spots this week...Adam Jones homered in his first at-bat on Monday, and Kevin Millar hit his 20th home run of the season a few innings later...the Birds now have four players with 20 or more homers this season (Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora, Luke Scott and Millar) and Nick Markakis (18 homers) should join that list soon...

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm Done on Sundays...

Here's a tip...don't walk and hit batters when the game is on the line...and don't do it four straight times in three straight games...and fire/release any major league pitcher who thinks that's the way to solve a problem...the O's entire pitching staff is in tatters, and we have a front row seat...ENJOY!!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

O's Fall Apart, Drop a Heart-breaker

The Orioles couldn't hold on to several leads, and even after tying the game in the ninth fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 10-9.

The Birds took an early 2-0 lead in the first after Jay Payton homered, and after the Rays rallied to take the lead, the O's went ahead 5-3 in the third courtesy of Aubrey Huff's 3-run shot (Huff's 30th home run of the season).

Chris Waters wasn't sharp, and settled for the no-decision. Waters was charged with five runs on eight hits in 4 and 1/3 innings...he walked four (all in the first inning). The bullpen was ineffective yet again, and the pitching staff walked nine batters in all (compared to one walk from the Rays staff).

Nick Markakis went 4-for-5, and his solo home run in the ninth tied the game at nine...all the magic has been sucked out of this team, though, and the Rays stormed back in the bottom of the ninth for the win.

The Birds are now nine games under .500 and have the daunting task of not only trying to avoid a sweep on a Sunday, but then traveling to Boston to take on the Red Sox...good luck...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rays Crush O's

Jeremy Guthrie lasted just three innings, and the Orioles were annihilated by the Tampa Bay Rays 14-3.

Guthrie's three innings were a career low, his six walks tied a career high, and the seven earned runs charged to him were a career worst...a tough game for Jeremy Guthrie. At one point in the second inning he walked four straight batters...

The Birds were down 13-0 after six innings, and never really had a chance to win this one...

Daniel Cabrera was scheduled to pitch this afternoon but his suspension was upheld, so the O's will send Chris Waters to the mound...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

O's Bats Come to Life

The Orioles finished out the home stand with a bang by defeating the Chicago White Sox 11-3 last night at Camden Yards.

The Birds have had a rough couple of weeks, and finished the nine-game home series with a 2-7 mark...the starting pitching set the tone last night though, with Radhames Liz going five and 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs.

The O's had an offensive explosion, scoring 11 runs off 16 hits. Melvin Mora, Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar all homered, and Brian Roberts doubled and drove in three runs.

The Birds are off today and begin a three-game series against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays (it just doesn't feel right saying that!) on Friday night. Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound for the O's...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Burres Can't Stop the O's Slide

Welcome back to the big leagues, Brian Burres. The O's starter looked great in his return, allowing six runs in the first four innings, almost assuring yet another loss...no magic could help as the Orioles fell to the White Sox 8-3.

It's almost painful to watch the Orioles play in late August, and I'm sure September won't be a picnic. Anyone who thinks October is in sight (and I'm not even that delusional) might as well start looking toward next season...again.

No stats this time; I'll be back when the Birds win...

Monday, August 25, 2008

O's Win One, then Lose One...

The Orioles outlasted the White Sox in the conclusion of a suspended game from April, winning 4-3 in fourteen innings. They turned right around to lose 4-3 in the regularly scheduled game...

It took nearly four months for the Birds to take their revenge on Chicago...the O's won in fourteen innings; Rocky Cherry was credited with the save (ironically enough, the first blown save from George Sherrill turned into Cherry's first save).

The satisfaction was short-lived, though, as the O's lost 4-3 just hours later Chris Waters looked pretty good...he allowed just four runs (three earned) off five hits through seven innings The Birds just couldn't get much going offensively.

The Orioles look to Brian Burres tomorrow night...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yankees Sweep O's Away

Daniel Cabrera turned in his shortest outing of the season and the Birds were swept at Camden Yards for the first time this year, falling 8-7 to the New York Yankees.

Cabrera was charged with seven runs in just 3 and 2/3 innings; he allowed nine hits, walked three and didn't strike out a single batter...check out this quote:

"As you can see, nothing's going the way I'm looking for," Cabrera said. "I've been bad for a long time" (courtesy of Orioles.com).

The Birds handed Cabrera an early lead in the first inning; Melvin Mora and Aubrey Huff hit back-to-back jacks to give the O's a 2-0 advantage. Cabrera couldn't hold on, but the O's battled back and tied the game at seven after Brian Roberts drilled a 2-run shot in the fifth.

It wasn't enough...reliever Jamie Walker gave up a solo homer in the seventh and the Yankees held on for the win...it was Walker's second loss of the season; both came in this series...

The Orioles are 1-5 on the home stand and are now a season-worst seven games under .500. They face the Chicago White Sox Monday night...the rained-out game from late April will resume at 6:05, the regularly scheduled game starts at 7:05...Chris Waters will make the start for the Birds...

Guthrie Can't Stop the Bleeding

The Birds once again were unable to support Jeremy Guthrie, falling to the Yankees 5-3 last night.

Guthrie (10-10) didn't have his usual stuff, allowing five runs and leaving with two on and two out in the sixth. He walked just one while striking out seven, but allowed seven hits, two of them home runs.

The Birds were down 2-0 in the first but scored three runs in the second for a brief lead. New York scored twice more in the third and again in the fifth to knock Guthrie out of the game...

The O's are now 1-4 on the home stand and desperately need Daniel Cabrera to set the tone early later this afternoon....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

O's Bullpen Blows It

The Orioles bullpen surrendered six runs in the final two innings, propelling the New York Yankees to a 9-4 victory last night at Camden Yards.

O's starter Radhames Liz looked pretty good...he started the fifth inning having allowed just one run before giving up back-to-back solo shots, tying the game at three.

Aubrey Huff and Ramon Hernandez had two RBIs each, and the Birds had a 4-3 lead entering the eighth inning...that's when things got rough...the 'pen gave up six runs off seven hits and a wild pitch, and it was just too much for the O's bats to overcome.

The only bright spot I can see...Mussina didn't get the win...

The Birds send ace Jeremy Guthrie to the mound later tonight...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

O's Avoid the Sox Sweep

The O's still haven't been swept at home this season, thanks to an impressive offensive showing in a 11-6 victory over Boston last night.

Rookie starter Chris Waters (2-0) wasn't untouchable, but went five innings to pick up the win. After allowing four runs in the first two innings, Waters settled down, giving up just one more run, a solo homer, in the fifth.

The offense backed him up, as the Birds scored 10 runs in the first four innings...both Melvin Mora and Ramon Hernandez connected for three-run home runs...Mora finished with four RBIs.

The Birds are off today and host the Yankees this weekend...Mike Mussina starts for New York on Friday. Moose has been dominant against the rest of the league this season, but the O's seem to have his number...let's hope they can do it again. It appears that the Orioles will bring up Radhames Liz from Triple A Norfolk to make the start...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

O's lose again...and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt

Just kidding...I love the Luke Scott tee...but seriously, the Orioles dropped their second straight game to Boston last night, falling 7-2 in front of nearly 50 thousand fans.

To make matters even worse, my fiance and I just missed out on becoming Camden Yard's 50 Millionth Fan. We picked the right day, and even the right gate...we arrived at Gate H on Eutaw Street at 5:15, and just minutes after passing through the turnstiles saw the Oriole Bird and a camera crew running frantically toward us...and then right past us...we were so close!
An Orioles win would certainly be the one thing in the world that could make things right...

Unfortunately, we had no such luck. Daniel Cabrera was shaky early, and the O's were down 3-0 after two innings. The Birds scored twice in the third to cut the lead to one, and had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth with the big bats coming up...Melvin Mora struck out swinging and Aubrey Huff grounded out. The dynamic duo went a combined 1 for 9 with a walk and five strikeouts, while stranding seven base runners a piece.

Cabrera (8-8) took the loss, and was charged with six runs in 4 1/3 innings. The bullpen held its own, but the damage was done...the O's were held scoreless for the final six frames...

The Birds (60-65) are now 17 games out of first and seem destined to finish last in the division...closer George Sherrill was placed on the 15-day DL, and the starting rotation is in shambles...don't be surprised to see a Double-A starter join the rotation later this week...

Rookie Chris Waters will make his third MLB start later this evening...here's hoping he can get the O's going...the Birds are off Thursday and then host the Yankees over the weekend...
(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Huff Not Enough as O's Fall to Sox

Just got my Internet back...O's lost 6-3.

I'll have more to say later...Guthrie went seven strong and allowed two runs...both solo shots in the second inning...once the bullpen was summoned the Red Sox came to life...

Aubrey Huff's solo home run in the fourth and 2-run double in the eighth accounted for all the O's runs...

I'll be in the stands tonight...trying to be the 50 Millionth Fan...wish me luck!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Offensive Explosion as O's Crush Tigers

The Orioles set several offensive highs in a 16-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers this afternoon.

In the first Sunday road victory this year, the Birds racked up 22 hits and 16 runs, both season highs. The Birds crushed five homers, tying a season high.

Melvin Mora was the star of the show, going 5 for 6 with two home runs and two doubles. Mora's six RBIs were a career high for a single game. Luke Scott hit two home runs and finished with four RBIs, and Aubrey Huff connected for his team-leading 26th homer.

Kevin Millar was the lone Oriole starter that didn't have multiple hits in the game; Millar went 1 for four with two RBIs...

Starter Garrett Olson couldn't make it through the second inning, and was charged with five runs. The O's had already knocked the Tiger's starter out of the game, and the score was knotted at five after two innings. In a battle of the bullpens, the O's teed-off, scoring four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, and adding another two runs in the eighth.

The Birds head home for a nine-game stretch against the AL East...Next up: the Boston Red Sox. Jeremy Guthrie is scheduled to start tomorrow night...

O's Can't Extend Winning Streak

The Orioles saw their winning streak snapped at three games as they fell to the Tigers 5-3.

Dennis Sarfate looked better than he had in his past three starts, but still took a loss as he couldn't make it through the fifth inning. Sarfate was charged with four runs off six hits...two of those hits were solo home runs, both coming in the bottom of the fourth. He walked three and struck out five...looks like he's headed back to the bullpen...for now.

The O's offense never got it going against Justin Verlander; both runs they scored off him were unearned...

Garrett Olson takes the mound this afternoon...the Birds need a Sunday victory to return home with a winning road trip...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

O's Tame Tigers

The Orioles bats were at it again last night, as they defeated the Detroit Tigers 11-2 in the first game of a three game series.

The entire lineup has been contributing this past week, and this time it was Melvin Mora's time to shine. Mora fell a double shy of the cycle and went 3 for 4 with a walk and four RBIs. Of the O's 14 hits, eight went for extra bases...

Just like the game before, the Birds broke a close game wide open in the final innings...they scored six runs in the ninth inning to take an insurmountable lead...

O's rookie starter Chris Waters was lifted with two on and two out in the fifth...he fell just an out shy from picking up his second Major League win...he allowed two runs off eight hits...

The Birds have now won three straight and are one win away from a winning road trip...Dennis Sarfate takes the mound later tonight, and Garrett Olson is slated to start on Sunday...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Eight-run Eighth Lifts O's

Sorry no Internet connection! I'm writing this on my fiancé's I-Phone ...I'll have a new modem soon...I'll be posting from her house until then...the O's won 11-6...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guthrie Dominates Former Team

Jeremy Guthrie's strong start helped the O's snap a three-game slide and propelled them to a 6-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Guthrie (10-8) pitched seven strong innings, holding Cleveland to just one run. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four.

The O's got on the board in the second inning when Aubrey Huff led-off with his 25th home run of the season. The Birds went on to take a 2-0 lead, and entered the ninth inning up 2-1.

The Birds added four insurance runs in the top of the inning, and George Sherrill closed out the game...

Daniel Cabrera (8-7) takes the mound tonight...the Birds need a victory to split the four-game series.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Poor Pitching + Shoddy Defense = Loss

The Orioles lost their third straight game last night, falling to the Cleveland Indians 7-5.

O's starter Garrett Olson was handed a 2-0 lead, but allowed four runs in the bottom of the first to swing the momentum in Cleveland's favor...the O's commited four errors in the first four innings...

The Birds battled back, as usual, and eventually the game was knotted at five...Olson lasted six innings and took a no-decision.

Reliever Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless seventh but unraveled in the eighth, allowing two runs and leaving with the bases loaded and two outs...

Once again, the O's bats rallied but the bullpen couldn't hold on...seems like the same old story...

The Birds send Jeremy Guthrie to the mound later tonight...the bullpen must be elated...

Guthrie and Daniel Cabrera are the only two starters that seem capable of pitching deep at this point in the season, and Guthrie is the most reliable of the two...

The O's are now six games under .500 and are still dead last in the division...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

O's Pitching Woes Continue

Poor starting pitching and a lack of relief hurt the O's for the second straight game, as the Birds fell to the Cleveland Indians 13-8 last night.

Dennis Sarfate allowed five runs in the first two innings, and left in the fifth...he's now pitched a total of 11 innings in three starts...impressive!

The Birds battled back and eventually tied the game at seven after Nick Markakis' 3-run triple. The Orioles took an 8-7 lead but the bullpen once again faltered and allowed the Indians to storm back and take the lead in the bottom of the inning...Rocky Cherry took the loss, allowing three runs...Jamie Walker gave up three runs off four hits (two of them home runs).

Markakis went hitless Sunday but went 3 for 5 with the doubles, a triple and four RBIs against Cleveland...Aubrey Huff extended his hitting streak with a homer and Brian Roberts extended his streak with a 2-run single...

Regardless, the Birds can score runs but can't seem to keep pace with a struggling pitching staff...the Birds are once again five games under .500 and in dead last in the division. They send Garrett Olson to the mound later tonight...

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Sunday Sweep? Not Likely...

The O's couldn't sweep the Rangers on Sunday, as they were pummeled 15-7.

Chris Waters, fresh off a 1-hitter against the Angels, allowed six runs in four innings. He took a no-decision, as the Birds' bats stayed hot and kept the game in reach.

Aubrey Huff's home run in the fourth gave the O's a brief 6-5 lead, but the O's bullpen looked ridiculous in the fifth, giving up six runs...

Closer George Sherrill worked the ninth and gave up a 3-run bomb, and although the Birds scored once in the bottom of the inning, it wasn't nearly enough...

It seems clear that the starters need to pitch into the seventh or the bullpen will blow it...and if it's a Sunday game...?

Dennis Sarfate starts later tonight in Cleveland...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

O's Shut Out Rangers in Blowout

The Orioles crushed the Texas Rangers for the second consecutive night, cruising to a 9-0 victory.

Daniel Cabrera pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. Cabrera (8-7) walked three and struck out three. Things looked scary in the first; Cabrera had the bases loaded with one out but escaped the jam...he was dominant until the sixth, when he again loaded the bases (on one hit and two walks with two outs) before inducing a ground ball to end the threat.

The bullpen went three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Rocky Cherry's return looked promising: it took him just seven pitches to retire three batters...

The offense sizzled again...the Birds have scored nine runs in each of their last two games, outscoring the Rangers 18-1. Nick Markakis put the game away early with a three-run bomb, and Melvin Mora sealed it later with a two-run shot. Markakis finished with three RBIs, Mora with four. Brian Roberts and Kevin Millar drove in the O's remaining runs...

The Orioles once again have a chance to sweep on a Sunday...I'll be there to cheer on Chris Waters in his second Major League start...hope it goes as well as the last one!

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

O's Bats Back Guthrie as Birds Crush Rangers

The Orioles returned home and quickly got on the right track, spanking the Texas Rangers 9-1.

Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven innings, allowing just one run off a solo homer in the fifth. Guthrie (9-8) now leads the team in wins and has a winning record for the first time this season...

The offense backed him up, scoring five runs in the first three innings Kevin Millar homered twice in the game, and finished 2 for 5 with three RBIs. Brian Roberts, Ramon Hernandez and Juan Castro each had two RBIs...

The Birds (55-59) look to Daniel Cabrera (7-7) to continue the winning streak tonight...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Olson Struggles as O's Drop Series in Anaheim

Starter Garrett Olson couldn't make it through three innings, and the Orioles were crushed 9-4.

Olson allowed six runs off seven hits, and reliever Lance Cormier allowed another three runs to score in the fourth, giving the Angels a 9-1 advantage. The O's never made it close; a 3-run shot from Nick Markakis in the fifth accounted for the Bird's final runs.

There were a few bright spots in the game...Luis Montanez went 2 for 4 and homered in his first Major League at-bat...Jay Payton, playing center field for injured Adam Jones, made two highlight reel catches; one robbed a home run and another stopped a sure double...

The best part is that after a horrendous home stand, the Birds went on the road and return home with a winning record on the trip...they went 5-4 and took series against both the Yankees and the Mariners. While they lost the series in Anaheim, they still shut-out the best team in baseball with a rookie pitcher on the mound...

The O's are off today, but have no fear Baltimore sports fans...the Ravens take on the Patriots tonight in their first preseason game...

The Birds are home for a weekend series against the Texas Rangers before heading out to Cleveland...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Waters Drowns Angels in MLB Debut

Rookie Chris Waters made a splash in his first Major League performance, 1-hitting the Angels through eight innings and leading the Orioles to a 3-0 victory.

The O's handed Waters an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, and it turned out to be all the support he would need. Waters needed just 104 pitches to shut down the Angels' potent lineup; a single by Vladimir Guerrero in the second was the Angels only hit of the game until the ninth...

Waters walked three, struck out three and hit a batter...he was replaced for closer George Sherrill in the ninth, who promptly gave up the Angels second hit of the game before retiring the next three batters and recording his 31st save.

So...will Waters start again? Check out this quote from manager Dave Trembley...

"That's like asking if on Halloween they're going to have trick-or-treating. That's about it, that correlation right there. Are they going to trick-or-treat on Halloween?" (courtesy of Orioles.com).

Luke Scott added an insurance run in the seventh with a solo shot to right field, his 19th of the season ( a career high). Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora each drove in a run in the first...

With the win, the O's are guaranteed a winning road trip and have a chance to win all three series later tonight. The Birds send Garrett Olson (8-5) to the mound. Olson is coming off his longest start of his career; he pitched into the ninth inning against Seattle last week...

It wasn't all good news though...the Orioles announced that Adam Jones broke his foot and was placed on the DL...he may be out for the season...
(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sherrill can't hold on after O's Rally in ninth

The O's used a little magic in the ninth to tie the game, but closer George Sherrill couldn't get the game into extras, and the O's fell to the Angels 6-5.

While this game certainly can't be labeled a "heart breaker," it was definitely disappointing. The Birds seemed destined to lose early on; starter Dennis Sarfate went just three innings and was tagged for five runs. He was pulled in the fourth after he hit a batter and walked the next...both runners came around to score...Sarfate hasn't made a strong case to stay in the starting rotation; if anything he's pitching his way back to Triple A...

The Birds couldn't get anything going offensively until the ninth inning, when they scored four times with two out to tie the game at five. They handed Francisco Rodriguez , the Angels' closer, just his fourth blown save in 49 opportunities, and had the go-ahead run at second base before Aubrey Huff struck out to end the rally. Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora each drove in two runs in the inning (Markakis had three RBIs in the game).

Sherrill, who had pitched the eighth just to get some work in, was brought out to start the ninth and immediately gave up a double. With two outs, Sherrill loaded the bases with a walk, and then walked in the winning run...

Regardless of the outcome, you have to take some solace in the fact that the O's battled back against the best team, and the best closer, in baseball. In a game that they seemed destined to lose, the O's showed once again that they'll fight until the final out...I'm certainly proud of the team; it was just not the way you want to lose a game...

The Birds send rookie Chris Waters to the mound later tonight...Go O's!
(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

O's Can't Complete the Sunday Sweep

The Orioles couldn't hold on to two early leads and eventually lost to Seattle 8-4.

But what could you expect...it is Sunday! Daniel Cabrera looked rusty early before settling down in the middle innings. It all unraveled in the seventh, as Cabrera loaded the bases without recording an out. Cabrera had struck out six and walked none until that point; he walked two and allowed a hit in the seventh; all three runners scored and Cabrera was charged with seven runs off seven hits...

Nothing new here...the O's haven't swept a road series all season, and to expect the Birds to pull it off on a Sunday is asking a little much...

The O's are now 4-2 on the road trip, winning series against both the Yankees and Mariners. Next up: the LA Angels, the best team in baseball...the Birds need just one victory to come home with a winning road trip...

Guthrie Goes the Distance

Jeremy Guthrie threw the first complete game of his young career as the O's went on to beat Seattle 3-1.

I actually missed the entire game...my girlfriend and I had a graduation party and I popped the question...she said yes!

While we were celebrating, the O's were dominating. Guthrie allowed a run in the first before completely shutting down Seattle's offense. He allowed just four hits, struck out two and walked one...the ace is back!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Olson dominant as O's Cruise in Seattle

Garrett Olson pitched a shutout into the ninth inning and the Orioles eventually beat the Seattle Mariners 10-5.

Olson recorded one out in the ninth and left with the bases loaded and his team up 10-0. The bullpen couldn't slam the door shut, but the Birds held on for the win.

Olson's final line shows he allowed three runs off 11 hits while walking one and striking out one. His performance was much better than it looks on paper...his outing was the longest of his brief career, and he was pitching a one-hitter through four innings. He was just two outs away from a complete game shutout, and now leads the O's pitchers with eight wins...

The Orioles offense gave Olson an early 1-run cushion in the first, and then went on to score eight runs in the fifth inning. With two outs, Nick Markakis singled and the offense rolled from there...nine hits and eight runs in a single inning both set season highs...all eight runs came with two outs: that's clutch hitting! The Birds added one more run in the eighth to take a commanding 10-0 lead.

Staff ace Jeremy Guthrie (7-8) takes the mound tonight; he opposes Felix Hernandez (7-6). What a shame Bedard's still on the DL...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Same Old O's...

With the trading deadline come and gone, the Orioles (51-56) were neither buyers or sellers this year...no deals were made, and the O's lineup later tonight will contain the same familiar faces we know and love...

Andy MacPhail never found any offers worth taking, and the O's are the exact same team as they were before...and I love it! MacPhail knows what he's doing, and unless the Birds can pick up a handful of prospects, there's really no need to rush things...

In other news, Daniel Cabrera was suspended six games for "throwing" at A-Rod...here's hoping he appeals. That has to be the stupidest news I've heard all day...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

O's Can't Complete the Sweep

The Yankees spanked the Orioles this afternoon, a humbling 13-3 defeat at Yankee Stadium.

Dennis Sarfate's first MLB start wasn't horrific, but he still took the loss. Sarfate went four innings and allowed just two hits, but was charged with five runs (three earned). He struck out five but walked three; all three walks crossed the plate...

The bullpen couldn't keep it close, giving up eight runs in the final four frames. Brian Burres, whom Sarfate replaced in the rotation, surrendered four runs in just an inning and a third...

The offense never really found a rhythm against starter Joba Chamberlain, and finished with just three runs off six hits. Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff each had an RBI, and shortstop Juan Castro smacked his first homer of the season (I believe the first home run from an O's shortstop all year).

Not a bad series in NY; two out of three against the Yankees is really all you can ask for. The O's are off tomorrow, and resume play Friday night against the struggling Seattle Mariners...

O's Hold on to Win Third Straight

The Orioles took an early lead and almost gave it up in the ninth, but held on to defeat the Yankees 7-6 in New York.

Daniel Cabrera became the first starter to pitch into the eighth inning in what seems like an eternity, and after allowing a single was ejected after hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. Cabrera was shown shouting, "Why?" amongst other things, but was forced to leave the game. The bullpen almost let this one slip away...

Aubrey Huff smashed a solo homer off Mariano Rivera in the ninth, and that proved to be the game winner; Huff went 4 for 5 with four RBIs...George Sherrill came in with a 7-3 lead but allowed the Yankees to make it a game and probably sent a few fans in Baltimore to the hospital with cardiac arrest symptoms...

Sherrill allowed three runs to cross the plate and stranded the tying run at second base...he ended up striking out the side...

The Birds have won three straight and send Dennis Sarfate to the mound this afternoon...it's Sarfate's first Major League start...whatever happens, the O's have already won this series at Yankee Stadium!

Monday, July 28, 2008

O's Continue Dominance over Mussina

The Orioles crushed the New York Yankees 13-4, extending their winning streak to 2 games...

You heard it right; the Birds won on Sunday and then went on to beat the Yankees on the road...and they didn't just win the game; they controlled it.

The O's smacked Mike Mussina around for the second time this year. It wasn't as bad of a beating as the last time they faced him, but good old Moose took the loss...

The offense was absolutely amazing...O's starter Jeremy Guthrie left in the seventh with an 11-1 lead. He had 3-hit the Yankees up to that point; he was pulled after allowing a solo home run...why?

The bullpen wasn't as efficient, but it didn't matter. The O's smashed four homers in the game: Kevin Millar started it off with a 3-run shot, immediately followed by a solo homer off Ramon Hernandez's bat. Adam Jones hit a grand-slam and Aubrey Huff had a 2-run dinger of his own late in the game.

Guthrie and Jones are the obvious heroes of the game, but let's focus on Jones: he went 3 for 6 with five RBIs. He was a double shy of hitting for the cycle, and came up with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth...and flied out. Jones is just 22-years-old, and shows just what O's fans can look forward to in the next few seasons.

The Birds set season highs in hits (17) and runs scored, and are the one team that seem to have Mussina's number...

The Sunday win seems to have lifted the O's spirits and it shows...the Yankees had won eight straight at home before dropping a game to the Red Sox Sunday night. The Birds came in as the underdogs but showed they still have what it takes to win...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Sunday Miracle

It's official...the streak is over! The O's beat the Angels 5-2 this afternoon, snapping a 15-game Sunday losing streak.

The Birds snapped a five game losing streak in the process, and starting pitcher Garrett Olson actually made it through six innings...things are looking up!

Backup catcher Guillermo Quiroz went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, and the bullpen went three innings allowing just one hit and no runs.

The O's went 4-7 on the home stand, but hopefully this win can build some momentum heading into the road trip...next up: Jeremy Guthrie takes on the Yankees' Mike Mussina in New York...

Another Loss...

The Los Angelos Angels annihilated the Orioles last night, 11-6.

The O's have now tied their season high losing streak at five games, and are seven under .500 for the first time this season.

And it gets worse...it's Sunday. The Birds haven't won a series since they faced the Chicago Cubs, and are spiraling into the worst stretch of baseball seen from this team. A loss today would be 16 straight on Sundays...a new record! Go O's!

Radhames Liz was the most recent starter to go less than six innings (5 and 2/3) and eventually took the loss. Aubrey Huff hit a 3-run bomb and Luke Scott connected on a 2-run shot, but the damage had been done and the bullpen didn't fare much better than Liz. Overall, the O's pitching staff gave up four homers in the game...

I was planning on attending the game today, but with rain in the forecast and no incentives from the front office (they've given up hope, too...) I may just stay home today...I'll let you know either way...Garrett Olson takes the mound and opposes 11-game winner Ervin Santana...should be a good one.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Has the Magic Vanished?

The Orioles dropped their fourth straight game last night, falling 6-5 to the Angels.
Now THESE are the Orioles I remember! They've won just four of their last 17 games, and are in dead last in the division. What a great time for the best team in baseball to arrive at Camden Yards!

Brian Burres was rocked early, and didn't even make it through the second inning; he left with the Birds down 5-o. The bullpen held the Angels to just one run through the last seven innings, and the O's offense almost pulled out a win. Kevin Millar scored the O's first run in the third when he blasted a solo shot, and scored the last run in the ninth via another solo home run. The Birds were down 6-5, and Brandon Fahey smacked a two out double to make things interesting...a hit could tie the game...Luke Scott grounded out and the O's lost again.

The Orioles (48-54) are now 18-20 in one-run games and are a season low six games under .500. It looks like the O's will be seeing some action before the trade deadline...as sellers, not buyers. The 2010 season can't come soon enough...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Friday, July 25, 2008

O's Drop Series to Jays, Fall to Season-Worst Record

The Birds dropped the conclusion of Wednesday's game 5-1, and then lost again 7-1 to Toronto.

With the loss, the O's are now a season-worst five games under .500, and host the best team in baseball this weekend (the Angels). The Orioles are 3-5 on the home stand, and would need to sweep the Angels to have a winning trip (worse yet, they'd need to win on a Sunday).

Jeremy Guthrie was tagged with Wednesday's loss, although he gave up just two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Daniel Cabrera looked terrible on Thursday, and was charged with seven runs (a season high). The O's offense was invisible, as the Birds mustered just two runs in the past two games.

Things are finally as they were supposed to be...the O's are in last place, have won just four of their last 16 games, and will probably look to trade before the deadline...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Just got back from a wet trip to Camden Yards...the O's were down 2-1 in the top of the sixth when thunderstorms forced players and spectators alike to flee to safety.

Jeremy Guthrie and A.J. Burnett were both locked in a pitching duel before the clouds moved in. Burnett allowed just one run while striking out seven; Guthrie allowed two runs with four Ks.

Aubrey Huff stayed hot; he singled and tripled, and Melvin Mora knocked in the O's only run (he now leads the Birds with 63 RBIs).

After nearly a two hour delay, the game was called...in all the confusion we left with seven 1983 pennants, though most were soaked and covered in peanut shells...and none were signed.

The game will resume today at 12:05, and the final game of the series, scheduled to begin at 12:35, will begin 20 minutes after the final out. Fans with tickets from Wednesday's game will be able to redeem them for a September home game (upper or lower reserve levels only)...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

O's Come Up Short v. Jays

It looked as if O's Magic was at it again, but the Orioles fell last night 10-8 to the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.

Starter Garrett Olson was erratic, exiting in the fifth with two out. He was charged with six earned runs, walked three and struck out one. He was in line for the win after the Birds offense took the lead in the bottom of the inning, but once again the bullpen couldn't hold it.

The O's took an early lead in the first after Nick Markakis belted a 2-run shot to right field, and added two more in the third when Melvin Mora doubled with the bases loaded. Toronto came storming back with a five run fifth, and the O' were down 6-4.

Mora stepped to the plate with a man on and tied it up with one swing; he's been on fire since the All-Star Break (after he singled in the ninth a commentator said he was...so hot you could fry bacon on him...he sizzles...). Well, he's certainly swinging a hot bat lately!

Ramon Hernandez's solo shot minutes later gave the O's a 7-6 lead; unfortunately, it would be the last time they led in the game. The O's bullpen allowed the Jays to take a 10-7 lead, and the Birds didn't threaten again until the bottom of the ninth. Mora knocked in another run (he had five RBIs on the night) and the Birds loaded the bases against B.J. Ryan.

Hernandez flied out to end the game, and the O's fell back to last place...the offense can't win them all; the starting pitching needs to go deeper into games and the bullpen needs to perform better. Last season, the Birds did well when scoring five runs or more; lately, it seems as if the offense needs 10 or more runs a game...

I'll be at the game later today...the Birds celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their last World Series win...Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound, opposing Jay's starter A.J. Burnett.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Orioles Soar Over Blue Jays and Out of Last Place

The O's rebounded from another Sunday loss and defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 last night.

Radhames Liz lasted almost six full innings, and was pulled with the score knotted at three. Adam Jones smacked a 2-run shot in the third to give the Birds a brief lead, and Melvin Mora had a two out, bases-loaded single in the sixth to give the O's a 5-3 lead and position Liz for the win. The bullpen handled the rest, and Ramon Hernandez sealed the deal with a 2-run shot of his own in the eighth. Randor Bierd returned from the DL and pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit while striking out two.

With the win, the O's (48-50) moved ahead of Toronto(48-51) and into fourth place. With six more home games in the series (three more v. Toronto and then three v. the Angels) the Birds could gain some ground if they get hot and stay hot. Garrett Olson (6-5) takes the mound for the Birds...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nothing much to say...

The O's lost their 15th straight Sunday game, 5-1. Justin Verlander nearly threw a complete game, and once again, O's fans couldn't catch a break.

Thankfully, I was busy and missed the game...caught the highlights though, and that was a blast! I attended the second game of a doubleheader at Ripken Stadium; the Iron Birds won 11-1.

I'll be there next Sunday...haven't checked yet but there's bound to be free seats and maybe even a few thousand dollars thrown around if the Birds can actually win...

P.S. They'll have to do it against the best team in baseball: the Angels.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

O's Rally to Beat Tigers in Extras

The Orioles used a bit more magic last night as they defeated Detroit 11-10 in the tenth inning.
The victory seemed improbable after the Tigers roughed-up O's starter Daniel Cabrera for six runs in the first inning. Cabrera regained his command and lasted five innings; when he left the Birds had a 9-7 lead...

Melvin Mora got things started for the O's in the first, smacking a 2-run shot, his third homer in as many games. The Birds sent 12 men to the plate in the fourth and scored six times to take an 8-7 lead. The bullpen couldn't hold it though, and the O's were trailing by a run heading into the bottom of the ninth...

The Orioles gave out 'Oriole Magic DVDs' as a promotion last night, and the Birds didn't disappoint...Ramon Hernandez led-off the ninth with a game-tying home run. With the score knotted in the top of the tenth, Adam Jones threw out the runner at home for the final out of the inning (though he looked safe to me...). In the bottom of the inning, Luke Scott launched a pitch onto Eutaw Street and the comeback was complete. Though the Birds have had a fair share of walk-off heroics, this was the first time this season that it came via the home run.

In less then 12 hours the Birds attempt to win on a Sunday for the first time in April. I've tried to stop the streak myself, refusing to blog about a Sunday game until the O's win one again (that hasn't worked). The Orioles held a "We Win, You Win" promotion to no avail, so for today's game they've sweetened the deal. If the Birds win, fans in attendance will receive tickets to not one, but two future O's games...here's hoping!
(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

O's Use the Long Ball to Take Down Tigers

The Orioles defeated the Detroit Tigers last night, 7-4.

The Birds homered four times in the game. Luke Scott smacked two dingers, while Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora settled for one a piece.

Mora homered in Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Tigers...looks like his bat is heating up. That was a tough loss to swallow...I couldn't blog about it, but baserunning mistakes cost the O's the game. They made it exciting in the ninth, but still lost...is there such a thing as too much rest?

The O's evened up the series last night, and even put runs on the board for Jeremy Guthrie (6-7). It certainly wasn't Guthrie's best performance; he went six innings and allowed a career-high 12 hits. He walked two and struck out five. Guthrie started the seventh, but after two singles was pulled for reliever Chad Bradford. Bradford got out of the inning which kept Guthrie as the pitcher of record. The bullpen was superb; they allowed only two hits through three innings...closer George Sherrill picked up his 29th save.

The O's play game three of this four-game series later tonight...Daniel Cabrera (6-5) takes the mound as the Birds try to start a winning streak at home...

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sherrill's All-Star Performance

O! What a game! The American League won for the twelfth consecutive year, beating the National League 4-3 in 15 innings.

It looked as if the Orioles wouldn't even be recognized in the game this year, but a few breaks went our way (O's fans, not the AL) and George Sherrill was finally summoned from the bullpen in the twelfth inning. With the bases loaded and two out, Sherrill threw three pitches, all for strikes, and escaped the inning unscathed. He pitched two more scoreless innings (allowing just one hit) before being replaced by Scott Kazmir, who was credited with the win.

Thank God for an ineffective offense. The AL had the bases loaded with none out in the tenth inning and were unable to get a run (I had hoped as much; I needed an Oriole in the All-Star game). It wasn't until a sacrifice fly in the 15th inning that the AL squad finally won the game.

Sherrill blew my mind, not the game, this time. He pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, and looked fresh and confident. As much as I wanted an Oriole in the game, I certainly didn't want Sherrill to blow it. He'll be remembered for that bases loaded strikeout... (MVP!) Tip your (flat-billed) cap to George Sherrill...he deserves it.

The break was fun, but it's time to get back to business...one more day off until the O's start an 11-game homestand on Thursday...see you soon!

(photos courtesy of MLB.com)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fourteen and counting...

The Orioles finished the first half losers in Boston, as they dropped another series and another Sunday game to the Red Sox, 2-1.

On Saturday, the Orioles were humiliated 12-1...sure glad I missed that one. Sunday's game was better, but the end result was the same: the O's are struggling. They've lost seven of eight and have now lost fourteen straight Sunday games (which has to set some sort of a record).

Daniel Cabrera minimized the damage but was pulled after just 4.1 innings...he gave up just two runs but walked six batters. The bullpen actually looked incredible, holding Boston's potent lineup to just one hit through the final frames.

Unfortunately, the bats couldn't get anything going. For the second straight game, the Birds were held to just one run. They had plenty of chances to score, but stranded runners all day before finally breaking through for a run in the ninth. Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon looked vulnerable, and the O's had the tying run at third with two outs...time for some Oriole Magic?

Melvin Mora had his chances earlier, but this was a big one...he grounded out to end the game. He finished 0 for 5 and left 11 men on base...

With the win, the Red Sox took sole possession of first place, while the O's are now dead last in the division. Maybe a few days rest will help...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

O's End Skid at Fenway

The Orioles ended their five-game losing streak last night, defeating the Boston Red Sox 7-3.

Brian Burres pitched into the seventh, giving up just three runs on six hits. Brian Roberts was the offensive catalyst, going 3 for 5 with two stolen bases. Roberts was just a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.

Things got scary in the ninth... Jim Johnson got two quick outs before a single and an error by shortstop Brandon Fahey (the ball went through his legs...sound familiar?) forced Trembley to bring in closer George Sherrill. After walking the bases loaded, Sherrill struck out Kevin Youkilis looking to end the Sox's threat and the O's streak.

The Orioles (45-46) are still tied for last in the division, and need to sweep the Sox to head into the break with a winning record.

I have a wedding to attend this evening, so I'm afraid I won't be able to watch the game...hopefully, I'll be back on Sunday with good news...

Radhames Liz takes on Tim Wakefield tonight, and on Sunday Daniel Cabrera faces Dice-K...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bullpen Blows Another One as O's Fall to Last Place

The O's were swept in Toronto last night, succumbing to yet another one-run loss, 6-5.

I'm a pretty fun-loving guy, easy to get along with, but this is the type of game/series that has me pulling out my hair and contemplating throwing whatever is close-by through the TV screen.

Jeremy Guthrie pitched an incredible game, giving up just two runs (one earned) through seven innings. The O's offense held up their part of the deal, and actually gave Guthrie five runs in support. The O's took an early three-run lead, and when the Jays scored twice to make it close, the Birds answered right back, taking a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning.

Game over, right? Guthrie had been in command all night, allowing just four hits, and two of his three strikeouts came in the seventh inning.

Manager Dave Trembley elected to go to the bullpen (Guthrie had thrown 101 pitches, and at his age, you can never be too careful) and once again the momentum of the game changed drastically.

I'm baffled as to how the Orioles bullpen transformed from one of the best in the league to the laughingstock of the majors (could Matt Albers really have been the cog that made this machine run?).

Jim Johnson, once unhittable, gave up two hits and two runs in the eighth. With the O's nursing a one-run lead, closer George Sherrill came on in the ninth and blew yet another save. Incredible!

The Birds have now lost five straight and are tied for last place in the AL East with Toronto. Next up...the Boston Red Sox at Fenway!

*Roberts IS NOT an OFFICIAL All-Star this year, but many thanks to those who voted!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Olson Hit Hard as O's Sink Below .500

The O's lost their fourth straight tonight, as they fell to Toronto 9-8.

Garrett Olson looked good until the fourth inning, when the Jays tagged him for seven runs. It was just the second time the O's allowed seven runs in an inning this season; the first came just six days ago. That spells bad news to any die-hard Orioles fan.

Down 8-1 in the sixth, the O's rallied with a big inning of their own, capped by a 3-run blast from Adam Jones. The Birds were down 8-7, and another comeback seemed immanent...

Aubrey Huff was called out at the plate to end the seventh, though replays show he was never tagged...I can't wait until MLB starts using replays instead of blind faith...

Former Oriole B.J. Ryan picked up his 17th save, but not before Nick Markakis took him deep with two out in the ninth to make it a one-run game.

The O's are now a game under .500 for the first time since early June, and are now 17-16 in one-run games (still a huge improvement over last season).

The Blue Jays go for a sweep tomorrow night, and have actually switched starters to further humiliate the O's...Roy Halladay was scheduled to start the game, but the Jays are letting former Oriole John Parrish take the mound (saving Halladay for the Yankees)...the O's counter with Jeremy Guthrie. Here's hoping the move pays off...GO O'S!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bynum and the Bullpen Blow It

The Orioles let one slip away tonight, and dropped the first game in Toronto 7-6.

Daniel Cabrera pitched a great game, and left in the seventh inning with two on, one out and a 6-2 lead. Reliever Dennis Sarfate came on and got one quick out before he imploded and allowed four runs to cross the plate. With the game tied, Alberto Castillo allowed the bases to load again before Chad Bradford finally was summoned and recorded the final out. Looks like the O's bullpen of 2006 has returned...

Jim Johnson came on in the ninth, and with two out, Alex Rios attempted to steal second base. A throwing error by Ramon Hernandez allowed him to reach third. A routine ground ball to shortstop Freddie Bynum WENT THROUGH HIS LEGS, and Rios easily scampered home with the walk-off win. Brandon Fahey was playing short until the ninth, when Skipper Dave Trembley elected to give Bynum some playing time...nice call!

Offensively, Aubrey Huff got the O's on the board in the first with his 18th homer of the season. Adam Jones contributed with an RBI double, and Nick Markakis drove in two with a bases loaded single. It just wasn't enough...

The O's (44-44) are now back at .500. Interestingly enough, they're also dead even in runs scored/allowed (417). To reach the All-Star break at .500, they'll need to play better than this...

Vote For Roberts!

Even with closer George Sherrill in the All-Star Game, it's foolish to believe he'll be brought in for the ninth inning...the Yankee's Mariano Rivera will more than likely finish out the final All-Star game at Yankee Stadium...

So... if anyone reads this and wants to actually SEE an ORIOLE player at this year's Mid-Summer Classic, VOTE for B-ROB!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

O's Look for a Winning Road Trip

After dropping the series to the Texas Rangers at home, the Orioles head to Toronto to try and get back on track against the last-place Blue Jays.

After splitting a four-game series against Kansas City, the Birds were unable to rally against the Rangers, and finished the homestand 3-4. After facing Toronto, the O's travel to Boston to face the Red Sox before the All-Star Break.

I was able to catch most of the action this weekend; unfortunately, my Internet connection was spotty...I watched the beginning of Sunday's game in Ocean City before having to listen on the radio for the final three innings...

If you were there Sunday, at least you got to see a crazy game. And if you stayed, you probably could taste O's Magic right before it slipped away...three home runs in the final two innings brought the Birds within a run, but they lost 11-10.

Still, the O's are in the hunt and are playing winning baseball. We'll see where they are after these next six games against division opponents....Go O's!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Seven run Sixth Dooms O's

The Orioles lost the fourth game of the series against the Royals 10-7, and ended up splitting the series with them.

Down 3-0 in the second, the O's battled back and took a commanding 7-3 lead in the fifth. Aubrey Huff had a huge night for the Birds, going 3 for 4 with a double and two home runs. Adam Jones and Brandon Fahey hit back-to-back triples in a five run fifth inning. It looked as if the O's were going to take the series easily...

Then it all fell apart in the sixth. The Royals sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven times off starter Garrett Olson and relievers Adam Loewen and Chad Bradford. It was the most runs any opponent had scored in a single inning against the Birds all season, and was extremely painful to watch. Kevin Millar bobbled and booted away a ball that would have been the second out and perhaps kept the game close...instead the Royals ended up scoring three unearned runs.

The Orioles wrap up the home stand this weekend against the Texas Rangers...I'm heading to Ocean City, and will try my best to update the blog this weekend...

I'll return Sunday, so you'll definitely hear from me by then...if you're feeling optimistic and want to catch the game on Sunday, why not head to the Yard? It's a "Win-Win"...

Cabrera Cruises in Complete Game Win (Part II)

Daniel Cabrera (6-4) shut down the Royals for nine innings last night, and the O's beat Kansas City 5-2.

Cabrera gave up a lead-off home run to start the game, and it looked like the Birds might have been in some trouble early. He settled down after that, and needed just 105 pitches to finish off the Royals. Cabrera allowed just seven hits, walked none and struck out two. Cabrera's always had success against KC (he's 5-0 against them), but this season he's been incredible. This post is labeled "Part II" due to the fact that he already went the distance once this year... against the Royals.

Down 1-0 in the first, Aubrey Huff connected for a two-run blast to give the O's the lead. Both Cabrera and Huff have really turned things around this season; Cabrera doesn't look like the same guy who led the league in losses and walks in 2007, and Huff's 15th home run equals his total from all of last season.

Cabrera gave up just one more run, but the offense backed him up and the O's won two straight. They have a chance to win the series later tonight; Garrett Olson (6-3) takes the mound for the Birds...
(photos courtesy of MLB.com)