Archive for May, 2007

O’s Sweep Royals, Carry 5 Game Win Streak To Anaheim

May 31, 2007

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The starting pitching has been dominating.

Game 1: Steve Trachsel got a quick big lead and never relinquished any of it. Trachsel pitched a complete game for his 4th win. He gave up 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks. Ramon Hernandez lead the way for a 5 run 5th inning. He hit a grand slam, his 2nd homer, and also had a single. Aubrey Huff and Freddie Bynum eached had a double. Miguel Tejada, Jay Payton, and Kevin Millar each had 2 singles in the game. An easy win is always nice, and this was one of them.

Game 2: It was Jeremy Guthrie’s turn in game 2, and he continued his recent success. He lasted 7 innings of 2 run ball before being lifted from the game. He only gave up 3 hits and 1 walk. Chad Bradford pitched a perfect 8th, followed by a perfect 9th by Chris Ray. Kevin Millar hit his 6th homerun of the season. Brian Roberts had a couple of singles, Miguel Tejada had a single and a double, and Melvin Mora had 2 doubles. Ramon Hernandez continued to drive in runs, he had 2 more hits today to go along with 2 more RBI. Aubrey Huff hit another double.

Game 3: Well, the offense scaled back the attack dramatically, but that didn’t matter because Erik Bedard was on the mound. He was lights out again, which seems to be a trend, pitching 8 scoreless innings. He struck out 5 batters, walked 2, and gave up 4 hits. Chris Ray got his 12th save of the season with a perfect 9th. Brian Roberts walked twice. Jay Payton hit an RBI single. And Nick Markakis hit his 8th homerun of the season. That was pretty much all the offense had, but it was enough with the way the pitching has been going.

Next is a tough 4 game stretch against the Angels. Go O’s.

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O’s Win Series With A’s

May 27, 2007

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The bats wake up after Game 1.

Game 1: Erik Bedard pitched like an ace again and, yet again, got the loss anyway. Bedard struck out 8 batters in 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), and 3 walks in the loss. Todd Williams and Scott Williamson each pitched a scoreless inning each. Despite the pitching being pretty good, the hitting struggled. The only runs came on Kevin Millar’s 5th homerun of the season and an RBI single by Miguel Tejada. Aubrey Huff, Corey Patterson, and Jay Payton had the only other hits.

Game 2: The starting pitching continues to pitch very effectively. This time it was Brian Burres who got the win. He only gave up 3 hits and 3 walks in route to allowing 1 run. He struck out 4 batters. John Parrish gave up a run in an inning plus 2 outs before Chad Bradford came in to get the last out of the 8th. Danys Baez continued his struggles, giving up a run and walking 2 batters before getting through the 9th. Brian Roberts had 3 hits, a walk, and a stolen base. Miguel Tejada had 3 hits, including his 4th homerun of the year. Jay Payton went 3 for 3. Ramon Hernandez had a hit and 2 walks and Corey Patterson singled, stole a base, and scored 3 runs.

Game 3: The offense continued to show off, scoring 8 runs two games in a row for what seems like the first time all season. Nick Markakis singled twice, hit his 7th homerun of the season, and made an outstanding diving catch in right field. Miguel Tejada hit his 5th homer, and his 3rd in 4 games. Melvin Mora also hit a homerun, his 6th. Corey Patterson doubled and singled and Jay Payton had a couple of singles. Daniel Cabrera pitched and went 6 innings. He gave up 4 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, and 5 Ks. Chad Bradford, Jamie Walker, and Chris Ray combined for 3 scoreless innings to round out the game.

It looks like Leo Mazzone is finally doing what we’ve thought he was going to do the second he signed with the O’s, getting the starting pitching to over perform and pitch good. Now we just need this punch less offense to get a few hitters hot at the same time and we could turn this thing around a little. The next move I’m waiting for is the firing of Sam Perlozzo, following by the hiring of Davey Johnson. Oh, and there is still no sense in having Freddie Bynum or Todd Williams on the team. Get rid of both of them, and call up Jon Knott and JR House. Please.

Next up is a trip to Kansas City for 3 games. This looks like a good team for the offense to stay hot against. Go O’s.

Toronto Takes Two of Three From O’s

May 25, 2007

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Give Danys Baez the Todd Williams treatment. (Williams hasn’t pitched in forever.)

Game 1: Daniel Cabrera struggled. He couldn’t make it out of the fifth without giving up 7 hits, 2 walks, and 6 runs. That would put the O’s at an early disadvantage, and despite the bullpen pitching 4 1/3rds scoreless innings, they couldn’t overcome the deficit and lost 6-4.  Scott Williamson, John Parrish, Chad Bradford, and Jamie Walker each pitched at least an inning of scoreless baseball (Williamson got the last out of the 5th.). Brian Roberts hit his 2nd homerun of the season and Nick Markakis had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, in the game.

Game 2: The O’s came back strong in game 2, winning 5-2. Steve Trachsel went 6 strong innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker each pitched a scoreless inning before Chris Ray did the same for his 11th save of the season. Brian Roberts was perfect at the plate, with 3 hits and 2 walks. He also had a stolen base, as did Corey Patterson who stole home plate on the same play. Jay Gibbons had a couple of singles and Kevin Millar hit a double in the win.

Game 3: Jeremy Guthrie still can’t catch a break. He pitches 7 more strong innings, gives up 7 hits and 2 walks, strikes out 3 batters and leaves the game with the lead. And he gets another no decision. After he left the game with a 1 run lead, John Parrish gave up a run without getting anybody out. Scott Williamson and Jamie Walker combined helped him out of the inning. Chris Ray pitched a perfect 9th, but the O’s couldn’t score and the game went into extra innings. But it wouldn’t last long because Danys Baez came in to pitch the 10th and promptly gave up a homerun to the first batter he faced. He would eventually strike out the side, but it was too late and the Orioles lost 5-4. Nick Markakis had a double and hit his 6th homerun of the season. Miguel Tejada finally hit another homerun (his 3rd) – it was a 3 run shot. Corey Patterson added a double. If our big hitters can get hot and sustain it over the summer, and if our starting pitchers can stay effective while the bullpen straightens itself out, we could still make a run to finish above .500 baseball for the season. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Next, the Oakland A’s come in for a 3 game series. Go O’s.

Orioles Take 2 of 3 From DC

May 21, 2007

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But again, the games are marred by stupidity from Sam Perlozzo.

Game 1: Steve Trachsel (2-3) pitched a solid game, giving up 2 runs in 5 and 2/3rds innings, and got the win in a 5-4 game. John Parrish looks better lately, he pitched an inning and an out, striking out 2. Danys Baez continues to struggle. He gave up 2 runs on a homer in his inning of work. Chris Ray got the save, but not before walking a couple of batters and making things interesting. On the offensive side, Brian Roberts had 4 hits including a double. Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff, and Ramon Hernandez each had 2 hits. Nick Markakis had a double.

Game 2: Another win for the Orioles, this one went into extra innings. Jeremy Guthrie picked up right where he left off against the Red Sox. He struck out 10 batters in 7 innings, only allowing 4 hits and 1 run. Jamie Walker pitched a scoreless inning and Chad Bradford combined with John Parrish to pitch 2 more. Chris Ray got another save, in another shaky outing, but he got the job done. The offense struggled mightily against another pitcher making his major league debut. Nick Markakis had 3 hits (and still Perlozzo asks him to bunt in the 10th with Brian Roberts on first and no outs. He popped it up for an out, but having your hottest hitter bunt with your best base stealer on 1st base? Come on.) Jay Payton had 2 doubles, including the eventual game winning RBIs, and Melvin Mora had a couple of hits.

Game 3: The Orioles should have swept this series, but the manager and the bullpen kept that from happening. Erik Bedard was masterful out there, striking out 12 batters in 7 innings. He only gave up 3 hits and 3 walks to go with 1 run. But still Perlozzo takes him out of the game to pinch hit for him (Bedard was 2-2 on the day with a sacrifice and we had a 2 run lead with him at his best). Then, he takes Chad Bradford out of the game with an out and a runner on 2nd to put in Danys Baez, of all people, instead of Jamie Walker (who was ready to go) with a lefty coming up. Predictably, Baez allowed the runner on 2nd to score, plus 2 more of his own doing to lose the game for the O’s. THEN, Perlozzo brings in Walker to get out of Baez’ mess, and he strikes out the only batter he faces. Thanks Sam… Jay Payton stayed hot with 3 base hits, Brian Roberts had 2 more with a double, Melvin Mora had a double, and singles hitter Miguel Tejada walked 3 times.

The Orioles play an exhibition game Monday (makes no difference in the managers stand point) before coming home to face the Blue Jays for 3 more games. Go O’s.

O’s Swept By Blue Jays

May 17, 2007

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It looks like the team may be starting to unravel after that Boston series.

Game 1: Erik Bedard went to the mound trying to stop the losing streak before it really got started, and he pitched well, but he couldn’t do it. Bedard went 7 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 7 batters. Danys Baez came in for the 8th in a tie game (yes, one day after the Boston Massacre) and proceeded to give up a 2 run homer to Troy Glaus. That was all the Blue Jays would need, as they went on to win 5-3. Jay Gibbons hit his 3rd homerun of the year, and Nick Markakis hit his 5th on the offensive side. That accounted for all 3 of the Oriole’s runs. Brian Roberts had a couple of hits and a walk.

Game 2: This game seemed like a real chance at a victory. Facing a rookie making his major league debut and with Daniel Cabrera throwing a complete game with some of his best stuff, the Orioles still found a way to lose. Cabrera went 8 innings for the complete game (Toronto didn’t need to bat in the 9th, they already won the game 2-1). He only gave up 3 hits, while walking 5 and striking out 6. But those 2 runs he yielded would be enough for the Blue Jays to eek out the victory. The Orioles got on the board quickly in the first when a Miguel Tejada double play would allow Brian Roberts to score. But that would be the only run to come across the board for the O’s. Nick Markakis had a couple of hits in the game.

Game 3: In another 2-1 loss, the Orioles just got overpowered by AJ Burnett. Burnett threw a complete game, striking out 10 batters. The O’s could only manage 3 hits, two by Kevin Millar (including his 4th homerun), and one by Paul Bako (of all people). Brian Burres started for the Orioles and he pitched pretty good. He only went 5 innings, but his control was much improved over his last start. He gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and a walk, while striking out 6. Chad Bradford, amazingly, pitched 2 (!) innings of shutout baseball, striking out 4 batters. This has got to be some kind of record, I didn’t think we would see a late inning reliever not named Chris Ray throw more than one inning all season. Danys Baez would throw a solid inning in the 8th, striking out a batter, but it wouldn’t matter.

The Orioles get a much needed day off before traveling to DC to face the Nationals. If we can’t beat these guys, I don’t know who we can beat. Go O’s.

Williamson Returns

May 15, 2007

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The Orioles optioned RHP Jon Leicester back to AAA Norfolk, activating RHP Scott Williamson from the disabled list.

Grade: C-

I guess they think Williamson is ready to return, but he has pitched horrible in his rehab stints and talks as though he still needs to work some things out. I don’t know why they would bring him back if he isn’t ready yet and won’t pitch much or at all for a while. But maybe they know what they’re doing….

Orioles Lose Series To Red Sox, 2 Games To 1 – Perlozzo Needs To Go

May 14, 2007

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Game 1: The Orioles won the first game of the series 6-3. Brian Burres improved his last start and got his first win. His control was wild and he gave up 7 hits and 5 walks, but he found a way to keep the runs off the board, only surrendering 2. He struck out 3 batters. I think he deserves another start after this one. The bullpen took care of the last 4 innings, with 5 pitchers combining to give up only one run. On the offensive side, two players stood out. Nick Markakis went 4 for 5 with a couple of doubles and Melvin Mora went 4 for 4 with a double. Ramon Hernandez knocked in a couple of runs with a double as well.

Game 2: In game 2, the O’s hung around for 6 innings before getting blown out 13-4. Steve Trachsel started and didn’t have his best stuff, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) and 4 walks in a little over 4 innings. And here was the start of a terrible weekend for Sam Perlozzo. He brought in freshly called up Jon Leicester to finish the 5th, which he did. Then he let him pitch the 6th, which he did only giving up one run, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to continue to hold down the Red Sox offense. Leicester came out for the 7th (ok, lets see how far he can go), walked the first batter on 6 pitches, walked the second batter on 5 pitches, and walked the 3rd batter to load the bases on 4 pitches. And nobody was warming up. He went to 2-0 on the next batter before basically taking himself out of the game with an injury, then Todd Williams got to come in and get ready. Perlozzo’s explanation? He was trying to rest the bullpen. ….Yeah, lets rest the bullpen by letting the worst pitcher on our team pitch clinging to a 1 run lead against the Red Sox, who we have a chance of beating twice in a row. Maybe its just me, but thats when you want to USE the best players in your bullpen. You can rest them when its a blowout on either side. Needless to say, Williams came in and got shelled, giving up all of Leicester’s runs plus 5 of his own. Jay Gibbons went 3-3 with 2 doubles as the bright side for the offense.

Game 3: Oh boy, heres the big one. On offense, the O’s scored 5 runs. Every starter had a hit except for Ramon Hernandez, and Jay Payton had a double. That should have been more than enough to easily win the game with the way Jeremy Guthrie pitched. Guthrie went out there and just stumped the Boston line up. He cruised through 8 innings, only giving up 3 hits and 2 walks while striking 2 batters out. He did all that with 85 pitches, so he should be able to go for the shut out no problem right? Yeah… He went back out there for the 9th and quickly got a ground out. Next batter, he gets him to pop up near the third base side of the mound. Except that Ramon Hernandez dropped the ball, so the batter reached first base. Ok, no big deal. Guthrie is still only at 90 pitches, hes not tired (he would say so after the game), and he doesn’t want to come out of the game (ditto). Well, Sam Perlozzo takes him out of the game of course. The Red Sox players would say after the game that they were stunned when they took Guthrie out and felt a little relieved, like they had renewed hope. So Danys Baez comes in and gives up 2 hits, allowing the runner to scores from first on a David Ortiz double. Then our “manager” brings in Chris Ray, who only started warming up after Baez came in to the game a couple pitches ago, and he is clearly not ready. He gives up 2 more hits to go along with 3 walks, before a ground ball to first base that would have gave the O’s a victory ended the game. In favor of the Red Sox. Chris Ray was late to get over to the bag and dropped the ball as it hit his glove. O’s lose 6-5. Sigh.

Now, the O’s have to travel to Toronto with a 3 game series with the Blue Jays. We’ll see if Sam Perlozzo can lose any more games for us. Go O’s….. Fire Sam Perlozzo.

O’s Sweep Devil Rays

May 12, 2007

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In game one, Jeremy Guthrie makes his second strong start of the season, seems like he only pitches good when he starts. Jay Gibbons has 3 hits including a double and a homerun. Orioles win 8-3.

Erik Bedard threw 7 scoreless innings, only giving up 3 hits and 3 walks. He had 10 strikeouts. Aubrey Huff hit a walk off homer to give the O’s a 1-0 victory.

Daniel Cabrera didn’t pitch very good, but he did enough to get the victory in the 11-6 win for the Orioles. Kevin Millar had a couple of hits, including a homerun and 4 RBI.

Next up, the O’s travel to Boston for a 3 game set. Go O’s.

Orioles Split 4 Game Series Against Indians

May 7, 2007

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The Orioles won the first 2 games of the series, only to lose the last 2 games.

Chris Ray got the win (his 3rd) in the first game. The Orioles came back from behind and won the game in extra innings, 3-2. Nick Markakis drove in the game winning run.

Daniel Cabrera pitched great to earn the win (his 2nd) in game 2. Ramon Hernandez hit a 3 run homer in the O’s 8-2 win.

Brian Burres struggled in his first start as an Oriole to get the loss (his first). Ramon Hernandez added 4 more hits and 4 more RBIs in the 6-9 loss.

The bullpen blew a great game pitched by Steve Trachsel in game 4, with Chad Bradford getting his first loss. Brian Roberts had 2 hits, including a triple in the 1-10 loss.

The O’s face off against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the first half of the week. Go O’s.

Birkins Back To Minors

May 7, 2007

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The Orioles optioned LHP Kurt Birkins back to AAA Norfolk and called up RHP Jon Leicester. Adam Loewen was moved to the 60 day DL to make room on the 40 man roster.

Grade: C

The Orioles just wanted a fresh arm to be the long man after Birkins pitched 3 innings on Sunday. The last spot in the bullpen has been a revolving door lately. Lets see what Leicester can do.