Sunday, October 18, 2009

Orioles 2009 Season-in-Review

Another season has come and gone. Baseball is still being played, but not in Baltimore. The Orioles suffered through a 12th consecutive losing season, and just barely avoided losing 100 games for the first time since 1988.

The powerhouses of the AL East proved to be too much for the O's once again, as the New York Yankees ran away with the division crown and the Boston Red Sox entered the post-season with the Wild Card. The Orioles finished the season with a 24-48 division record, and placed last for the second straight year. The Birds (64-98) had the worst record in the AL, and only two teams in all of baseball lost more games than the O's in 2009.

The season wasn't a total flop, though. The Orioles grew as a team, and a multitude of young kids got a chance to show their stuff in the Majors. There's still a lot to look forward to in 2010 and beyond.

Like we say in Baltimore..."We'll get em' next year!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

O's Finish 2009 with a Sweep of Toronto

It took eleven innings, but the Orioles ended the season on a high note after sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays with a 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Starter Jeremy Guthrie (10-17) pitched into the eighth inning but took a no-decision. Guthrie allowed three solo home runs and finished the season with 35 taters allowed, the most in the league. It was the first time Guthrie pitched 200 innings in his career. He finished with the most victories on the team, but the most losses in the league...

The Birds played small-ball in the 11th inning to win the game...after a lead-off single, the next two batters bunted to move the runner up...the Jays committed two costly throwing errors to give the O's a walk-off win with just one hit in the inning...hopefully Dave Trembley will try this more often in 2010.

Nick Markakis hit a two-run bomb in the first inning, his 18th, and finished the season with a team-leading 101 RBIs.

I'll be back for one more post this season...the "O's Year-in-Review"...later this week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

O's on a Roll

The Orioles won their third straight game on Saturday night, beating the Blue Jays 6-3.

The pitching has been solid, the bats have come to life and the team is almost makes you wish that the season wasn't coming to an end. Almost.

The Birds won three straight for the first time since mid-June, when they swept the Philadelphia Phillies in three games after taking two of three from the New York Mets...I can't believe it's been that long! Wow...

Mark Hendrickson got the start on Saturday and looked impressive again. Hendrickson (6-5) allowed three runs on six hits, three walks and a balk through 6 1/3 innings...he also struck out three, and appears to be making a bid to return to the starting rotation next season.

The bullpen held the Jays scoreless through the final frames, and Jim Johnson picked up his tenth save...

The O's picked up 11 hits, and used a four-run fourth to take a lead they would never relinquish.

Jeremy Guthrie (10-17) takes the mound Sunday afternoon for the Birds final game of 2009. Guthrie has pitched well lately but leads the A.L. in losses, home runs allowed and earned runs allowed. Here's hoping he ends the season on a high note...Go O's!!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back-to-Back Wins for the Birds

The O's put on quite a show on Friday night, crushing the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 13-7 at Camden Yards.

The O's now need to win one of the remaining two games to avoid the team's first 100-loss season since 1988.

Starter Jason Berken (6-12) gave up a few runs but was backed by an amazing offensive outing by the Birds. Berken gave up four runs on five hits through five innings while walking one and striking out one. The bullpen shut the Jays down for the rest of the game, with the exception of Chris Ray...Ray gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth inning before Alberto Castillo came in to record the final three outs.

The Birds scored 13 runs off 14 hits, and nine of those runs came via the home run ball. Michael Aubrey led the team with two homers (including a grand slam) and six RBIs, and Matt Wieters launched a three-run shot in the fourth inning to give the O's the lead. Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 and knocked in another two runs.

The two teams go at it again Saturday night...Mark Hendrickson takes the mound...Go O's!!!

O' Yeah...

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Orioles Win! The Orioles Win!

The O's head back to Baltimore with a win under their belt after defeating Tampa Bay 3-2 on Thursday night. The 13-game losing streak finally came to an end...

Starter Chris Waters (1-0) gave the lifeless offense some help, going five innings and allowing just one run on two hits and three walks. The offense remained consistent (the O's have averaged just three runs per game during the losing streak) but this time the pitching held up...

The bullpen held the Rays hitless until the ninth...Jim Johnson allowed a run on three hits but picked up his ninth save after stranding the tying run on third...

The Birds (61-98) take on the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend, and need to win the series to avoid a 100-loss season. Jason Berken (5-12) takes the mound Friday night...Go O's!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Nightmare Continues...

The Orioles dropped their 13th consecutive game on Wednesday night, falling 5-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The O's (60-98) have one game left in St. Petersburg before the team returns to Camden Yards for the final home stand of the season. They need three wins in the final four games to avoid the first 100-loss season since 1988. Good luck...

Starter David Hernandez (4-10) wasn't able to make it through five innings on Wednesday night. Hernandez allowed all five of Tampa's runs on seven hits and two walks in just 4 1/3 innings...that turned out to be more than enough for the Rays.

Once again, the offense stalled. The Birds scored three times in the eighth (two runs came on Ty Wigginton's pinch-hit homer) but were shut down through the rest of the game.

Chris Waters makes his first start of the 2009 season Thursday night...Go O's.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birds Drop Twelve Straight

Another game, another loss. The Orioles fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday night, extending the losing streak to twelve straight games.

The losing streak is the longest in the Majors this season...another record in futility for the O's!

Jeremy Guthrie (10-17) pitched another good game but was tagged with the loss. Guthrie went seven innings and allowed just three runs on seven hits while walking one and fanning four.

Once again, the offense was unable to produce...the O's out hit the Rays (9-8) for the second straight game but managed to push just one run home.

The Birds send David Hernandez (4-9) to the mound on Wednesday night...Go O's! Stop the bleeding!

O' Yeah...

Monday, September 28, 2009

O's Let Another One Slip Away

The Orioles lost their 11th straight game on Monday night, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6.

O's starter Mark Hendrickson pitched a great game, and left after six innings with a 6-3 lead. Hendrickson gave up just three hits, but all three went over the fence...

The bullpen, as usual, was horrible. Matt Albers gave up a game-tying, three-run bomb in the seventh before Danys Baez allowed the Rays to take the lead in the eighth...Chris Ray (0-4) took the loss.

At least the offense got on the board tonight...the O's banged out 13 hits (compared to the Rays' 7) but it's just never enough with this pitching staff. The Birds had four doubles and Brian Roberts hit his 16th homer of the year.

Jeremy Guthrie (10-16) takes the mound on Tuesday night...the Birds now must win three of their final six games to finish the season with under 100 losses...Go O's!

O's Swept out of Cleveland

The Orioles lost to the Indians 9-0 on Sunday afternoon. It was the O's 10th consecutive loss.

As promised, I was not watching this game. Instead of watching the Birds get swept in Cleveland, I was watching the Cleveland Browns get humiliated in Baltimore by the 3-0 Ravens. It's amazing how different you feel after watching the home team win a game...

Had I been watching the O's, I probably would have been tempted to turn the game off after the very first inning...starter Chris Tillman (2-5) gave up six runs in the first and lasted just two innings. The 'pen held its' own but the damage had been done...

The offense didn't even bother to show up...the Birds managed five hits, none for extra-bases, and pushed just one runner into scoring position.

The O's head to St. Petersburg to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for a four-game set starting Monday night...Mark Hendrickson takes the mound for the Birds...Go O's!

O' Yeah...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bullpen, J.J. Blow it Again

This is getting ridiculous. The O's dropped their ninth straight game on Wednesday night, falling 9-8 to the Cleveland Indians.

I'm going to be honest with you...I slept through this game. And I'll be watching the Ravens, not the Orioles, on Sunday afternoon. Sure, I'll switch the channel every now and then, but it's football season now, and I like to watch a winning team every once in a while...I've got tickets to the final game of the season at Camden Yards...but the Ravens are playing the Patriots...I can say with certainty that I won't be going to watch the Birds drop their 100th game of the year.

Starter Jason Berken (5-12) put the team in an early hole after allowing four runs in just 3 2/3 innings...the Birds answered right back with a five-run fifth and added another run in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Robert Andino, Michael Aubrey and Luke Scott all homered in the rally...

Of course, the bullpen was unable to hold on...the Indians scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead back, but again the Orioles rallied and tied the game at eight in the ninth inning (the O's loaded the bases with none out but were only able to manage two sacrifice flies)...

Jim Johnson, the O's "closer," came on in the bottom of the inning and gave up the game winning single after recording just one out...

Hopefully the team can turn this around and avoid being swept for the third straight series...Chris Tillman (2-4) takes the mound Sunday afternoon...Go O's!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Eight Straight

The Orioles came in losers of seven straight games...the Cleveland Indians had dropped eleven in a team would get back into the win column on Friday was not the Orioles, as they fell to the Indians 4-2 at Progressive Field.

The Birds (60-93) have now dropped a season-worst eight straight contests and have the worst record in the American League. Only two teams in baseball (the Pittsburgh Pirates (95) and the Washington Nationals (101) ) have more losses than the O's.

Starter David Hernandez looked sharp but was tagged with yet another loss. Hernandez (4-9) gave up three runs (two earned) through six innings on Friday, while walking one and fanning five. The unearned run (a throwing error by Melvin Mora) and a bases loaded walk from reliever Matt Albers in the eighth inning wound up being the decisive runs in the ballgame.

The O's offense was stagnant again...Michael Aubrey drove in a run in the second and Nick Markakis led-off the sixth with a solo home run, but the team went 1-for-nine with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. The O's out-hit Cleveland 10-8...

The Birds send Jason Berken (5-12) to the mound Saturday...Go O's!

O' Yeah...

The O's may have lost another outfielder on Friday night...the recently-productive Felix Pie hurt his leg running out a ground ball in the seventh inning, and is listed as day-to-day

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

O's Swept, Drop Seventh Straight

It can't get much worse. The O's lost their seventh straight game, a season-worst, and fell to the Blue Jays 7-3 on Wednesday night.

The Birds have now been swept in back-to-back three-game sets for the first time this season.

Jeremy Guthrie (10-16) was tagged for the loss and now has more losses than any other starter in the American League (along with home runs and runs allowed). Guthrie went seven innings but allowed seven runs (five earned).

Michael Aubrey started at first base and hit his first homer as an Oriole...a 2-run blast to center in the second inning that gave the Birds a brief lead. Matt Wieters smashed a solo shot to right in the fifth inning...Wieters is now batting .290 for the season.

The Orioles (60-92) head to Cleveland to take on the Indians (61-90) for three games...both teams are struggling and this is the O's best chance to win a couple and finish the season with under 100 losses...David Hernandez (4-8) takes the mound Friday night...Go O's!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

O's Fall in Extras

It took eleven innings, but the O's eventually fell 6-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. The Birds have now dropped six straight games, tying a season-worst.

Starter Mark Hendrickson allowed just two runs (both off solo homers) on four hits through six innings, and left the game with a three-run lead...the bullpen couldn't hold on, though, as Danys Baez allowed two runs in the eighth and Jim Johnson blew his sixth save...

It's all up to Jeremy Guthrie (10-15) on Wednesday's hoping the Birds don't drop seven straight...Go O's!

O' Yeah...

Sox Sweep

Thank God. The O's don't have to play the Red Sox again this season. The Birds were swept by the Sox after a 9-3 defeat on Sunday at Camden Yards.

For the season, the O's went just 2-16 against Boston...

Starter Jason Berken (5-12) just couldn't get it going, and was charged with six runs off ten hits in three innings...the bullpen held Boston to three runs off four hits through the final six frames, but the damage had been done.

The Birds head to Toronto to begin a 10-game road trip starting Monday night...Chris Tillman (2-3) is slated to take the mound...Go O's!

Change of Scenery Doesn't Help O's

The Birds dropped the first game to the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 at Rogers Centre on Monday night.

The O's took an early lead, but starter Chris Tillman (2-4) gave it back in a three-run third when he lost control of the strike zone...Tillman was charged with four runs off six hits and three walks through five innings. Relief pitcher Bob McCrory let the Jays run away with the game after allowing four runs in the eighth inning...McCrory now has a 17.18 ERA since being called up to the majors.

The O's managed just six hits on Monday night...Felix Pie knocked in both runs.

The two teams go at it again on Tuesday night...Mark Hendrickson takes the mound...Go O's!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Boston Wins Again

Another close game turned into a blowout on Saturday night at Camden Yards as the O's fell to the Red Sox 11-5.

Starter David Hernandez looked good, and left after the sixth inning with the score tied 3-3. Hernandez had allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out one.

Enter the bullpen: SIX relievers combined to allow eight runs off ten hits through the final three frames...pitiful.

The O's hit back-to-back solo shots in the ninth inning, and finished the game with four solo home runs (Ty Wiggonton went deep twice, and both Melvin Mora and Felix Pie homered) but it wasn't nearly enough. Matt Wieters went 3-for-5 with an RBI batting third in the lineup, but grounded into a double-play with the bases loaded to end the game...

Even worse, the Birds are now 2-15 against the Sox this season, and need a win on Sunday afternoon to avoid the sweep. Jason Berken (5-11) takes the mound...Go O's!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

O's Fall to BoSox

At least the Birds actually got on the board...the O's managed just one run in a 3-1 loss to the visiting Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Luke Scott launched a solo home run in the third inning to knot the game at 1-1. That was the lone run the team scored in the past two games...

Jeremy Guthrie (10-15) took the loss, though he pitched well enough to win. Guthrie allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings while striking out one.

The Birds managed just five hits, and were hitless over the final three frames...let's hope the offense wakes up on Saturday...David Hernandez (4-8) takes the mound...Go O's!

O' Yeah...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rays Blank O's

The Orioles had a chance to win when they loaded the bases with none out in the first inning...instead, they lost to the visiting Rays 3-0 on Thursday night.

That scoring opportunity was the best chance the Birds would have all night, as they were shut out on four hits and two walks by a rookie pitcher (both walks and one hit came in the first inning). The Rays' Wade Davis struck out ten in a complete game victory...his first win in the Majors. Davis threw 124 pitches...more than any Oriole starter this season, if I recall correctly.

Mark Hendrickson (5-5) came back to the starting rotation and looked just fine through three innings...the rest of the bullpen backed him up but there's just so much you can do when the offense gives you nothing...

Still, the Birds split the 4-game set with Tampa Bay after taking two of three from the Yankees...sadly, that's progress! The Boston Red Sox come to town over the weekend, and Jeremy Guthrie (10-14) takes the mound Friday night...Go O's!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weiters Comes Through Again

This time, the O's didn't let a little rain ruin their evening. The Birds lost a lead in the ninth but came right back to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

Chris Tillman (2-3) pitched the best game of his young career, allowing just one run off five hits through 6 2/3 innings. The O's took a 2-1 lead into the eighth before rain stopped play for over an hour and a half.

Closer Jim Johnson allowed a solo homer in the ninth inning to knot the score at two, but Matt Wieters drilled a 2-run walk-off jack in the bottom of the inning to give the O's a victory. Wieters also threw out Chris Crawford twice in the game, and has eight RBIs over the last two games.

The Birds send Mark Hendrickson (5-4) to the mound Thursday night...Go O's!!!

Bats Back Berken in Win

The O's were down early but battled back to defeat the Rays 10-5 on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

The Rays took a 4-0 lead in the first inning and led 5-0 in the third before the O's even got on the board...the Birds scored the final 10 runs of the game.

Starter Jason Berken (5-11) took the win after allowing five runs through 6 1/3 innings...Berken walked one and struck out two. The 'pen combined to allow just one hit through the final frames...

Every Oriole starter had at least one hit, but Matt Wieters had the offensive game of his young career...Weiters went 3-for-4 with a single, a double and a 3-run blast and finished with a career-best five RBIs. Brian Roberts set a new franchise record with his 52nd double...

Chris Tillman (2-3) gets the ball on Wednesday night as the Birds try to take the series from the Rays...Go O's!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Every Streak Must Come to an End

The Tampa Bay Rays came to Baltimore losers of 11 straight games, but beat the O's 8-4 on Monday night at Camden Yards.

Starter David Hernandez (4-8) took the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits in three innings. Hernandez walked none and fanned five but was pulled after throwing 80 pitches.

The Birds scored four runs in the first inning but went quietly for the rest of the evening...

Jason Berken (4-11) looks for a win on Tuesday night...Go O's!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

23 Years and Counting...

The O's couldn't complete the sweep in New York on Sunday afternoon, falling 13-3 to the Yankees.

I was busy watching the Ravens win, but had to flip back-and-forth for the O's score...

Jeremy Guthrie (10-14) took the loss but kept the game close into the sixth inning...Guthrie allowed five runs off 12 hits through 5 2/3 innings while walking three and striking out four.

The Birds' bullpen was blasted for eight runs in the eighth inning, giving the Yankees a rout and ending any chance of the O's sweeping the Yanks in New York for the first time since 1986.

Next up...the Tampa Bay Rays come to Baltimore for a 3-game set...David Hernandez takes the mound on Monday night...Go O's!

Matusz Dominant as O's Win Again

The Orioles won their second straight game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, taking down New York 7-3.

Brian Matusz (5-2) was brilliant yet again, allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings while walking two and fanning three. Jim Johnson was tagged for two runs in the ninth but the Birds held on for the win.

The O's scored six times in the second inning off of A.J. Burnett...Nolan Reimold led-off the inning with a solo homer and Brian Roberts capped it off with a grand slam. Both Reimold and Roberts have 15 homers on the season...

The Birds have won the series in New York and go for an elusive sweep on Sunday afternoon (they haven't swept in NY since 1986). Jeremy Guthrie (10-13) takes the mound...Go O's!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

O's Take Down Yanks

The Orioles waited out two rain delays that lasted over two hours to hand the Yankees a 10-4 loss early Saturday morning at Yankee Stadium.

Starter Chris Tillman (2-3) went five innings and took the win. Things looked scary early when Tillman allowed a 3-run bomb in the first inning, but he settled down and allowed just one more run while striking out a career-high eight batters. The bullpen held the Yanks scoreless through the final four frames...

The Birds scored 10 runs off 16 hits...every starter had at least one hit except Felix Pie, who left the game early due to a back spasm. The win broke a streak that saw New York winning ten straight against the O's.

The two teams go at it again later this afternoon...Brian Matusz (4-2) takes the mound...Go O's!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birds Get on Board but Fall at Fenway

At least they scored this time. The Birds were swept out of Boston after a 7-5 loss on Wednesday night.

Starter Jason Berken really looks like a different pitcher, and left the game after allowing four runs (three earned) through 5 1/3 innings. Berken (4-11) settled down after allowing two runs in the first inning, and took a no-decision. Relievers Matt Albers and Danys Baez allowed the final, crushing blows in the seventh inning, and the Birds now limp out of Boston to head to New York.
Berken wasn't the lone bright spot of the evening; Brian Roberts slapped his 50th double in the fifth inning and is now one of just four players in the history of baseball to have 50-plus doubles in three-plus seasons...congratulations, Brian.

The O's are off Thursday night (I'll be watching football, anyway) before taking on the Yankees over the weekend...Chris Tillman (1-3) is slated to take the mound Friday night...Go O's!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boston Bashes Birds

The Boston Red Sox humiliated the Orioles at Fenway Park Tuesday night, slapping six homers and shutting out the Birds 10-0.

Starter David Hernandez (4-7) lasted just 2 2/3 innings and was charged with six runs on four hits (all were homers) while walking two and fanning three. Boston's first five hits of the game were homers, and nine of their ten runs came via the long ball.

Meanwhile, the O's managed just five hits in the game, and only one (a Matt Wieters' double) went for extra bases.

The loss guaranteed a losing season, the 12th straight for the O's (56-82)...

The Birds and Sox go at it again on Wednesday night...Jason Berken (4-11) takes the mound. Go O's!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guthrie Dominant as O's Blank Texas

The O's shut out the Texas Rangers in a 7-0 victory on Sunday was the fourth shutout this season and first for the Birds' pitching staff in three months.

Jeremy Guthrie continued to look like the 2008 version that we knew and loved...Guthrie (10-13) allowed just six hits and one walk through seven innings while striking out six. The 'pen held the potent Texas offense to just one hit through the final two frames, and the Birds won just their second series since the All-Star break.

The Birds jumped ahead early with a 2-run second and a 4-run fourth, and the support was much more than Guthrie would need...

The Birds have Monday off before heading to Boston for the start of a 7-game road trip...David Hernandez takes the mound at Fenway on Monday night...Go O's!!!

Throwback O's Snag a Win

Maybe the O's should wear the throwback jerseys more often...the Birds snapped their 4-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over Texas on Saturday night.

Starter Brian Matusz (4-2) got hit early but recovered and left with the lead after seven innings...Matusz allowed four runs on six hits while walking one and fanning four. Danys Baez pitched a scoreless eighth and Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his eighth save.

Melvin Mora was the game's MVP though; Mora went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and three RBIs, and made a great diving catch in the eighth inning...Nolan Reimold also launched a solo shot, his 14th of the year...

The Orioles looked different in loose-fitting, baggy uniforms...they were replicas of the 1949 Negro League champion Baltimore Elite Giants...whatever works, I say.

The Birds would still have to go undefeated for the rest of the season to finish with a .500 record...they'll try to win a series against Texas first...Jeremy Guthrie (9-13) takes the mound Sunday afternoon...Go O's!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tillman Can't Tame Tigers

The Orioles dropped their fourth straight on Friday night after falling 5-1 to the visiting Texas Rangers.

Starter Chris Tillman gave up five runs on seven hits over six innings in the loss. Tillman (1-3) walked three and struck out four and left after throwing 110 pitches (70 for strikes).

Three relievers combined for three innings of one-hit ball, but the O's offense managed just one run on four hits against Texas.

Brian Roberts batted third in the lineup to fill in for Adam Jones, and knocked in the Birds' only run in the sixth inning. Dave Trembley plans on keeping Roberts in the three-hole for the remainder of the season...

The Birds send lefty Brian Matusz (3-2) to the mound on Saturday afternoon...the game will be televised nationally on FOX...hopefully the team shows up...Go O's!

O' Yeah...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Birds Blown Out in Ninth

The O's were in the game until a disastrous ninth inning turned a nail-biter into a blowout, as the Yankees swept the O's after a 10-2 win on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

Starter Jason Berken impressed, pitching into the sixth inning and allowing just one run...the bullpen surrendered the lead in the seventh but the O's headed into the ninth down by just one run. That's when it all fell apart.

Jim Johnson was unable to record a single out and was charged with five runs on three hits and two walks...Dennis Sarfate allowed another four hits and was charged with two runs...Brian Bass (in the role he is most comfortable in: a blowout) was able to record the final out with the O's trailing 10-2.

That pretty much sums it up...the O's have now dropped 10 straight to the Yankees and have been swept in consecutive series...they face NY one more time this New York.

Honestly, this was a humbling series. Sure, the Yankees are nearly 40 games over .500 and the O's are close to 30 under the break-even mark, but I figured the team could win at least one game. Pettitte was untouchable on Monday, the Yankees were homer-happy on Tuesday, but the finale showed promise...until the ninth. So close, yet so far away, as the old saying goes.

The Birds (54-80) are realistically looking at a 100-loss season in 2009. WAY back in April, I posted a poll asking fans what would be acceptable this year, and well over half of the respondents stated that a .500 season would be a welcome refreshment (myself included). Just a few weeks ago, most of us had conceded that the Birds would wind up in the cellar once my question is, have the O's improved? It has certainly been a disappointing season (again), but yet it was one filled with new hope and a belief that the franchise was heading in the right direction...

I'll be sticking around for the final month of the Orioles' season, and hopefully some of you will as well. It's tough, but (hopefully) it will be well worth it in the end...

Chris Tillman (1-2) takes the mound on Friday night as the Birds host the Texas Rangers for a 3-game series...Go O's!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bombs Away!

The Bronx Bombers smashed five home runs and beat the O's 9-6 on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

The game went back-and-forth until the seventh inning, when Chris Ray allowed back-to-back jacks that broke a 6-all tie and gave the Yankees a 9-6 lead...

Starter David Hernandez set a season-high with seven strikeouts, but he walked six batters and allowed three homers through five innings.

Dave Trembley brought in Dennis Sarfate to start the sixth inning with the Birds up 6-5 (Luke Scott launched a monstrous 3-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth to give the O's their first lead since Felix Pie's solo shot in the first put them ahead 1-0). Sarfate allowed a hit and a walk before being pulled for Alberto Castillo, who got two quick outs before being pulled for Chris Ray. (Trembley went a little crazy now that there are fresh arms in the clue why he brought in Ray to face A-Rod (4-for-8 with 2 homers against Ray coming into the game)). A-Rod ripped an RBI singe to tie the game, and Trembley left Ray in to start the seventh...Ray gave up three runs off five hits (two homers) in just 1/3 of an inning...he took the blown save (his 3rd) and the loss (0-3).

The Birds actually outhit the Yankees 13-12, but five of the Yankees' hits were homers, and they scored eight of their nine runs via the long ball. The O's pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts but also walked eight batters...

Game three Wednesday's up to Jason Berken (4-11) to help the Birds avoid the sweep...Go O's!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pettitte Nearly Perfect

Andy Pettitte continued his dominance of the Orioles, and led the visiting New York Yankees to a 5-1 victory on Monday night.

Pettitte took a perfect game into the seventh inning, lost it with two outs after an error, lost the no-hit bid after Nick Markakis singled and eventually lost the shutout after Melvin Mora homered in the eighth. He did, however, win the game, and made the O's look like little-leaguers in the process. Pettitte remains a mystery to the O's offense; he holds a 26-6 record against the Birds...

Jeremy Guthrie (9-13) turned in an impressive performance, but he would have had to be perfect to beat Pettitte on Monday night...Guthrie went six innings and allowed just two runs on four hits but was saddled with the loss...

The Birds and Yankees go at it again on Tuesday night; David Hernandez (4-6) takes the mound...Go O's!

Matusz Magnificent in O's Win

Brian Matusz led the O's to a 5-2 win over the Indians on Sunday afternoon.

Matusz (3-2) went seven strong innings, striking out eight and allowing just one run on four hits and a walk. Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth inning and picked up his seventh save.

Felix Pie hit a 2-run blast in the O's 4-run fourth, and that was more than enough for Matusz...

The Birds managed to split the 4-game set with Cleveland and now take on the Yankees for three games...Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound Monday night...Go O's!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

O's Go Quiety after Rain Delay

A lengthy rain delay washed away any momentum the Orioles had going for them as the Birds fell to Cleveland 5-3 on Saturday night at Camden Yards.

The O's had just taken a 2-1 lead on an RBI triple from Cesar Izturis when the skies opened up and the game was put on hold. When play resumed over 90 minutes later, Adam Jones stranded Izzy on third and the threat was over. That was the fifth inning.

Chris Tillman (1-2) had allowed just one run at that point (a solo shot in the third) and was in position for the win. Chris Ray (0-2) came on in relief and after a lead-off strikeout allowed back-to-back singles before giving up the game-deciding 3-run homer to left. Tillman took a no-decision; Ray was tagged with a blown save and the loss.

Back-up catcher Chad Moeller knocked his second home run of the year, a solo shot in the seventh that brought the O's within one run, but Brian Bass gave the run right back in the eighth, and the O's went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth...

The Birds wrap up the 4-game set on Sunday afternoon; Brian Matusz (2-2) takes the mound...Go O's!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Berken Wins as O's Rout Indians

Jason Berken won consecutive starts for the first time in his career and the O's cruised to a 13-4 win over the Indians on Friday night at Camden Yards.

Berken (4-11) allowed a run in both the first and second innings, but settled down and held the Indians scoreless through the fifth. Berken stranded the bases loaded in the third and fifth innings and struck out five batters in the win.

Matt Wieters went 3-for-4 and knocked in a career-best four runs. Felix Pie continued his hot streak with a monstrous solo homer in the sixth before leaving in the seventh with a leg cramp. Nick Markakis finished the O's assault with a 3-run shot in the seventh. Both Pie and Markakis went 3-for-5 and had 3 RBIs a piece.

Overall, the Birds collected 15 hits, five for extra bases, and went 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Chris Tillman (1-2) takes the mound on Saturday night...Go O's!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Johnson Gives it Away in Ninth

Jim Johnson and the O's were one strike away from a win on Thursday night, but ended up falling 5-4 to the visiting Cleveland Indians.

Starter David Hernandez (4-6) was positioned for the win after allowing two runs through six innings. Chris Ray pitched a scoreless seventh and Danys Baez allowed a run in the eighth before Johnson entered in the ninth with the Birds up 4-3. Johnson got two quick outs before allowing a single on a 3-2 count...the next batter up took the count full before depositing the next pitch over the wall in left field...Johnson (3-5) took the loss and his fourth blown save.

The Birds threatened in the bottom of the ninth against Kerry Wood...with two outs Felix Pie beat out an infield single before Nolan Reimold sent him to third on an infield single of his own. The O's magic ended abruptly after Nick Markakis struck out on a weak check swing...Markakis ended the night 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and six men left on base.

Melvin Mora (5) and Matt Wieters (5) both hit solo shots for the home team...

The Birds send Jason Berken to the mound Friday night...Go O's!

Guthrie Dominates Twins

Jeremy Guthrie won his second straight decision, and the Birds left Minnesota on Wednesday night with a 5-1 win.

Guthrie (9-12) went seven innings and allowed just one run off six hits while walking none and fanning five. He managed to do it without allowing a home run...way to go, Guth! The bullpen shut the Twins down through the final two frames...Danys Baez and Jim Johnson held Minnesota hitless while allowing one walk and striking out two.

Guthrie got all the run support he would need in the first inning, when a throwing error allowed two runs to cross the plate to give the Birds an early lead. Felix Pie launched a solo shot to dead center in the fourth, and the Birds tacked another run on in the sixth with an RBI double off the bat of former Twin Chad Moeller. Moeller finished the game going 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs. Guthrie allowed just one extra base hit (an RBI double) on the night and left after throwing 112 pitches with a three-run lead...the Birds tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with a bases-loaded walk.

The Birds return to Camden Yards and face the Cleveland Indians for a 4-game set beginning Thursday night...David Hernandez (4-6) takes the mound in game one...Go O's!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bass, Bullpen Blow It

The Birds blew an early lead and dropped their second straight to the Twins on Tuesday, falling 7-6.

Wow...glad I slept through this game. The O's led until the sixth inning and allowed the winning run to cross the plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth...ouch.

Starter Brian Matusz didn't have his best stuff but left in the sixth inning with a 3-run lead. Brian Bass came on in relief and was an avid O's fan, it's common knowledge that Bass only produces in blowouts, never in a close game...just wondering why he was brought in?? Bass allowed three runs without recording a single out...

Kam Mickolio, previously untouchable, allowed the game winning single in the ninth...honestly, who believed the man would finish the season with a zero ERA?

One game left in Minnesota before the Birds head back home to Baltimore...Jeremy Guthrie gets the nod in Wednesday's finale...Go O's!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tough Loss for Tillman

The Birds dropped game one against the Minnesota Twins on Monday night, falling 2-1.

Rookie starter Chris Tillman (1-2) took the loss though he allowed just two runs over 5 1/3 innings. Tillman allowed six hits and three walks while striking out one. The bullpen didn't allow a hit through the final frames...

Brian Roberts RBI double in the third gave the O's an early 1-0 lead, but it just wasn't enough...the Birds managed just four hits in the game.

The Birds look for the offense to return on Tuesday night...Brian Matusz (2-2) takes the mound...Go O's!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Berken Wins as O's take Series in Chicago

The Orioles leave Chicago with a series win after beating the White Sox 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.

It was the first series victory for the Birds since the All-Star break...

Jason Berken picked up his third win of the season, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while walking two and fanning two. Jim Johnson allowed a run in the ninth but picked up his sixth save...

Brian Roberts didn't homer but went 3-for-4 with a double (his 47th of the year). Nolan Reimold slapped his 12th homer of the season in the third, and Felix Pie went deep in the fifth...

The Birds head to Minnesota to take on the Twins...Chris Tillman (1-1) starts Monday...Go O's!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

O's Fall in Chicago

The Birds' 2-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night as they lost to the White Sox 4-1.

Starter David Hernandez (4-6) took the loss after allowing three runs in just four innings. Hernandez was pulled with his pitch count at 96...

The Birds managed just four hits, and their lone run scored on a wild pitch...Nolan Reimold's triple was the teams' only extra base hit...the Birds drew eight walks but couldn't capitalize...the team went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base.

Jason Berken (2-11) takes the mound Sunday afternoon...Go O's!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Roberts Strikes Again (and Again)

The O's won consecutive games for the first time this month on Friday night when they defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-1.

Brian Roberts gave the Birds the lead with a solo shot in the third inning, and then broke a 1-1 tie with a 2-run blast in the eighth. It was just the second time Roberts hit two homers in a game in his career, and was Roberts' fifth long ball in the past six games...

Jeremy Guthrie (8-12) took the win after allowing just one run (a homer) through seven innings...Danys Baez and Chris Ray shut down the Sox through the final frames.

David Hernandez (4-5) looks to even his record on Saturday night...Go O's!

O' Yeah...
  • After Nick Markakis' RBI triple in the eighth inning, an interesting statistic popped up...the O's have 75 extra-base hits in August (which leads the A.L.) but are just 6-14 for the month...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Roberts, Reimold Power O's Past Rays

The Birds snapped a five-game losing streak, and left St. Petersburg with a win after defeating the Rays 8-7 on Thursday night.

Brian Matusz (2-2) got the win after allowing four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings...Matusz walked none and struck out seven in the victory...

Brian Roberts drilled a grand slam of former Oriole Lance Cormier in the sixth, and Nolan Reimold smacked a 3-run shot in the seventh to give the O's the run support they eventually needed...Danys Baez allowed three runs in the eighth to make it close, but Jim Johnson held the Rays scoreless and picked up his fifth save of the season.

The Birds head to Chicago to take on the White Sox this weekend; Jeremy Guthrie starts Friday night...Go O's!

O's Drop Fifth Straight

The Birds lost again on Wednesday, falling to the Rays 3-1.

Every run in the game came off a solo homer; unfortunately, only one came off the bat of an Oriole.

Chris Tillman (1-1) was solid, going six innings and allowing three runs off seven hits...

Brian Roberts hit his ML-leading 46th double in the third and scored the O's only run after launching a solo shot in the eighth. Roberts also grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the fifth, ending the O's only real scoring threat of the game.

I'll have to research this, but I'll post it anyway (for now)...the post-game show stated that 18 of the last 19 runs the Birds have allowed have come via the home run ball...if this is true, I'm speechless.

Brian Matusz takes the ball in the series finale Thursday night...Go O's!

O' Yeah...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When Will They Win Again???

The Birds fell to the Rays 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Third straight loss.

23 games under .500.

No end in sight.

Go O's.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

O's Lose Again

It just keeps getting worse. The O's lost again on Monday night, falling to the Angels 8-5 and dropping to a season-high (or is that low?) 22 games under .500.

Starter David Hernandez (4-5) gave up three homers and five runs in 5 1/3 innings and took the loss. Cla Meredith gave up a 3-run jack in relief, and the O's head out on the road after losing five of seven at doesn't look good.

The O's managed two long balls of their own, a solo shot by Nick Markakis in the sixth and a 2-run bomb from Melvin Mora in the ninth, but once again it just wasn't enough. Markakis also knocked in a run with a double in the third and leads the team with 84 RBIs.

The Birds now head to Tampa to face the Rays...Jason Berken (2-10) gets the start...Go O's!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Huff Heads to Detroit...

Aubrey Huff is a Detroit Tiger. The Birds received a right-handed minor league pitching prospect in exchange for the slugger...Go O's!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bullpen Blows Up in Extras

The O's rallied in the ninth before allowing nine runs in the 13th inning, falling 17-8 to the Angels on Sunday afternoon.

Don't call it a comeback.

The O's trailed multiple times throughout the game, but managed to keep it close and eventually tied the game at eight a piece in the bottom of the ninth inning...Brian Roberts led off with a double, stole third (he's now 13-for-13 stealing third for the season) and crossed the plate on Adam Jones' sac fly.

The game remained knotted until the 13th inning, when Brian Bass and Matt Albers imploded and allowed the Angels to score nine runs (Albers was demoted to Triple-A the following day).

After the ninth inning, I had a sad feeling that the Birds were going to lose this one...they allowed the Angels to load the bases in the 11th and 12th innings but escaped without a run scoring thanks to the double play ball. You can't allow a team too many bases-loaded opportunities before they make you pay, and after the Angels loaded the bases with none out in the 13th, they hit everything the Birds threw at them. Wow...nine runs in one inning...more than they scored in the first 12...sad.

The Birds can split the 4-game series on Monday night...David Hernandez takes the mound...Go O's!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

O's Offense Stalls in Loss

The Orioles couldn't get anything going Saturday night at Camden Yards, falling to the Angels 5-1.

After Friday night's offensive outburst, I was hoping the O's had found their swing and were about to start a winning streak...but we've all seen this before. Just 24 hours after scoring a season-high 16 runs, the exact same lineup managed to score just's remarkable, but predictable.

Rookie starter Brian Matusz pitched well, but a five-run third inning was too much to overcome. Matusz (1-2) lasted 5 2/3 and recorded a season-high seven strikeouts, but walked three and allowed all five runs (four earned).

Adam Jones hit a triple in the bottom of the third, followed by Nick Markakis' RBI double...Markakis has now reached base safely in 35 straight games, a career-best.

Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound Sunday afternoon...Go O's!

Pie Hits for Cycle as O's Rout Angels

Felix Pie became just the fourth Oriole to hit for the cycle as the Birds pounded the visiting Angels 16-6 on Friday night.

In the top of the first, Pie made a throwing error that gave the Angels the first run of the game...Pie then doubled in his first at bat in the bottom of the inning, launched a solo homer in the third, beat out an infield single to start off the seventh and later in the same inning tripled in two more runs. Pie finished the night 4-for-5 with four RBIs...needless to say, the error in the first was quickly forgiven.

Chris Tillman picked up his first win in the Majors; Tillman went 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) off seven hits and two walks while striking out three.

The offense backed him up early...the Birds scored six runs in the first inning and put the game away with a seven-run seventh. The O's set season highs in runs scored (16) and hits (19). Every Oriole had at least one hit and scored at least once; Nolan Reimold was the only starter without an RBI...

The Birds hit nine doubles on the night (Brian Roberts had three of them), setting a season-high record in the American League and tying a franchise record...the 12 extra-base hits also tied a franchise record...the O's went 11-for-22 with runners in scoring position.

The O's and Angels go at it again on Saturday night...Brian Matusz (1-1) is slated to start...Go O's!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Come September, the O's Rotation will Consist of Six

Not a bad idea, in my opinion...we've got a lot of young kids out there; let's not push them too hard, too soon...especially since we have nothing to prove at this point in the season. I don't agree with Dave Trembley and the management babying our players, but this makes sense...Go O's!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hernandez Shines, Berken Falters

David Hernandez pitched the Birds to a much-needed 3-2 victory on Tuesday night before Jason Berken struggled in a 6-3 loss Wednesday afternoon.

Hernandez (4-4) went 6 2/3 and allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six...the bullpen held the A's to just one hit the rest of the way and Jim Johnson picked up the save.

Berken pitched a decent game but (as usual) was hurt by one bad inning...he allowed four runs in the fourth and the bats just couldn't pick him up...Berken lasted just five innings and the bullpen allowed two late runs to cross the plate. The offensive highlight of the game: Aubrey Huff's 2-run blast in the sixth...

The O's are off Thursday before beginning a 4-game set against the Angels Friday evening...Chris Tillman looks for his first win of the season...Go O's!

Monday, August 10, 2009

O's Homecoming a Night to Forget

The Birds returned home to Camden Yards on Monday night, and were nearly shut out by the visiting Oakland A's 9-1.

Statistically, the A's are one of the worst-hitting teams in all of baseball, but don't tell O's "ace" Jeremy Guthrie that. Guthrie (7-12) didn't allow a home run (gasp!) but allowed 11 hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings, and left the game with a staggering 107 pitch count. Cla Meredith allowed another four runs to cross the plate in the ninth, adding to to embarrassment.

The offense? Once again, it was non-existent. The Birds didn't get on the board until Luke Scott blasted a solo shot to left in the bottom of the ninth. The O's couldn't get anything going, and ended up going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Ouch. It looked as if the Birds had a chance to get back in the game in the seventh...with runners on second and third with none out, the heavens opened up (is God against the O's?) and the game was delayed for just under an resumed, and the inning ended with runners on second and third...three out.

The series resumes Tuesday night...David Hernandez looks to put the Birds back in the win column...Go O's!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Halladay Slays O's

The Birds will come limping home after getting beat 7-3 by Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.

Brian Matusz, making just his second career start, couldn't make it out of the third inning...Matusz (1-1) gave up five runs on seven hits (three were home runs) in 2 2/3 innings...he walked two and struck out one.

The offense tagged Halladay for two runs in the first thee innings and added another run in the sixth, but that was all the scoring they could manage against Toronto's ace.

The Birds return home and square-off against the Oakland A's on Monday night at Camden Yards...Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound...Go O's!

Tillman Impressive but Birds fall in Extras

The O's fell to the Jays 3-2 in ten innings Saturday afternoon.

Chris Tillman pitched the best game of his young career, and allowed just two runs off four hits through 6 2/3 innings while walking three and fanning four. In his third start for the Birds, Tillman pitched into the seventh for the first time but took his third straight no-decision.

Tillman allowed a 2-run blast in the second inning but blanked the Jays after that...the O's offense finally got on the board with a 2-run fourth...Aubrey Huff and Nolan Reimold hit back-to-back doubles and each picked up an RBI. That was all the scoring the Birds batters could manage though; they were unable to take advantage of opportunities through the final frames, and left a man on second with none out in both the ninth and tenth innings. Overall, the O's went just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left ten men on base...

Brian Roberts fouled-off a ball on his shin in the first inning and was taken out of the game in the third...his defense was sorely missed in the bottom of the tenth, when Ty Wigginton's lack of range cost the O's the game...Wigginton wasn't charged with an error but was unable to make two some-what routine plays, and the Jays took advantage...

The Birds and Jays go at it again Sunday afternoon...Brian Matusz (1-0) takes on Toronto's ace Roy Halladay (11-5)...Go O's!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Berken Picks Up a Win!

The Orioles edged the Blue Jays 7-5 Friday night at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

It looked like Jason Berken (2-9) was in for another rough start...Berken breezed through the first but gave up deep back-to-back solo homers in the second inning to give the Jays a 2-0 lead. Meanwhile, the O's bats were silent...the Birds were hitless through four innings...Berken was well on his way to his tenth straight loss.

Berken settled down though, allowing just one more run to score in the fifth inning. His final line: six innings, five hits, three earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts. The bats sprung to life in the sixth inning; the O's scored four times and added another three runs in the eighth.

Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save, his third of the season and first since taking over the closing role...

The Birds send Chris Tillman to the mound Saturday afternoon...Go O's!!

Zaun is Gone

O's backup catcher Gregg Zaun is now a Tampa Bay Ray...Chad Moeller was called up from Triple-A to replace him...hopefully this means more playing time for Matt Wieters! Go O's!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tigers Take Two

The Detroit Tigers edged the O's 4-2 on Wednesday night, and then came right back to beat the Birds 7-3 on Thursday afternoon.

It's been a rough year for the Birds, especially on the road. The O's are now 17-37 away from Camden Yards, and have just dropped three of four to Detroit. They'll need to sweep the Blue Jays in Toronto this weekend to come home with a winning road trip...

On Wednesday night, Jeremy Guthrie (7-11) was solid but took the loss...he allowed another homer, a solo shot, and still leads the AL with 27 round-trippers surrendered. Guthrie pitched into the eighth and was charged with three runs off six hits...he walked two and struck out three. The offense was non-existent...the Birds were blanked until the ninth inning, when Adam Jones launched his team-leading 19th homer to cut the deficit in half...the O's brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the form of Gregg Zaun, but Zaun struck out looking to end the game.

On Thursday afternoon, O's starter David Hernandez (4-3) ran into trouble early...Hernandez let the Tigers bat around in the second inning, and was pulled after allowing five runs in just three innings. The O's bats didn't help the situation...the Birds were held hitless until the fifth inning...both teams went just 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, but the Tigers belted 13 hits on the day, and bunched them together when they needed to.

Jason Berken (1-9) takes the mound Friday night in Toronto...Go O's!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Matusz Magnificent in MLB Debut

The Birds thrashed the Detroit Tigers, 8-2, on Tuesday night.

It was a complete team effort, but the night clearly belonged to the 22-year-old lefty Brian Matusz, making his first start in the Majors. Matusz was absolutely brilliant, going five strong innings and allowing just one run off six hits while walking three and fanning five. Matusz struck out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners on second and third...way to go out on a high note!

The defense helped him out...Cesar Izturis made two spectacular plays at short and even slapped a solo shot in the fifth inning, his first long ball since Opening Day! Izzy went 3-for-4 with three RBIs...

Nick Markakis also went deep, and finished the game with three RBIs as well...

The bullpen was solid...Chris Ray looked like his old self, going 2 2/3 and allowing just one hit while striking out two...Matt Albers allowed a run in the ninth but the game was all but over...

The O's snapped a four-game losing streak and take on the Tigers tomorrow night...Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound...Go O's!!

O' Yeah...
  • Adam Jones batted cleanup for the first time in his career and went 0-for-5 with a strikeout
  • Matusz's debut came 18 years to the day of a former Orioles great...Mike Mussina
  • The O's tied a record for the most starters (5) to win their debuts in the same season

Monday, August 3, 2009

O's Falling to New Lows

The Birds struck first but the Tigers drew the last blood, beating the O's 6-5 in Detroit on Monday night.

Brian Roberts led-off with a solo home run, and the O's scored five runs on six hits in the first inning off Detroit's Justin Verlander. After that...nothing.

Chris Tillman allowed three runs in the bottom of the first, and the Tigers slowly crept back. Tillman allowed five runs through six innings on seven hits, while walking three and fanning five. Cla Meredith pitched a scoreless seventh, and Danys Baez struck out the side in the eighth before giving up a walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Obviously, I'm absolutely disgusted with the outcome. The Birds set a new low, falling 17 games below .500. I just can't fathom how a team can rough-up a premier starter in the first and look so helpless throughout the rest of the game. It's just ridiculous...

Brian Matusz makes his MLB debut for the Birds Tuesday night...Go O's!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

O's and Sox in a Classic Pitching Duel...

Ha! Just joking around...the O's were humiliated on Sunday after being drubbed by Boston home. Swept again. Nice job.

I was hosting a cookout at my new house...only saw a few plays, and updated the guests on the embarrassing.

I may post more before work tomorrow...probably not, though.

Sox Shut Down O's

The Red Sox own the Orioles, and continued their dominance with a 4-0 shut out on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Camden Yards.

David Hernandez wasn't able to stop the bleeding this time...Hernandez left after allowing two runs through 4 2/3 innings, and reliever Mak Hendrickson allowed the final two runs in the fifth.

Jason Berken (1-8) takes the mound in the finale on Sunday afternoon...Go O's!

O' Yeah...
  • This was the seventh time the Birds have been blanked this season
  • It looks like the O's will call up heralded prospect Brian Matusz to start Tuesday in Detroit

Friday, July 31, 2009

Guthrie = Home Run King

The Birds battled back but eventually fell to the Red Sox 6-5 on Friday night at Camden Yards.

Jeremy Guthrie (7-10) just can't figure it out this season...Guthrie gave up another three homers on Friday night, increasing his season total to 26, the most homers allowed by an AL pitcher...

Guthrie put the O's in an early hole (David Ortiz slapped a 2-run tater in the second), but it looked like the Birds would climb out of it...Nolan Reimold tied the game up with a 2-run shot in the third inning before Guthrie allowed a solo shot in the fifth. Aubrey Huff slapped a 2-run bomb to straight center field in the was Huff's 200th career home run and gave the O's a 5-4 lead.

Guthrie came on to pitch the seventh and gave up ANOTHER 2-run homer, this time to Kevin Youkilis, and the offense sputtered after that...the Birds showed some life, but lost to Boston once again...

David Hernandez (3-2) beat Boston at Fenway in his last start...let's hope he can do it again...Go O's!

Bergesen Headed to the DL

It's official...Brad Bergesen was placed on the 15-day DL. The O's have called up Chris Ray and Kam Mickolio to fill Bergesen and Sherrill's roster spots...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bergesen Brilliant, Sherrill Traded

O's win 7-3, Bergesen was hit in the shin but X-rays were negative, Sherrill was shipped to the Dodgers...gotta run to work but I'll have the full scoop later tonight!

Wow...what a day for the Birds.

As stated before, the O's won their second straight game and managed to break even against the Royals. Brad Bergesen was stellar, going seven innings and allowing just one run off seven hits while walking two and fanning six. The last out of the seventh was scary...Bergesen took a shot off his shin and fell to the ground before congratulating Matt Wieters and hobbling into the dugout. X-rays were negative, and we all should pray that Brad is on the mound for his next scheduled start...

The O's offense didn't disappoint, either. Ty Wigginton gave the Birds an early lead with a solo shot in the second inning, and the Birds finally found some clutch hitting in the later innings...the final six runs all came with two outs. Aubrey Huff may be back...Huff went 2-for-4 with a 3-run double in the fifth.

O's closer George Sherrill is headed to Manny-Wood. I'll definitely miss "Mr. Excitement," but my heart will probably be better off. The Birds picked up a very promising third base prospect as well as Dave Johnson's son, another pitcher.

I've read nearly every comment before posting this, and I'm certainly for this trade. There are many O's "fans" that think this is the end of the world, but it makes perfect sense to me. I have no reason to doubt Mr. Andy MacPhail's moves at this point...and as far as a closer goes, the O's have Danys Baez (for now), Jim Johnson and (very soon) a healthy Chris Ray...

I wish Sherrill the best of luck, and if and when the Dodgers make the playoffs, I can't wait to cheer for the Sherriff. Good luck, George.

Back to the present...the Birds are riding high and need to carry the momentum into Friday night...Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound against John Smoltz and the Boston Red Sox...Go O's!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birds Bats Back Tillman in Debut

The O's rallied in the late innings to defeat the Royals 7-3 on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

Chris Tillman's Major League debut didn't go exactly as planned, but the Birds managed to keep him out of the loss column with some offensive production after he was pulled. Tillman went just 4 2/3 and was charged with three runs on seven hits...all three runs came via the home run ball, but the damage was minimal as all three homers were solo shots. Tillman walked just one and struck out two in his first start as an Oriole.

Adam Jones struck again in the first inning, giving Tillman an early cushion. Jones slammed a 2-run dinger over the wall in left to give the Birds a 2-0 lead. Jones has now hit three homers in the past three games, all 2-run shots, and all coming in the first inning...

Tillman let the Royals tie it up with two homers in the second, and they took the lead after a homer in the fourth. He left in the fifth as the pitcher of record, but the O's weren't about to let him take the loss...the bats came to life in the seventh inning: Jones knocked in a run with a double and Nick Markakis followed with a 2-run single to give the Birds the lead. The O's scored two more in the eighth...Aubrey Huff snapped out of his slump long enough to deliver an RBI single to put the Birds up 7-3.

The O's one through four hitters went 8-for-18 and knocked in all seven runs (they also scored five of them). Markakis and Jones finished the day with three RBIs a piece, and Brian Roberts crossed the plate three times.

Still, the night belonged to Tillman...he left the game to nearly 20 thousand fans on their feet, congratulating the prized prospect and awarding him with a standing "O!"...I certainly can't wait until he takes the mound again.

The Birds can split the series with Kansas City Thursday afternoon...another young gun, Brad Bergesen, is scheduled to take the mound...Go O's!!

O' Yeah...
  • Dave Trembley elected to sit Matt Wieters (who had gone 4-for-5 the night before) in favor of Gregg Zaun, citing Zaun's experience as the reason for the most fans, I was a bit confused (Wieters has caught Tillman in the past, and is the starting catcher) but it worked out in the end...otherwise, Trembley would be hearing it right about now

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

O's Have a Case of the Royal Blues

It took eleven innings, but the O's eventually fell to the visiting Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Tuesday night.

It looked like the game would be a slug-fest from the get-go...O's starter Jason Berken allowed a 2-run blast in the first inning to give the Royals the early lead, but Adam Jones answered immediately in the bottom of the inning with a 2-run bomb of his own...the game was knotted at two and Jones hit his second homer in as many games.

After that, both starters found their groove and the game changed into a pitching duel...Berken came out on top, and was primed for just his second win of the season. He left after six innings, allowing just the two runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He was pulled after just 88 pitches (58 for strikes)...

The O's bullpen couldn't hold on...Jim Johnson (if this REALLY IS the same J.J. from last season) allowed the Royals to tie it up in the eighth (a solo shot), and Danys Baez allowed the winning run to cross the plate in the 11th.

The Birds squandered multiple scoring opportunities, and once again took a loss after out-hitting the opposition (11-10). The O's went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base.

The Royals came to Baltimore losing 11 of 12 games, but seem to have hit their stride facing the O's at Camden Yards...or, more than likely, the Orioles just can't get the big play, the big hit, the big win when they need to...the O's are now 2-9 since the break.

Here's where it gets FUN again: Chris Tillman makes his Major League debut on Wednesday or lose, I'm just thrilled to see another pitching prospect take the mound! So far, I've been thoroughly impressed with Brad Bergesen and David Hernandez, and I STILL like Berken, abysmal record or not.

So here we go...welcome Chris Tillman with a big standing O!!!!

O' Yeah...
  • In all the excitement, I almost forgot to congratulate Matt Wieters for his first 4-hit game in the Majors

Monday, July 27, 2009

Royals Slap O's Around in Opener

The Birds returned home after a brutal road trip, and promptly lost to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night, 5-3.

At least Royals' starter (and former Oriole) Bruce Chen (0-5) didn't get the would have been his first Major League victory in five years.

Rich Hill, possibly making his last start as an Oriole, lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits and three walks. The bullpen pitched a decent game, but two late runs were enough to sink the Birds. Overall, the Royals scored five runs on 14 hits...

The O's kept the game close; Adam Jones ripped a solo shot to center field in the first and then knocked in the O's second run the next inning when he was hit by a pitch with the bases jammed. Aubrey Huff struck out swinging to end the threat...

The O's tied the game at three in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded single off the bat of Matt Wieters...Huff scored but Nolan Reimold was tagged out at the plate to end the inning...

The Birds send Jason Berken (1-8) to the mound Tuesday night...Go O's!

Hernandez, Markakis Step Up as O's Snap Streak

The curse is over! The Birds won in Boston for the first time this season, beating the Sox 6-2 on Sunday afternoon.

David Hernandez was lights-out for most of the game, and departed after seven strong innings in which he allowed just one run on five hits. Hernandez (3-2) struck out two and didn't issue a walk in the win.

The offense banged-out ten hits for the second consecutive game, but this time they converted those hits into runs. Nick Markakis, batting clean-up for the first time this season, responded by going 2-for-4 with a double, a solo homer and three RBIs.

The win marked the first for the O's at Fenway since July of 2008; they had dropped 11 straight since then...

The Birds return home after a disastrous road trip in which the team went 2-7 (1-5 against AL East opponents). Rich Hill (3-3) is scheduled to start Monday night at Camden Yards...he faces former Oriole Bruce Chen (sporting an 0-5 record). It's time to start a winning streak...Go O's!!