Tuesday 4/2

Its first pitch as Daniel Cabrera starts with a ball (surprise), not doing a live blog but wanted to mention a few things O’s related and MLB related.

-I expected the thinness of the Mets rotation to bite them this season, but not on the season day of the season. I was watching the Mets and Marlins and saw Pedro Martinez come up lame with his pulled or popped hammy. Heard one of the Mets beat writers on XM with Charlie Steiner today say it’d probably be Memorial Day before he’s back. That’s going to hurt. Joe Blanton would help them out, but they emptied out their farm system for Santana and what they have left, they’d like to keep. They might have to do a garbage signining and sign Jeff Weaver or someone like that. What’s Rodrigo Lopez doing right now? Seriously. What is he doing?

-Daniel Cabrera went from 6’7 to 6’9 before last season. He’s 27, I just turned 27 and I haven’t grown in years. What’s up with that? Delayed puberty? Anyway, he just issued his first walk of the season. The more things change…the more they stay the same.

-Oh man. Cliff Floyd just hit a 3 run homer off Cabrera. Adam Jones made his best effort to catch it, but it was a hit a hair too hard. Welcome back Cabrera.

-Sam Perlozzo (and Erik Bedard) makes his return to Baltimore this weekend. I wanted Perlozzo to succeed as manager because he seemed to really love the team and came across as a good guy. The problem was that he was given a lousy roster and couldn’t manage well. The bullpen was misused, the love of the bunt, didn’t platoon well, etc. All that aside, things didn’t work. Glad he landed on his feet and got another coaching job.

-Brian Roberts leads off with a solo homer. He’s starting the year on fire. Next play Melvin Mora hits a liner and hap-hazardly trots to first base, stopping midway between to the boos of the crowd. Does he even care anymore?

-Gary Thorne has said he’s never seen ‘American Idol.’ Figures, I always thought he was more of a WWE Smackdown kind of guy anyway.

-Pat Sajak threw out the first pitch and stopped by the booth. Didn’t know he was a fan. Always find stuff like this out. Gary Thorne told him that he didn’t watch his show either because that was when he watches ‘My Super Sweet 16.’

 Pat left a puzzle to solve.

                       M_lvi_   Mo_a   ha_   _o  hu_ _ le

Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle.

 I’m starting already, bench Mora. Start Scott Moore.

-Cabrera walks another. Trembley’s talking to Thorne and Palmer and said its time to get Moore and Fahey some playing time. Moore, definately….Fahey…well, its a push with him and Luis Hernandez. So why not. They had said earlier that Trembley wants Cabrera pitch to speed things up on the mound, but I’m confusing Cabrera with Steve Trachsel at this point.

-3rd walk for Cabrera in the 3 inning. Trembley’s talking about needing to get the bullpen some work tonight. Don’t worry, Dave, they’re going to get it tonight. 55 pitches through 2.1 innings. I’m through with Daniel Cabrera

-Intentionally walking Cliff Floyd to load the bases, that makes it 4 for the night. But I’m expecting him to strike out Floyd since he’s actually trying to walk him.

-Adam Jones gets his first hit as an O and an offensive rally ensues. Luis Hernandez walks. Melvin Mora and Nick Markakis both drive in a run apiece and now we’re tied up at 3-3.

30-3

The Rangers embarrassed the O’s in the first of two games tonight. 30 unanswered runs. It’s a reccord night…literally. It’s been 110 years since this happened. Great….ugh.

Your list of offenders

Pitcher IP H R ER BB K HR NP-ST ERA

Cabrera                                     5        9        6        6         1        4         2       96-62   5.10

Burres                     a meager 0.2      8       8         8         1        1         1        34-22   5.24

Bell                                            1.1       5       7         7         3        1         1        54-32   6.14

Shuey                                        2.0       7      9         9         3        5         2        68-41   9.49

bloody boxscore stats from SI.com

I think its time to cut the cord on Shuey and probably Bell…but especially Shuey 0r as I now call him, Paul SHOOOO-WEEE! As in Shooo-wee that stinks. 68 pitches in 2 innings and 9 runs. 2 HRs! The funny irony of it is that 5 of his 6 outs were strikeouts. It’s time for this year’s Jim Brower, Mike Dejean, Steve Kline, Jon Halama to go.

Not a good night.

Chris Ray

If Jeremy Guthrie goes Carlos Zambrano on Chris Ray, I’m going to give him a pass. Yesterday was at least the second time, there may be a third in there, Ray’s cost him a win.

I’m not going to blame Sam for this loss. It’s easy to with Guthrie being at only 88 pitches after 8 innings. But Guthrie didn’t look great in the 8th. There was a couple of hits and a run, so Sam gets a pass on this one.

You’re supposed to be able to go to your closer in the 9th with a one run lead and get the win. Well, Chris Ray hasn’t had much luck lately. There’s no excuses that “well, there were men on base when he came in” or any lines like that. Ray’s shown a tendency to give runs (especially homeruns) in the bottom of the ninth.

It’s always those close ones too. Boston, New York, and the Angels are the three blown saves that come to mind. If your closer can’t seal the deal against the big boys, then its time to start looking around at other ninth inning solutions. I want to give Ray the benefit of the doubt, but honestly he hasn’t looked all that great this season. He gives up a hit or two, a walk, and squirms his way out of it. That comes up and bites you more other than not and it bit him again.

This isn’t the same deal in Boston, in my opinion. Sam went with his closer in a save situation and he couldn’t do his job. If Sam’s to blame for anything in this situation, it was assuming that Chris Ray could do his job.

I guess we’ll get them next time.

Mariners and Rockies up next, let’s get back to .500!

@#$#*&##@!@*#!!!!!

Man, I hate this team sometimes.

Today is one of team.

Jeremy Guthrie, thanks for your 8.1 innings of shutout ball. To bad our 100 trillion dollar bullpen can’t get 2 dang outs. I’m staring right at you Chris Ray.

Sam Perlozzo, you haven’t earned much love either by yanking Guthrie out after Ramon dropped the pop-out. But this one is mainly on the shoulders of Baez and especially especially especially Chris Ray.

2 outs.

2 simple measly outs.

And we can’t get them.

I feel sick to my stomach.

Whadda I say?

Last week at this time the O’s had just swept the Blue Jays and were a red hot winning 8 of 9. This past week?

Monday: Loss to Oakland 6-5

Tuesday: Loss to Oakland 5-2

Wednesday: Loss to Boston 6-1

Thursday: Loss to Boston 5-2

Friday: Loss to Cleveland 5-4

Saturday: Win over Cleveland 7-4

Today: Loss to Cleveland 6-1

Was our early success due to feeding on the likes of the Royals, Devil Rays, and an injured Bluejays team? Were these losses just a collection of bad breaks? Should we be concerned about the offense?

Some lowlights

  • Wasting a good performance by Daniel Cabrera Wednesday against the Red Sox by only salvaging 5 hits.
  • Chris Ray giving up a grand slam to Wily Mo Pena while holding a 2-1 lead late in the game. Ray hasn’t had a bad season, but two bad games where he’s given up grand slam blown saves. It stinks, but I’m not ready to give up on him. It’s early and the kid’s young. If it becomes a trend, we’ve got several guys who can close (Baez and Parrish).
  • Jaret Wright only going 3 innings and getting owned over 8.1 by Faustio Carmona. Wright….I don’t know if we’re going to see a lot him this season.
  • Jay Gibbons struggling something fierce, batting a meak 194. with a paultry .237. I don’t think it’s getting much better since he’s glued to bench with Millar outplaying him. It’s hard to get momentum when there’s little chance to play.
  • Bedard has been spotty. Monday he went only 4.2 innings against the A’s, 5 runs, 2 BB, and 6 K’s. Last night,  6 innings of work,  4 runs, 2 BB and 11 K’s. I think he’s coming around, but he’s had a round start as evidenced by his 6.09 ERA.
  • The offense is struggling.
  • The defense has been, shall we say…bad.

Take Faith….here’s a little bit of positives

  • The games have been close. We’re just finding ways to lose.
  • The bullpen has still been solid.
  • Loewen went six innings and looked fine, he just needs to cut those walks down.
  • Daniel Cabrera has cut down on his walks.
  • Ramon’s back and is making a difference.
  • Miguel Tejada has a robust .340 average.

It’s now on to Detriot for 3 against the Tigers, then back home for 4 against the Indians and then 3 against the Devil Rays. Hopefully we can get the offensive ills righted and get back to winning these one and two runs games.

I guess it could be worse….we could be the Yankees.

Notes

The O’s blew two games they should have won against Oakland. Bad defense, an impromptu bunt by Melvin Mora, and more bad defense resulted in a two game sweep.

At least Jeremy Guthrie pitched great yesterday, and hey, Aubrey Huff had a nice series. Glad to see that since here lately I’ve been dreading his at bats. Here’s hoping I see more of the Huff who played these last two games and not the one with the bat glued to his shoulder.

Anyways:

Scott Williamson is Dl’ed/. It’s only 15 days, and says that he should be fine in only 3 or 4. With Williamson’s medical history, this was the smart move. In Williamson’s absence, Jim Johnson will take his place. Johnson is 0-1 this season with a 2.81 ERA. I would have preferred Jon Knott myself.

Ramon Hernandez and Jaret Wright played last night for the Keys on rehab assignments. So far, it looks like they’ll both be back soon.

Losses like this…

Really rips out your heart.

I’m going to question Perlozzo here.

-Why take out Huff? I know the logic, but I don’t like it. Freddie Bynum was only there to run and it didn’t matter. The game went on and all though Gomez, who took Bynum’s spot after that inning, never got an at bat, he was one player away. Huff’s bat would have been a lot more important than Bynum’s speed.

– The use of relievers. The bullpen was good tonight, all the bullpens and starters were good tonight….except for that one Kurt Birkins pitch. I didn’t like the fact that every reliever was on a one inning leash.

Here’s the bullpen’s pitch count. 

Parrish 14-9, Bradford 9-7, Baez 19-9, Ray 15-13, Walker 13-9, Williamson 9-7, Birkins 32-20.

Would it have been unreasonable to think that some of them to pitch 2 innings?

Here’s the Tigers’ bullpen pitch count

Rodney 32-19, Ledezma 28-21, Seay 14-10, Jones 4-2

Rodeny and Ledezma both pitch 2 innings a piece.

I’m not wanting to get an anti-Sam stance this season, but games like tonight make it tempting. Leyland used his bullpen smarter and he had to trust let them go more than a single inning. I was hoping this season he would have some improved in game strategy with that new bullpen. Well, the new bullpen did it’s job…but it was mismanaged and one of the guys from last season did his thing.

It’s disheartening because we’re seeing a string of quality starts. In fact, the only bad start we’ve had was Jaret Wright in Minnesota and we’re not seeing wins from them due to small daming things.

On the topic of Jaret Wright, no new news. I felt bad for the guy because he looked pretty good out there last night. The first two innings, he had me worried. Once he settled down though, he solid. Here’s hoping the injury is nothing 15 days can’t fix.

On a good note, the Orioles have KC for 4 games and 3 with Tampa next. Here’s hoping we see some offense and some improved management.