Merry Christmas

Just like the rest of you, it’s been a busy month for me….factor that in with the lack of news and that’s why I’ve been absent. Anyway, I’ll be back in a day or two with posting.

So until then a few tips

-Understand that cussing at traffic does not magically make them speed up. I waited until the last minute to get a few gifts. I was out today on Woodruff, the busiest road in Greenville and it was getting ugly. I was mad at the slow flow of traffic, but suprisingly all the words I had to tell the cars in front of me to speed up and the lights to turn green didn’t work. It probably won’t work for you.

-Usually gift buying on clearance racks are bad ideas. I went to buy a few gift cards at some clothing stores today and the clearance racks are magnets for me. There’s usually something good on there….but usually one good thing. What you might like, might not work for others. Members Only jackets are bad ideas…I saw a woman today buy 2 of them. She told the cashier they were coming back in style. I didn’t want to tell her, but they were never in style. Hey, I found some good hoodies for 5 bucks, teams that play nowhere near here (Angels, Islanders, Mariners) but that was the only good thing on the rack, unless visions of 4XL sweater vests, baby blue blazers with white stripes, or sweat pants dance in your heads.

-Don’t buy stuff on your Christmas list. My Dad does this….he makes a list and then buys stuff on it. I got the call today that he bought something today that I bought him already. I’m tempted on my way there to buy several desk fountains out of spite tonight.

-Drink plenty of egg nog. It’s only around two months a year and it mixes well.

-Feliz Navidad is a wretched song.

Anyway, enjoy the holidays and I’ll be back in a day or two.

Wins make me happy

It’s surprising to say…but the Orioles have been…ENJOYABLE to watch lately. The offense has showed up. The defense has been stellar (1st in the AL). The stolen bases are wonderful. The bullpen has rebounded. And the starting pitching….oh the starting pitcher has been top shelf.

When Kris Benson, Jaret Wright, AND Adam Loewen all went down I figured that the season was screwed. Steve Trachsel, Jeremy Guthrie, and Brian Burres did nothing to excite me. I figured and hoped we’d trade/sign another wash-up to fill the void. When ever you WANT your team to sign Chan Ho Park, Brian Lawerance, or Hee Sop Choi, its a feeling that hurts your very soul.

Steve Trachsel is 4-3 (really should have two more wins because of lack of run support, but that’s baseball) and a 3.39 ERA. Will it last, who knows. But that 31 BB and 18 K ratio scares me alittle.

Jeremy Guthrie has been a joy to watch thus far. Low pitch counts, 7 and 8 inning starts and very few walks. He’s 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA.

Brian Burres was the one who scared me the most. He got roughed up in his first start and I thought that was that, but hey, he’s 3-2 and 3.08 ERA.

Are these guys Leo Mazzone jobs? Are they pitching over their heads? Career stretchs here? Frankly, I don’t care. I think a lot is Leo getting these guys confident and in the game. Last year, a lot of us (myself included) were uneasy with the lack of performance by the pitching staff. Look it know though. There’s been just a few games when the starters got shelled. The quality starts have been, but the lack of run support has hurt. The fact that the team has been able to take a 36 year old pitcher who looked done after last year and two relatively pitchers who’ve never had much success in their careers and plug the three of them and all three of them have succeeded is amazing.

Hey, I’m happy for change. There’s no criticism, no whining or bellyaching. And it feels good. If this winning keeps up, then I’ll have to stay happy.

A positive post

I’ve mighty negative as of late, with good reason to be I might add. But all negatives all the time makes this place mighty depressing. There has been one big positive lately by the name of Jeremy Guthrie.

He’s only started three games for the O’s and his starts look like this:

vs Tampa- 6 innings, 6 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 2 K’s

@ Boston- 8.1 innings, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 2 Ks.

@ Washington- 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 10 Ks.

It’s only 3 games, but he’s looking like argueably the O’s best starter right now. I know Bedard will get it all back together and Cabrera will flirt with greatness and disaster stimultaniously. But in his few starts, Guthrie has been one of the few Oriole pitchers that don’t give me a heart attack every inning. Why? Because he doesn’t walk many batters. In 3 starts and 21.1 innings=2 walks. He also manages to get deeper into games as a result of the few walks. It’s still too early, but he’s been a joy to watch this far.

Here’s a little background on him I got off MLB.com. Guthrie was his high school MVP in baseball, basketball, and football and class valedictorian. Out of high school he was drafted by the Mets, but did not sign. He attended BYU (freshman year) and Stanford. After college, he was a third round pick by the Mets and in 2001 the Pirates drafted him, but didn’t sign either. In 1999-2000, he was a Mormon missionary in Spain.  In 2002, the Cleveland Indians made him the 22nd overall pick.

In his 2 years pitching for Stanford, he was 26-8 with ERAs of 2.82 and 2.52. In 3 years of getting spent up and spent down with the Indians, he went 0-0 over 37 innings and 6.08 ERA. He was used out of the bullpen with the exception of 1 start.

It’s good to see our team get a player resurrection for once. I hope this is what we can expect game in and game out from Guthrie, because he’s made the loss of the 27 or so starting pitchers we’ve had go down thus far, much more bearable.

Live Semi-Blog 4/22 Jays v. O’s

Gonna try something new here. Got the game on the radio, it’s not on Extra Innings (thanks alot Nats). I’m not going to stay everything that happens, but events of significance and whatever I feel like saying.

  • Brian Roberts is out another day with the flu that hit the Devil Rays, Chris Gomez is starting again in his place and Jay Payton will bat lead-off.
  • I hope I see something from Huff’s bat today, because so far I’ve been underwhelmed from this self-professed “slow-starter.”
  • Joe Angel says our bullpen has gave up only 1 run in the last 29 innings. That’s miles away from last year’s trashballers.
  • Scoreless first for Trachsel, 1 walk and nothing else. Let’s see the offense now.

Bottom of the 1st

  • The Jay Payton era begins NOW!
  • Gustavo Chacin’s picture on Gamdeday amuses me.
  • O’s got 1-2-3. Payton grounds out, Mora K’s, and Markakis pops out.

Top of the 2nd

  • Frank Thomas pops out.
  • The fact that Frank Thomas is now “old” makes me feel a tad older.  It doesn’t seem that long ago when he was a rookie on the White Sox with Jack McDowell, Wilson Alvarez, Alex Fernandez, and Robin Ventura. Geez,
  • Aaron Hill takes Trachsel yard. Jays 1 O’s 0
  • Trachsel strikes out Jason Smith to retire the side.

Bottom of the 2nd

  • Time to see Miggi hit with some power.
  • Alas, ground ball out.
  • Aubrey Huff is hitting .219, make it .215. He just popped out.
  • I think Joe Angel is awesome, but Fred Manfra isn’t my thing. He could describe an alien attack on spring break and it would sound boring.
  • Millar ground out. 1-2-3 inning again. Not a great start.

Top of the Third

  • Patterson slams in the walk making apparently a great catch on a ball hit by Royce Clayton. Manfra didn’t get too excited though.
  • I thought Royce Clayton was older. Royce Spencer Clayton is 37 years old. After being the guy LaRussa benched Ozzie Smith for (that’s what I remember him for),  he’s played for 8 different teams.
  • 3 up, 3 down.  56 pitches thus far for the elder statesman of the O’s pitching staff. I really hope he can go 7 or 8 today and give the pen a rest today. The pen’s been great, but I don’t want Jamie Walker and company having 100 inning a piece year. That’s one reason I miss Kris Benson, he could eat innings like fat kids eat ice cream.

Bottom of the 3rd

  • Nothing to see here. Another 1-2-3 inning. Keep moving.

Top of the 4th

  • Trachsel’s in a bit of a jam. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, but two outs.
  • Here’s something you don’t like to see, Ron Santo is in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. Get well and back to work soon. If you haven’t seen the documentary “This Old Cub” , you should. I highly recommend it.
  • Trachsel gets revenge on Aaron Hill. Strikes him and gets out of the jam.

Bottom of the 4th

  • The no-hitter is over. Jay Payton singles for his first hit as an Oriole.
  • Melvin Mora is at bat. I’m surprised with the start that he’s had. I’ve always like Mora, but I thought after last season he’d be in decline phase and shouldn’t be batting second. 4 HR and 15 RBI is a fine start and should be batting 2nd.
  • Mora walks, 2 on and no out for Nick Markakis. Let’s get some runs RIGHT now!
  • Nick delivers with a TRIPLE that bounces off the top of the wall. An inch or two away from a homer, but that’s alright. We’re on the board and leading the game. Runner on 3rd, still no outs, and Tejada at the plate. O’s lead 2-1!
  • Tejada with a single and drives in Markakis. O’s lead 3-1!
  • Huff at the plate and…sigh..gets the first out. Apparently he’s more upset about it than I am.
  • Millar gets hit by a pitch.
  • Tejada’s on second, Millar 1st and Gomez at bat.
  • Gomez flies out, Patterson at bat.
  • Patterson flies out. Oh well, they got 3 runs. I’ll take it.

Top of the 5th

  • 2 outs and one on. Adam Lind at the plate. Trachsel is at 91 pitches. Probably going to see the bullpen after this inning.
  • Random Link: I wonder if they make this for dogs.
  • Joe Angel has a wikipedia page. Random fact: his son was a star in “Saved by the Bell: the New Class.” It wasn’t quite the classic as the original.
  • Trachsel got out of another jam. 2 on and 2 out and Wells pops out. He’s at 99 pitches, so it’s likely we’ve seen the last of him today.

Bottom of the 5th

  • Castillo lines out for the first out.
  • Jay Payton singles again. Welcome to the O’s, Jayton.
  • Mora is walked on 4 pitches. Runners on 1st and 2nd, with Markakis at the plate. Let’s hope he gets the homer this time and finish off Chacin.
  • Markakis doubles in a run. O’s 4 Jay’s 1
  • Chacin is done. The worm turned pretty quick for him, didn’t it? He embarassed the O’s for 3 inning and 1.1 innings later, he’s done for the day.
  • Scott Kazmir Victor Zambrano enters the game. Poor guy’s always going to be remembered for being traded for Kazmir.
  • Tejada singles in 2 runs! O’s 6 Jay’s 1
  • Random Link: Peter Angelos’ contribution list
  • Get on base, Huff.
  • Geez, Huff strikes out.
  • Millar gets hit…again.
  • The Marlins are thumping the Nats 12-2. Fine by me, since they’re on TV today and the O’s aren’t.
  • Gomez walks. Bases loaded for Corey Patterson, let’s get a hit here Corey and seal the deal.
  • More on the Nats: Starter Jerome Williams 6 innings, 9 hits 10 runs 9 earned 4 BB  2 K and 3 HR.
  • Patterson gets a hit and drives in Miggi. O’s 7 Jays 1
  • Castillo leaves them loaded.

Top of the 6th

  • Trachsel is still in. Hmmm. This could get a dicey.
  • Lead off walk to Overbay.
  • Patterson on the warning track, Thomas out.
  • Cards and Cubs are tied at 4 apiece in the 4th. Michael Barrett has hit his 4th homer of the year. He’s a very underrated player in my opinion.
  • Trachsel walks Zaun and he gets the hook. Shouldn’t have started the inning in my opinion, but I guess Perlozzo was hoping for one more inning of work to rest the pen.
  • Chadford Bradford comes in.
  • Where are they now? Tony Tarasco is now hitting coach for the Nats single A Vermont Lake Monsters.
  • Double play ends the inning.

Bottom of the 6th

  • Payton flies out
  • Mora gets a hit
  • Wells steals a hit from Markakis
  • Tejada gets a single, Mora to third
  • Huff….c’mon man. Ice this baby.
  • No luck…ground out. End of inning.

Top of the 7th

  •  Huff is really starting to bum me out. In the long run, he’s player who will help this team but for the time being he’s awful. He’ll come around, but it’s painful to watch, or in this case listen to.
  • Scott Williamson enters the game.
  • Final numbers for Trachsel: 5.1 innings 113 pitches 66 for strikes 4 hits 1 R 4 H 3 K 4 BB and 1 HR which bring his ERA down to 4.37
  • Bradford 3 pitches-2 strikes in 0.2 innings. He’s got a 1.23 ERA thus far.
  • Williamson has a 3 up, 3 down inning.

Bottom the of the 7th

  • I think I want to see more of Jay Payton in the leadoff spot, at least against lefties. Brian Roberts is my boy, but he’s having a rough start. It wouldn’t hurt to mix things up in the line-up. Bat Payton lead-off against lefties. Drop Huff in the order, that’ll happen when Ramon returns.
  • Millar better not get hit by another pitch.
  • Corey hits a one hopper to end the inning.

Top of the 8th

  • Jamie Walker comes in.
  • Walker K’s Wells.
  • Tejada gets Overbay out.
  • That was a quick inning.

Bottom of the 8th

  • Castillo out
  • Jay Payton…another single. Nice debut.
  • Mora at the bat. I’d love to see them lay it on at this point.
  • Cleveland got 4 runs in the 9th against Tampa and our friend Brian Stokes to win 6-4.
  • Mora hits into a double play, inning over.

Top of the 9th

  • Huff overruns a pop out.
  • Brian Burres is in.
  • Greg Zaun is struck out.
  • Hill pops out quickly to Markakis.
  • Here’s a sad piece on the family of the late Dodgers/Indians Tim Crews. Hard to believe it’s been 14 years.
  • Cubs have tied up the Cards 7-7 and the Braves beat the Mets 9-6.
  • Ugh, bases loaded….2 outs. This game needs to end NOW.
  • Chris Ray is warming up in the pen. It’s now O’s 7 Jays 3
  • It’s too bad Ray has to come in. He’s pitched 6 straight games.
  • Burres strikes out Lind to end the game
  • O’s win 7 to 3 and sweep the Bluejays!

Comeback win

The O’s took down the D-Rays tonight on was an unbelieveable game. It was a horrible game that turned into a great game. I don’t know how to explain it. It was pure magic..unless you’re a Devil Rays fan. We looked hapless, we look inept and Freddie Bynum looked at his team and said “No way are these guys beating us tonight. Jump on my wirey shoulders and I’ll carry the Orioles to victory!” Freddie Bynum would not let the O’s lose tonight.

Here’s the Honorary Freddie Bynum Recap of Notable events

The following happened:

-Adam Loewen did not have good control tonight, walking 5 in 3.2 innings. His ungluing point was…

-A 3 error play on a grounder. Huff had 2 error and Paul Bako had 1. It was one of, if the worst play, I’ve ever seen. After that…Loewen was rattled.

-Bases then loaded and Loewen gets the hook. Jeremy Guthrie comes in and his first pitch was an inch from a grand slam. Three runs come in and Guthrie calms down and gives up only one run allowed to him.

-Then the magic happens. Freddie Bynum, who I thought would only contribute an 0-4 and a couple catches in center, hits a two run shot. It’s now a 7-3 game. I missed the first score because I turned the game off for a little bit out of disgust.

-Melvin Mora hits a two run homer. The hits start coming and the O’s start to feast on the carnage that is the D-Rays bullpen.

-Jay Gibbons drives in two with a nice double.

-Freddie Bynum continues his epic career night and drives in the go-ahead with a grounder.

-The bullpen was clutch.

-Bradford gave up 2 hits and with two outs, my new favorite O John Parrish got a strike out to stomp on the Rays hopes. Parrish has 12 strike outs in 6.2 innings. 12. Baez had a 1-2-3 8th.

-Aubrey Huff wakes up after the two error play to get a double AND a stick it to you Tampa solo shot.

-Melvin Mora makes a leaping catch to steal a hit. He had to have seriously get 3 or 4 foot off the ground.

-Chris Ray gets the save. Number 4 on the year.

Games like this makes it great to be a fan. Yes it was Tampa, but coming back from 7 down is huge. We’ve won 4 straight and are now 7-6. The offense came tonight and the bullpen is clutch. There’s two more against Tampa and I’m hoping for the sweep and the O’s can go back to Baltimore 9-6 and have Ramon and Payton back in the lineup.

Tonight, and maybe tonight’s the only night anyone can say this, Freddie Bynum…you are the man.

.500!!!!!!!!!!

The O’s are at .500 for the first time since last May 2nd. When’s the parade?

How about Chris Gomez getting the Grand Slam? I kept waiting for the fact that it was ODALIUS PEREZ pitching to register with our hitters. Good thing the rain subsided after the 5th, so Gomez could make Perlozzo look like a genius giving him the start tonight.

I love the Royals and their horrible bullpen. It reminds me of the 2006 Orioles bullpen. I got flashbacks of Jim Brower tonight.

Imagine if the O’s can win tomorrow, then we’ll be fans of an actual winning team and there’s a three game set with Tampa up next.

O’s start Home Opener with a W

Day baseball is great, unless you have to work. I missed the game today and I’m still upset about that whole aspect of adulthood.  Working=missing games.

But it was nice to come home and see the boxscore. Daniel Cabrera’s now had 2 good todays. His loss in Minny was rough, but today he was dyn-O-mite.

7 2/3  innings, 7 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 5 K’s and….wait for it… NOT ONE SINGLE FREAKIN’ WALK! No walks. None. Days like today make me think that this is going to be the season that we finally see Cabrera getting it.

The offense is staying steady with 6 runs. Mil-LAH hit another homer today, making it 2 in 2 days. Melvin Mora went 2 for 4 with 1 RBI today. I’m feeling alot better about him now than I did before the season started. Is Mora a declining player? Sure, he’s getting older and he’s not going to be the same player we saw 2 or 3 years ago..BUT he can definately be better than he was last year. Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada also went 2 for 4 with an RBI apiece. Nice to see Brian get something going.

Check out the Oriole Post for some great pictures from today’s action.

Now we’re at 3-4 and I really can’t complain. Yeah, we had that rough start against the Twins, but we almost swept the Yankees and today we handcuffed the AL Champs. And hey, we don’t have Jay Payton or Ramon Hernandez yet. I think everyone’s stepping off their ledges and back into their houses at this point.

Tomorrow we get to see Nate Robertson vs. Jaret Wright. I’m giving Wright a mulligan over last week, but let’s just be glad that Cabrera gave the bullpen a rest today.