Rays vs. O’s Opening Day Live Blog

Here we go… Opening Day, we go.

Ahhh, MASN HD. This is nice. If I’m going to see a losing season, I want to see it in a crisp HD picture, so every Luis Hernandez error and every ugly pitch from Steve Trachsel is in the highest definition.

I’ve missed the forced banter between Jim Palmer and Gary Thorne. I can’t help but to think these guys want to strangle each other, but they’re great in the booth.

Palmer just called BJ Upton a ‘young Hank Aaron.’ Easy, Jim…let’s give him more time before we say that.

Thorne has said ‘Birdland’ again.

Damp and a little rainy, hopefully it doesn’t mess up the game.

The O’s have taken the field!

This is the season whether we see Jeremy Guthrie was just a one season nice story or a reliable major league pitcher. Today won’t be a huge test, but the Rays are a better team and a good showing would be a good start.

And here’s the first pitch!

Crawford gets a single with one out.

The Rays new uniforms do nothing for me.

I’ll be curious to see if Carlos Pena has a year like he did last year and if he does, it’s amazing it took him that long to finally click with a team. The Tigers gave up on him after a couple years, the Yankees (I think it was the Yanks..it was them or the Red Sox) had him for 5 minutes and gave up, but then he latches on with the Rays and he had an amazing season, anyway he hits one to warning track to ADAM JONES!

Ugh…Crawford steals on Ramon. Ramon apparently coated his glove in glue. Doesn’t matter as Nick Markakis makes an easy catch to end the inning. Easy inning for Guthrie.

Dave Trembley with the lineup “looking for Huff to get off to a good start,” “a revamped and retooled Ramon Hernandez,” and “hopefully Louie Hernandez can play short this season like he did for us last season.” Only the middle line gives me any hope.

Man, Brian Roberts is a great leadoff hitter, he worked that count perfect into a walk.

Batting number 2, Melllllvin Moooora….who pops out.

Gary Thorne has already worked ‘Birdland’ in.

Nick hit a ball that Carl Crawford just can’t get to. Runners on first and second for..sigh…the O’s clean up hitter, Kevin Millar.

 Double steal! That’s a great call with Millar and his creaky knees at bat.

Wow. Millar hits a 2 run double! I’m so goofy, I got goosebumps just now. 2-0 O’s!

The Rays logo looks like a family seafood restaurant chain logo.

Huff pops up and the boos come out, maybe its related to those comments he made on the radio. Ramon pops out and at the end of 1, the O’s lead 2-0.

Cliff Floyd has been playing in the majors since I was in middle school.

Second Birdland mention by Thorne, this time in reference to Birdland..ugh..t-shirts.

Millar and Roberts turn a nice double play.

Andy MacPhail in the both and he announces the signing of Alex Citron. Citron will start in Norfolk and will come up probably once the plug gets pulled on Luis.

ADAM JONES…grounds out and previously, Luke Scott pops out.

MacPhail on Gibbons, ‘we couldn’t give him the at bats,’ ‘we needed the flexibility of the roster,’ ‘IT WAS A GOOD MOVE FOR US TO MAKE.’ Golly gee, I like Andy MacPhail.

Quick inning ended by Luis Hernandez pulling his best Corey Patterson impression and swinging out.

Guthrie gives up a hit and hits Bartlett, 2 on and no outs.

Brian can’t get to a ball, but Nick nails him out.

Melvin Mora…ugh, can’t get a handle on the ball and a run scores. Mora gets the error.

Bases loaded and one out. I’m worried right now. Guthrie is throwing high and tight. 2-0 count and BJ Upton hits one past Luis the glove. 3-2 Rays.

Excuse me, its Alex Cintron and Luke Scott ends a painful inning with a catch.

Andy MacPhail wants to build a team with the blueprint of pitching and defense, I think the last inning was proof that Luis Hernandez and Melvin Mora are not going to be the brick and mortar of the plan.

SHAMELESS PLUG: You’ll notice I have ads on the blog now, do me a favor and check them out.

Brian gets a single but Mora, Nick, and Millar all pop out.

I see the MASN HD ads are neutral with both O’s and the much hated Nats. At least its not the ‘Take that Grady Sizemore’ Corey Patterson ads. It was sad we had to have an ad centered on Corey Patterson. Anyway, I love MASN and their new fangled HD.

Speaking the much hated Nats, that was a great game last night with Zimmerman hitting the walkoff homer. I’ll give them some props for that.

Ugh…Eric Hinske hits a homer off Guthrie. Eric Hinske. Guthrie’s having a bumpy outing, although the left side of of infield did him no favors last season.

The new hotel that’s being built behind centerfield currently does not please my eye.

Whoa! Luis sports some leather and steals a sure single for Jason Bartlett.

Bruce Davidson finally calls a called third strike.

Hey, it’s Amber Theoharis and hey she’s still cute!

Fun MASN fact- Aubrey Huff hit 7 of his 15 homers against Tampa last season. I guess those are spite homers. Anyway, he didn’t homer this at bat, BUT he gets his season off to a blazing start with a single and immediately Ramon hits in a double play.

First sighiting of the season of Terry Crowley…the man with more than 9 lives. I think he’ll be the Orioles hitting coach for all eternity.

Luke Scott hits a single.

Going through my email inbox and man, you would not believe the Nigerian Email Scams I get. If they were legit, I’d be a trillionaire and i was a sucker, I’d be broke and dead. I probably average 60 a week, no joke.

ADAM JONES! strikes out to end the inning.

Guthrie has a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Oh my, new MASN ad with Jim Hunter doing announcer class. “There’s no DL for Announcers.” I laughed at this because of the many times Hunter has almost had a heart attack getting worked over a single in the third inning. I have to give to him though, he does manage to get excited over the O’s.

O’s.com won’t come up for me.

Thought a new title for Terry Crowley—-hitting czar for life.

Brian Roberts…another walk.

Mora, almost a homer….not quite enough mustard on the Esskay. That was lame. I’ve never had an Esskay because they don’t sell them down here.

Roberts got caught stealing, the Rays did a good job on that one.

Score update 4-2 Rays at the top of the 6th.

Tomorrow’s pitching matchup is Matt Garza against our very own Daniel Cabrera

Cliff Floyd labors in a double.

Whats up with MLB gameday?

Matt Albers is warming in the bullpen. This is likely Guthrie’s last inning. Runners at corners with 1 out. A double play would be nice.

A ball smoked into Luis Hernandez, run scores 5-2 Rays. If Hernandez could have gotten that ball, it would have been the double play were hoping for.

Bartlett smokes one into left, 6-2….looks like its time to pull Guthrie.

Yep, here comes Trembley. Guts gets the hook for the day and in comes Albers.

They’re playing Britney Spear’s horrible song ‘Gimme More’ while Matt Albers is warming up. Aren’t the fans being punished enough?

Randor Bierd is loosening up in the pen. Apparently the longman Albers will not be going long. Albers just threw a nasty breaking ball.

Rays’ trickery didn’t work, Crawford tried to steal and Navarro tried to steal home while Crawford was going for second. Crawford was safe, but Navarro got nailed at the plate. easy 2/3rds of an inning for Albers.

Adam Jones has a charity called “Jones’ Juniors.” Some kids got go to game as part of it. Its nice to see stuff like that, especially with a player as young as Jones.

Markakis walks on 4 pitches. We are excelling at getting the leadoff man on.

Huff hits a ball just slightly on the wrong side of foul pole, once the fans realize this they boo him, as punishment Huff ends his at bat with an inning ending double play. The fans boo more. Its going to be a long season for Aubrey Huff if he stays in Baltimore all season.

MLB Gameday hasn’t done anything all day and the live boxscores have in fact, died in the middle of the 5th. I wanted to be a stat geek and see what Guthrie’s ERA was, but it’s only showing 4 runs scored at the moment (one unearned courtesy of Melvin Mora).

Albers is back for the 7th.

Toyota Triva question….who was the last Oriole outfielder to win a Gold Glove? My guess is Brady Anderson. There have been few Oriole outfielders in the last ten years that have been good. Jay Gibbons would not be a good guess.

Albers retires the side. He’s had a good debut.

Gameday has just be resurrected. Guthrie’s ERA thus far is 8.44, whereas Matt Albers is 0.00 and Ray’s starter James Shields is 3.00. That first start can really make the ERA gaudy and if you’re a reliever and you got knocked around, that ERA will be bloated for along time.

Shields is still in. He’s had a solid day. If he can do this all season, Kazmir can stay healthy, and Garza can develop, the Rays will have a good season.

The new scoreboard looks great. It took long enough to get one.

Around the league: Jim Thome has hit 2 homers so far, the Royals beat the Tigers 5-4 (Miguel Cabrera homered), Johan Santana hasn’t allowed a hit through 2 innings, Albert Puljos homered as the Cards lead 5-1, Ben Sheets and Carlos Zambrano are in a pitchers duel as it’s 0-0 in the sixth. Sheets has given up 1 hit and Zambrano only 2. 7 Ks for Sheets and 5 for Zambrano. Lasting Milledge and Chase Utley have homered as the Nats lead 6-3.

Matt Albers is still pitching and retired the side again. I like Trembley leaving him this long. With the way he’s pitched today, it might not be too long before he’s in the rotation.

Paul Blair was the last O to win a Gold Glove in 1975, so Brady it was not.

Roberts on at first and Mora at bat. Shields is out with Reyes pitching for the Rays now.

Sheesh. Mora strikes out and gets called for interference as Brian Roberts steals 2nd, but as a result gets called out. Not a good day for Melvin. End of the 8th still 6-2 Rays.

I wonder if Albers will pitch the 9th too.

Nope, Brian Burres will pitch the ninth. Smart moves by Trembley but not bringing out Sherrill, Walker, and Bradford in a game when you’re losing 6-2. It gives me a good feeling that he’s going to play the young players a good bit.

Navarro hits a leadoff double off Burres.

Scoring updates: Phils have tied the Nats 6-6 as Jimmy Rollins homers, Mets lead 2-0 as Santana is hitless still, and the Dodgers have gotten to Barry Zito early as they lead the Giants 4-0.

Burres gets out of the inning giving up only the leadoff double.

Crawford makes a nice catch, stealing a hit from Nick. O’s down to last 2 outs.

Millar pops out first pitch.

Last hope, Aubrey Huff. Won’t surprise me if he hit a garbage home. Would have grounded out, but Wheeler makes an error and keeps hope alive. It all comes down to Ramon to keep the game alive.

Ramon drives to warning track to end the game. 6-2 Rays win. Oh well, good things today were Brian Roberts got on base everytime, Scott and Jones played outfield well, Albers pitched great and Burres did well. Guthrie was shaky, Luis Hernandez’s defense was shaky and outside of Kevin Millar, the vets did nothing.

Anyway, baseball’s back and its great. Its been fun.