Post-game report: O’s vs Yankees 4/6

– Cesar Izturis ( with the Dodgers)

Opening day couldnt have turned out better. We beat the bronx bombers 10-5. And we shelled their 161 million dollar pitch C.C Sabathia and completely shut out their 180 million dollar 1B Mark Teixeira, who was greeted back to Baltimore with a chorus of boo’s, and he went 0-4. Jeremy Guthrie looked exellent in 6 innings, allowing just 3 runs to the Yankees, and striking out 3. The whole offense was explosive on opening day, as they had 10 runs, 14 hits, and 5 extra base hits. The only player that didnt get a hit was LF Luke Scott, and he had an RBI walk.

The offensive play of the day was Cesar Izturis’s 2-run HR in the 8th inning. The O’s were winning 6-5, after leading 6-1 2 innings earlier. NYY relief pitcher Phil Coke left a pitch hanging, and Izturis smacked it into the 1st row of the left field bleachers. It could have been fan interference with Johnny Damon, but it had looked like Damon’s glove was in the 1st row, so they did not call fan interference. I personally think it was a HR that ultamitely gave the O’s a 3 run lead.

The pitching/defensive play of the day was when it was also 6-5 O’s, and the Yankees had 1st an 2nd with just 1 out right after Matsui jacked Chris Ray’s pitch for a 2 run HR. Dennis Sarfate came in and Xavier Nady was up at the plate, and hit a groundball right to Melvin Mora. He tagged 3rd base and got Nady out at 1st by 2 steps for the double play. It killed the Yankee comeback and gave the O’s the momentum back.

If you did read my keys to the game on my blog before the game, you would see Guthrie did exactly what i said was neccesary, and the Offense looked more explosive in 2009, even though they were one of the top offense’s in 2008. If the Orioles pitching staff can hold up and the O’s offense can put up decent runs 75% of the time, you could see this club end up at .500 in 09.

Player of the game- CF Adam Jones- he went 3-3 with 2 walks and 2 RBI. His 2-run triple in the 3rd got the O’s offensive explosion started, and he showed great discipline at the plate and great patience. It looks to be a great year for Jones if this is what he brings to the table in 2009.

Tommorow the O’s and Yankees square up for game 2 of the opening series. Japaneese superstar SP Koji Uehara will go up for the O’s against Chien-Ming Wang. Stay tuned.

                                                                                                   By- Logan Quick

2009 Orioles opening day report

Today is the day. Opening day. The one everybody has been waiting for since spring training started. And i have to say, the Orioles look promising once again in 2009. They once again have found the right combinaton of young players and veterns. And you get to see another glimpse of the future as well. And they have a couple of players nobody thought would end up on the roster(Simon,Bass), but they did do good in the spring, lets see what they do this year when it really counts. And of couse, in May or June, you get the see the future superstar in action, Matt Wieters.

Starting opening day against the dreaded,dispicable, much hated, New York Yankees, is Jeremy Guthrie. He was without a doubt the ace of the O’s staff in 2008, and will continue the same role in 2009. The keys to success for Guthrie against the Yankees are simple. #1- Keep his pitch count down. The 1st 7 batters for NY are good or decent, and can work a count, or worse if the get ahead in the count. Guthrie needs to throw smart pitches, and just get outs. and #2- Limit damage. People are going to get on base against Guthrie. He needs to keep his composure like he always does, and just work the batter in front of him.

The opening day line-up is: 2B Roberts batting 1, CF Jones batting 2, RF Markakis batting 3, 3B Mora batting 4, 1B Huff batting 5, DH Wigginton batting 6, LF Scott batting 7, C Zaun batting 8, and SS Izturis batting 9th. This Oriole offense should be high scoring again like they were in 08. And with Jones having a whole year of exp. and the addition of Izturis at SS, the offense should be even better in 2009. And the defense now fields 4 gold glove calliber players in Jones, Markakis, Roberts and Izturis. The keys to having successs against C.C Sabathia are this. #1- Work the count on him. Make him throw you strikes. This is even more important with batters 1-4. and #2- Dont leave ducks on the pond. Sabathia is good, and he wont let you get that many scoring oppurtunitys unless you shell him early, so when you get runners on 2nd or 3rd, DRIVE THEM IN!

And my 1 key for the game for the whole team is: Take control early. If you get a 2 or3 run lead on these guys by the 4th or 5th inning, you have to hold it down and not let them back in. Shut them out completely.

Well, there you have it, my opening day report. Hope you enjoy it. I think i am speaking for Baltimore City on this, and i am definally going to be screaming GO O’S! all day, and for all of 2009 (and beyond). Come back soon, we will be writing blogs all throughout the 2009 season.

                                                                                                 By- Logan Quick

A couple o’ things

Our boy Andy MacPhail announced during today’s game that the O’s have signed Alex Cintron. Here’s the official word from the O’s website. Cintron will play at the moment in Norfolk.

After today’s performance, no one’s gonna shocked to Luis Hernandez not be starter. He looked overmatched today. Call it Opening Day butterflies, start of the season jitters, or whatever, if days like this are going to be the norm for him…he won’t be an O too long. Cintron signed because he knew he’d get playing time soon. He didn’t sign because Norfolk is a swell town. He’ll be starting in Baltimore soon enough.

Interesting quote from the article:

Cintron will play next to third baseman Mike Costanzo at Norfolk, and both should make it to the big leagues at some point during the season.

Not about Cintron, that’s an absolute given, Costanzo is the interesting part. The only way he makes it the club at any point is trades…besides when the roster expands. When a Huff, Mora, Payton, etc. goes, I think Costanzo will be the one getting a call up.

How did our old friend Erik Bedard do in his Mariner debut?

5 innings, 3 hit 1 run (a homer) 4 BB and 5 K

What was surprising was this number: 106 pitches- 59 for strikes. That’s Cabreraesque. Not the best debut for him, but its Bedard. He’ll be back.

Tomorrow—–> The debut of *shudder* Daniel Cabrera. Either we’ll be elated with a great performance, mad at a 4 inning walk implosion, or a combo of both.

A little pat of the back for myself- I said in my NL preview to watch of for the Brave’s new SS Yunel Escobar. Tonight through 5 innings: 3 for 3, 2 singles and 1 triple. It’s only one game, I know. I like the fans in the outfield with the sign ‘Yunel’s Cartel.’

Its great having baseball back.

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 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’ 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.

Opening Day

This is the third Opening Day that I’ve done the blog. This one is the sweetest one in a long time. O, we’re not going to playoffs this year and we’re not going to have a winning record….but for the first time since the days of Pat Gillick and Davey Johnson, the Orioles have a plan and are heading in the right direction. Its going to take some time to get MacPhail’s vision for the organization in place, but its start. He made two great trades this offseason, committed to get the farm system restocked, has gotten the team a presence in the Dominican, and showed yesterday, he’s not scared to eat a big contract of a player who stinks. It’s refreshing, but its taken a decade to get this point. There’s still some deadweight in the lineup, but after yesterday, I have faith in MacPhail to trim the fat.

This is the first time in a long time that the O’s have an outfield that could be really good. Nick’s the man, we know this already. Adam Jones could be a superstar and Luke Scott could have some heavy offensive numbers. The infield is still blah (outside of Brian Roberts) with the aging Melvin Mora, the aging Kevin Millar, and the offensively inept Luis Hernandez, but I have a feeling that by midseason, alot of the guys who are starting today won’t be in Baltimore anymore. Hopefully by midseason, Scott Moore will be the starting third baseman. The rotation is scary at the moment, but MacPhail has put a priority on pitching. We’re got some pitchers in the minors that in a year or two, we won’t have to worry about getting flustered by Daniel Cabrera. There’s prospects in the minors like Matt Wieters, Billy Rowell, Brandon Snyder and Nolan Reimhold that could be here as soon as next season to get this team to the next stage of the rebuilding.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but its going to be a few more seasons til we get to the end. But the light can be seen now. As some of my fellow O’s bloggers have done the past couple of days, I’m going to do. It hasn’t always been easy doing this past couple years. Thinking about what to right about the O’s a couple time isn’t always easy. You just can’t type ‘The O’s stink’ and ‘Peter Angelos is evil’ a hundred times and make a post. I try to put a little thought in my posts and to be honest, a few times I’ve almost just thrown in the towel on this thing. But I decided to keep it going and I’m glad I did. That said, check out the other O’s blogs as the season start and through the season: Camden Chat is the first O’s blog that I found and thought it was awesome and still do. The Loss Column, Roar from 34, the Oriole Post, Dempsey’s Army, Roar from 34, Weaver’s Tantrum, Birds in the Belfry, Wayward O, Oriole Magic, RRT, and all the others in my blogroll I have’t mentioned are great. When I started this Camden Chat, Birds in the Belfry and Oriole Magic were the only ones that I can remember that I remember being around. Now we there’s plenty more and hopefully more on the way. It’s fun doing this (usually) and its fun seeing what everyone has on theirs. This season, I’m going to make more of an effort to link to their sites for news instead of the papers or the big time news sites if I can help it.Thanks for sticking with it guys and hopefully we’ll have some winning seasons to talk about soon.

Anyway, its Opening Day and the lousy teams of the past decade are gone. We still have some players to lose….but its a new season for the O’s and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about seeing this team play. It’ll be a long season, but it’ll fun seeing Adam Jones mature into a star. It’ll be fun seeing some of pitchers come up and develop. It’ll be fun seeing Matt Wieters and some of the other kids come from the minors. It’ll fun seeing some of the vets get traded. We won’t have a winning record, but the O’s have a direction finally. I’ll take 100 losses if it makes this franchise finally will be relevant in the future.

Let’s play ball.

Opening Day Live Blog tomorrow

I go to work at 6 tomorrow morning and the good thing about my job is that I’m not locked into a set schedule. If I get things done quick and hustle, then I can wrap up early and vice versa. So the plan is tomorrow, to move quick and get done and watch as much baseball as humanly possible.

With the new laptop, its easier to go sit in the recliner and do this. Last season, with the old desktop it was a chore to watch and post, turn the head, watch and turn the head and post. I’ll try and do this more this season. The Extra Innings is ordered as of an hour ago, so its showtime.

I should be back home by game time, if not shortly after.

A few game notes on tonight (Braves at the hated Nats)

 *Jon Miller’s voice was a wonderful sound to hear. Its been too long.

*I was amused by the reception George Curly W Bush got, the reception being a smathering of boos mixed with applause.

*The blasted Nats have already gone up 2-0 to nothing through one inning on some sloppy defense by the Braves.

*I’ll give the cursed Nats credit, they have a nice park.