Reaching the Breaking Point.

The Orioles have made a roster move today calling up Corey Patterson (the one and the same Corey from a few years past).  It seems like the one who will be sacrificed will be Nolan Reimold.  And, I couldn’t like this move any less.  Sure Reimold was struggling, but he is a future piece of the puzzle, and he deserved to get at least another 200 at bats before the Orioles pulled the plug on a guy like this.  Add to it there are people on this club doing FAR worse then Nolan.  Oh…add to it Nolan was on a three game hit streak.  If someone were to go back and look at his past six games played they would see a guy with the line of .300 with 1 HR, 2 runs scored, and 2 walks…go figure the Orioles take someone who may actually be coming out of a slump, and place them somewhere else.  Add to it Reimold was a patient hitter who worked pitchers when he was at the plate.  The Orioles have only one guy in the lineup that can tax a pitcher now (Nick Markakis).  This move is being done because Nolan had one bad game last night in some pretty unfavorable conditions.  If this was Andy McPhail’s call then I’m just plain disappointed by his lack of research into the situation.  If this was Dave Trembley’s decision it wouldn’t suprise me.  He needs to be fired, and fired now.  I am more then tired of Dave talking in circles whenever he is asked a question in a news conference.  I’m tired of seeing him mismange his players constantly.  I’m just plain tired of him, and I refuse to give in anymore to a team that puts its blind faith behind a manager who can’t win in the majors, and couldn’t even win in the minors.  Oh, don’t let me forget about his attention to detail.  We all can see how funamentally sound the Orioles are.

 

It’s time for a major overhaul.  The only coach that stays in my book is Kranitz.  The rest…See ya don’t let the door slam on your way out.  Or let the door slam, I don’t care.  Just as long as Dave Trembley, and even Terry Crowley are both terminated.

 

How much do people want to say the odds of the Orioles scoring more then 1 run this game?  I’m going to say 10-1.  This team is lead by the most worthless manager in the major leagues.  Dave may be worse then Kansas City’s Trey Hillman who is beyond bad.  I guess we can see a common denomenator between Kansas City (bad team), and the Orioles (bad team).  They each have horrible managers in place.  I can care less how great a man Dave is, when it comes to baseball Dave don’t know (but Bo knows, that’s for sure).

If I have any fans who are loyal readers, I apologize.  I have to take a break from this team.  They have finally pushed my buttons in such a fashion that I can barely even think of writing about them.  I’d rather be kicked repeatedly in my man parts then have to listen to anything else regarding this team and how poorly run they are.  Option Nolan Reimold…sure…HORRIBLE.  A goat could run this team better then Dave Trembley could. 

Paging Andy McPhail:

If you want to make a statement, FIRE YOUR MANAGER.  Or, you could always sacrifice Luke Scott instead.  See, those moves would make sense.  Optioning Nolan makes NO SENSE.  Andy, quick words of advice for you:

Bend Knees

Remove head from sphincter

Look around, the sky is blue and the grass is green!

Oh, and fire Dave Trembley.  K Bye. 

On the Good Foot

The Orioles won the first game in the series against the Twins.  There wasn’t much offense to speak of for either side, but Ty Wigginton continued his onslaught against anyone who is throwing a baseball towards him.  He hit a two run home run, and those would be the only runs needed.  Brad Bergesen picked up his second win of the year in dominating fashion.  He went 6.2 innings of shut out baseball.  He didn’t strike anyone out, but he didn’t need to.  The Twin hitters were drilling the ball into the ground batter after batter.  Will Ohman came in to the game in the 7th to face Justin Morneau and Jim Thome.  Ohman walked Morneau, but struck out Thome in dramatic fashion.  Koji Uehara, in his first appearance of the year, put the Twins down in order in the 8th.  Alfredo Simon recorded his third save of the year.  It was a fantastic pitching performance for the Orioles.

Three Stars of the Game:
*Brad Bergesen: Bergy had the one thing working that he needed to have going and that was his sinker.  Last night, nobody could square up on that pitch.  He was fantastic.  Easily his best start of the season, and according to Trembley “the best game he has ever seen Bergy Pitch”.
*Ty Wigginton: Can we say All-Star?  If he keeps up this type of production, why not?  He now has 10 home runs on the year, and 19 RBI.  
*Koji Uehara: It was great to see him come back, and not pull a hammy or hurt anything.  This guy has seemingly been injured since day one, but he showed that when he is in he really stabilizes the bullpen.  Three up three down doesn’t hurt either.
Star Gazers:
Rhyne Hughes: He almost helped the Orioels make things interesting in the 7th when he couldn’t come up with a hard grounder.  It would have gotten Bergy out of the 7th inning.  He has been in a bit of a swoon lately, and we don’t want to see it translating to his play on the field as well as at the plate.  
Adam Jones: 0-4, 2K’s.  He has a long way to go hitting wise.  Clearly, he is not a finished product at this point, but the Orioles have to keep putting him out in the field.  He has to turn it around.  If the O’s ever get Brian Roberts back, that could really help Adam.  He is not a lead off hitter, and he is forced into this role.  It’s seemingly killing him at the plate.
Nolan Reimold:  He went 0-3, but only saw 9 pitches.  He isn’t trying to use the whole field, and he needs to do that in order to be successful at this level.  He is slowly clawing out of his struggles, but one can only wonder how long it will take.  The conditions probably didn’t help, but the Orioles need this guy to really step it up.  It’s no longer the first month of the season, and this can’t continue for much longer.   
There won’t be a game tonight on account of SNOW.  The Orioles will play a double header tomorrow to make up for tonight. Kevin Millwood starts the first game for the O’s followed by Jeremy Guthrie in the night game.
Everyone should check out Steve Melewski’s piece about the Orioles and their struggles.  Anyone can find that article…here

Who Sucked Out the Feeling?

Well, after a sweep of the Red Sox, all the promise and hope seems to have been sucked out of the Orioles after being on the wrong end of a sweep in New York.  The O’s lost 4-1, 4-1, and 7-5 in the three games against the Yankees.  It’s getting progressively harder to write things concerning the Orioles due to how horrid this season has gone.  It’s like I’m writing the exact same things over and over again.  The O’s start a four game series against the Twins, who are very good as well.  Hopefully, they will be without Joe Mauer for all four games.

Andy McPhail came out and put the players on notice with his words about the offense.  Everyone can find the article…here

I’m not entirely sure where McPhail’s logic is coming from seeing as how the options at Triple A Norfolk in the hitting department aren’t stellar.  There is one move I would like to see the Orioles make (aside from replacing Dave Trembley as manager with a high energy guy) is to send Luke Scott and Lou Montanez to Triple A for Jeff Salazar and Corey Patterson.  Neither Patterson or Salazar are great options, but at least this would send a message to the club.  Luke Scott has been a horrendous of late, and needs a change.  Give him two-three weeks at triple A to see if he can recapture both his confidence and his talent with a bat.  The good thing about Patterson and Salazar is that they both have major league experience so they could provide depth on a bench that has been taxed by injury so early on in the season.  Actually, thinking about it more, Salazar and Patterson actually provide better outfield defensive options off the bench then Lou Montanez does, and provides a shot of speed to a lineup that is last in the majors in steals.  Patterson is hitting right now, which doesn’t say much, but at least he may actually show the ability to put bat to ball. 

Koji Uehara will be back soon, and Alberto Castillo is returning to Norfolk to open a spot on the roster for Koji.

This season is a trainwreck so far, and there aren’t many choices the O’s can make to improve.  As I’ve said all along, Dave Trembley has to be replaced.  He is a good guy, just not the guy for this job. 

Would anyone like to postulate on how to get a guy like Prince Fielder, or Adrian Gonzalez?  I would like to see Prince in an O’s uniform.  He gets paid a lot more at present, but Gonzalez is due a huge payday.  I think it would take a combination of this to nab him: Arrieta/Erbe/Britton, Guthrie, Snyder/Reimold/Pie.  I would throw in David Hernandez as well making the ideal package:

1) David Hernandez (shows promise with live fastball, major league experience, can be a future reliever, or starter.  Probably will do better in the NL)

2) Jeremy Guthrie (MLB, solid back end of the rotation pitcher)

3) Zach Britton (AA, Top 50 prospect in the Major Leagues)

4) Brandon Snyder (AAA)

FOR

1) Prince Fielder (MLB, Brewers, 1B)

2) Joe Inglett (solid backup infielder)

3) If possible ask for a minor league position player with promise ((Lorenzo Cain(OF)/Logan Shafer(OF)/Scooter Ganett(SS), or even if possible Mat Gamel(3B) would be the options))

It’s Alive!

I guess the title of this entry shouldn’t be “It’s Alive” rather “They’re Alive”.  The Orioles have won their first series of the year, and have a chance to sweep the Boston Red Sox today.  Brad Bergesen came back from his short one start tune up at triple A Norfolk to go 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits while striking out 2.  It wasn’t a great day for Bergy, but compared to his earlier starts this year this one was head and shoulders better.  I thought he could have pitched the sixth inning after holding the Sox to no runs in the fifth, but Dave Trembley had other ideas.  It’s probably best he didn’t send Bergy back out, but I like that type of vote of confidence.  Bergy picks up his first win of the season.  

Besides that, the Orioles decided to play a version of slugfest with the Sox.  There were 9 total home runs last night.  5 by the Orioles, and 4 by the Sox.  Ty Wigginton had two shots, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters added three run home runs, and Luke Scott added a solo shot of his own.  Nick Markakis matched his career high for RBI in a game with 5.  Alfredo Simon came on to get the save.  
This was one exciting game, and I can’t wait to see how this series wraps up today.  Josh Beckett goes for Boston, and he hasn’t been very good this season so far.  Let’s hope the Orioles pressure him early and often.
Three Stars of the Game:
Ty Wigginton: He hit 2 more home runs last night.  He is the Orioles’ MVP so far this year.  It’s great to see him rebound like he has so far this year.  He may be playing his way onto the American League All-Star Team
Nick Markakis: Ok, we all know Nick can hit.  We just hadn’t really seen it up to this point.  We’ve seen glimpses, but never the full thing.  Last night we saw Nick swinging the stick real well.  I bet you he’d agree there after a 5 rbi day, and a nice three run home run to boot.
Adam Jones:  Boy, that talk with Terry Crowley has really seemed to put Jones back on the map in terms of hitting.  He added two more hits last night; scored three runs; and had an RBI of his own.  He even walked, and if you’ve watched Adam play you know that “getting on base by walk” is not in his vocabulary.  
Star Gazers:
Cesar Izturis:  He can’t hit.  We all know this.  He went 0-4 last night.  I just expect him to get out.  If the Orioles want to really move up in the standings they are going to have to find a shortstop who has a better chance at the plate.  Don’t get me wrong, Izzy is a very solid major league shortstop in the field.  But at the plate, it’s just terrible to watch.  You can’t have a guy who may or may not top the 50 RBI mark in your lineup.  End of story.  Who cares that he hits number 9 in the order.  Let’s go down the list in the AL East and look at short stop production: 
Boston: Marco Scutaro- .287 avg, .362 on base percentage, 2 HR, 7 RBI
New York Yankees: Derek Jeter-  .327 avg, .356 on base percentage, 4 HR 19 RBI
Tampa Bay Rays: Jason Bartlett- .265 avg, .327 on base percentage, 0 HR, 16 RBI
Toronto Blue Jays: Alex Gonzalez-.277 avg, .305 on base percentage, 7 HR, 19 RBI
Baltimore Orioles: Cesar Izturis- .246 avg, .288 on base percentage, 0 HR, 4 RBI
Does anyone else see the difference, or does it need to be spelled out?  Being a number 9 hitter, the only job Izzy should focus on is getting on base.  With an on base percentage under 300, it’s obvious he isn’t making it happen.  Not only do the Orioles need to find the big heavy hitter for the middle of the lineup, they have to find a guy who can provide balance between offense and defense from the short stop position.  We have to field talent that is on par with the rest of this division.  Izzy is a fun player to watch, but he isn’t a starter for an AL East club.
In other news, Jim Johnson was optioned to triple A Norfolk to make room for Brad Bergesen. Johnson really struggled of late, so this is a very good move.  I like Johnson a lot, and I look forward to seeing him a little later in the summer after he gets his head straightened out.  Rhyne Hughes added another two hits last night, and is now hitting a cool .304 on the year.  Koji Uehara will complete his rehabilitation assignment tomorrow.  If he is ok after pitching two days in a row he will return to the Orioles.  A corresponding roster move would have to be made.  I’m not sure who it may be that gets sent down.  We’ll just have to wait and find out when it happens.
Mark Hendrickson- He started off great in the sixth inning.  The seventh is where problems seemed to pop up all over the place for Hendrickson.  In his second inning of work he gave up 4 runs.  He needs to be a little more on point then that.  Close games are fun, but blow outs are really good too.
Brad Bergesen:  I’m putting him on here because I’m tired of getting on Luke Scott.  Everyone who reads this blog knows I don’t think Luke Scott is a major league player.  But, Bergy had a lot to prove tonight.  He didn’t pitch great, but he was effective.  He still is getting way too far underneath his pitches which can spell serious doom for him.  This was definitely his best start for the Orioles this year, so here’s hoping that he’s starting to get into a small rhythm after a short spring training where he didn’t get the reps he needed.  I pull for Bergy.  I like him as a ballplayer, but he needs to start getting on top of those pitches.

They Came, They Saw, They Beat Up The Orioles

The Yankees have come, and gone, for the first time this year.  They left Baltimore with two wins out of three.  If you’re an Orioles fan, I guess you should be thankful for that one win the O’s were able to squeek out during this series.  AJ Burnett stymied an already struggling Oriole offense allowing 3 hits and no runs in his 8 innings of work.  Brian Matusz went 6 innings giving  up 9 hits and 3 runs.  He wasn’t as sharp as we’ve grown accustomed to this year, but he was still on top of his game.  Alberto Castillo has ended his streak of appearances without giving up a run.  He went 1 inning while giving up 2 hits and 1 run.  The main statement from this game, on the pitching front, came from Matt Albers.  Apparently, he wants to stay in the majors.  He went an inning and a third of no hit shut out baseball, but this performance seems to be coming a little bit too late for him to maintain that roster spot seeing as how the Orioles will have to make a roster move for Brad Bergesen who is starting tomorrow night.  Jason Berken rounded things out by going two thirds of an inning without allowing a hit or run lowering his ERA to 1.32.  You can’t say pitching was the problem last night.  It’s all the offense, or lack thereof.  I think my old metro baseball team could hit more consistently then this group of Orioles.

Offensively, it seems like there is just no end in sight to these struggles.  The Orioles managed three hits total: one each from Jones, Izturis, and Wigginton.  That was it.  If anyone has a sure fire pick me up idea for this offense I would suggest contacting the Oriole dugout, or front office.  Nothing is working with these guys.  It’s painful to watch.  Thankfully, I fell asleep during this game so I didn’t have to suffer through the misery of watching the Orioles sink any farther down the drain. 

Were there any stars of the game last night?  Yes, but not for the Orioles.  And, in no way will I praise anyone wearing pinstripes in this space. 

I’m not quite sure what the problem is, but this team shows zero will to win on a nightly basis.  It’s becoming rare to see them play with such tenacity required to win a game at the major league level.  The O’s have now lost every series in April.  If they lose today, they will have gone 4-19 in the first month of the season.  Right now the Orioles are on pace to win 28 games.  Hopefully, that won’t happen.  I originally predicted this team could challenge the 90 win mark, but after witnessing what has transipired over this month, I highly doubt they can top 70 wins.  I’ll have to get on my horse to pay off the debt created through my now foolhardy bets with friends about these Orioles.  Maybe we just need to get out of April and into May before we actually get to watch real baseball.  I’m holding out hope for that.

The Orioles begin another series with the Red Sox.  We played them quite close earlier, so maybe we can use the Sox as the tipping point back to respectability.  It seems, right now, that the Orioles will be instrumental in determining who will win the AL East.  I don’t mean this in a good way.  Basically, whoever beats up on the Orioles the most will win this division. 

I don’t know if we can expect them to win tonight seeing as how the Orioles are 0-13 in David Hernandez’ starts dating back to last year.  He gets virtually zero run support on a nightly basis.  Seeing the Oriole offense struggle in the Yankee series doesn’t inspire confidence in me that they can actually turn the tide tonight against the Sox.  We’ll see though.

 

The Loosing Streak Ends in Fenway

The Orioles won today 7-6 in 10 innings.  There isn’t much else to say about this game other then it was a total team effort.  David Hernandez pitched well today, but only could last 5 innings.  He must be pleading to the Oriole offense to get him some run support.  In his starts this year, the Orioles have scored exactly 4 runs total.  You won’t get many chances to get a win with such low run support.  Mark Hendrickson did not impress in his 2/3rds of an inning.  He allowed two inherited runners to score, and another was charged to him when Jason Berken couldn’t hold off Mike Lowell.  Berken started off rocky, but turned out a solid outing by limiting the damage in his one inning of work.  Alberto Castillo also impressed out of the bullpen going 2/3rds of an inning recording a strike out.  Jim Johnson pitched somewhat inconsistently.  He went 2 innings while giving up 5 hits and 2 runs.  He was being asked to go almost three innings total which is not his game.  He came in and got out of the 8th inning without a problem.  He also had no problem in the bottom of the ninth.  It was his appearance in the 10th inning where the Red Sox really started to hit Johnson hard.  In retrospect, Johnson was probably asked to pitch too long.  Cla Meredith came in and recorded the save. I totally forgot Cla was on this team!  He is a guy I’d like to see used much more.  He has a deceptive delivery, gets ground balls, and throws strikes.  It was great to not see Matt Albers or Kam Mickolio enter the game.  Dave Trembley really managed the game well today.  He can only put his players in the correct positions, and then it’s up to the players to perform.  Dave’s decisions today were great.

The offense recorded another double digit hit game by getting 14 hits in this game.  Nolan Reimold, Rhyne Hughes, Miguel Tejada, and Cesar Izturis each had two hits a piece.  Nolan looked much better today, and I’m really hoping he is starting to right his ship.  Miguel Tejada could have easily had two more hits today if it weren’t for great plays out of Boston’s third baseman Adrian Beltre.  Rhyne Hughes has really impressed in his short time in the major leagues.  His second hit scored the run that put the Orioles ahead, and seemingly opened the flood gates for the offense in the top of the tenth to really capitalize.  He also could have had another hit if he weren’t robbed by a great diving catch from left fielder Bill Hall.  I really like this kid.  Overall, the Orioles got clutch hits from guys who they needed production from: Nick Markakis, Luke Scott, Matt Wieters, and Ty Wigginton.  
The bullpen is still a problem, but I think Dave is starting to figure out the right players for certain situations.  Berken, Castillo, and Meredith should be given more opportunities to succeed in pressure situations.  Matt Albers and Mark Hendrickson should be held out for long relief roles.  Jim Johnson is fine in his current role.  Koji Uehara will start his injury assignment with double A Bowie by throwing in relief Tuesday and Thursday.  Hopefully, he will come back and take over the closer role.  He was a successful closer in Japan so he may be the best option we have to close out games.  
Dave Watch:
This is a new section where I’m going to monitor Dave Trembley.  Ken Rosenthal of Fox sports has reported that the Orioles will most definitely be the first team to replace their current manager.  I know I’ve been critical of Dave Trembely, but let’s be clear here: I do not want a change if it’s really not needed.  I’ve said before that these players need to have consistency.  We don’t need to be making knee jerk reactions.  They need to be well founded, and neccessary.  I don’t think Dave should be fired immediately, but he is on a very short leash.  In this series, he has generally made correct call after correct call.  He just hasn’t placed the correct player in the correct situation.  Today, he made the correct calls all over the field for the entire game.  He was aggressive in his use of the bench which was nice to see.  He put pitchers in the right situations.  This game should give him some brownie points.  Right now I say he has a 70 percent chance of losing his job before the all-star break.     Hopefully, I’ll be able to continually lower that percentage as the season goes on.
On to the award ceremony:
Three Stars of the Game:

*Rhyne Hughes: For the second consecutive game, Rhyne finds himself on this list.  He played extremely well again today going 2-4 with a single, double, RBI, run scored, and a walk.  This kid has been nothing but tremendous so far.  I really hope he can continue this because he sure is exciting to watch.

*Nolan Reimold: Nolan batted leadoff today, and I thought he played quite well.  He went 2-5 with a run scored.  The drawback from today was that he struck out three times.  He seems to be turning a small corner at the plate which is a very good thing.  He also played very well out in left field.  Solid game from Nolan today.

*Miguel Tejada: Miggy was on fire today.  He hit the ball hard all day long.  Beltre robbed him twice of hits that would have scored runs, but Miggy got even by hitting a 2-run home run to tie the game at 4.  Miguel also started off the game changing tenth inning by singling to start the ultimate rally.  He is starting to really heat up at the plate, and it should have a trickle down effect on the rest of the lineup.

Star Gazers:

Mark Hendrickson: He did not look good on the mound today.  His ball caught way too much of the plate way too often, and the Red Sox hitters made him pay.  He allowed both of the runners he inherited from David Hernandez to score, and that’s not part of his job description.  He must improve if he wants to have a prominent role in this bullpen.

Jim Johnson: While he did pitch a very solid 1 and a 1/3rd inning of relief, his performance when we needed him to shut the door was pretty abismal.  He gave up hard hit balls, runs, and just generally seemed to get flustered on the mound.  I don’t understand why the last inning of a game is such a task for this guy, but he can’t be relied upon to close the game out.  He literally can only hold the game for someone else.  This guy has the stuff, but the mental make up has to progress for him to really be a back of the rotat
ion type guy.
Adam Jones: He went 1-6.  We need him to keep up the production.  He started hitting the ball hard in the first two games of this series only to fall off today.  He does seem to be coming out of his slump, but ever so slowly.  It’ll be a real nice day when he does break out…especially if this offense really gets off to a serious roll.
The Orioles will have another day off tomorrow, and then face off with the Yankees at Camden Yards.  Tuesday’s game will feature Kevin Millwood vs Phil Hughes.

Into the 8th, 9th, and 10th

Ty Wigginton led off with a single up the middle.  Rhyne Hughes then was robbed on a ball to left field on a diving catch by Bill Hall.  Matt Wieters came up as a pinch hitter for Craig Tatum, and then proceeded to strike out.  Garrett Atkins came up for Cesar Izturis, and flew out to center field to end the Oriole half inning.

Alberto Castillo began the 8th by inducing a fly out to Reimold in left.  Trembley then removed him in favor of Jim Johnson.  Johnson retired Adrian Beltre on a ground out to Julio Lugo (who took over in the field for Izturis after Atkins pinch hit for him).  Bill Hall struck out to end the inning.  Nice inning from the bullpen.
9th inning:
In the Oriole half inning, Daniel Bard struck out Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis.  Jim Johnson stayed in to pitch the bottom of the ninth.  Darnell McDonald led off the Boston half by singling up the middle.  Marco Scutaro bunted McDonald to second.  Johnson then struck out Dustin Pedroia for the second out of the inning.  Johnson got Victor Martinez to ground out to Rhyne Hughes at first base to end the inning.
10th inning:
Scott Atchison relieved Daniel Bard. I don’t understand this move, but I am glad for it.  Bard easily struck out the side in the 9th so it’s a nice thing to see him out of the game.  
Miguel Tejada led off the inning by singling to center field.  Luke Scott then doubled to deep left field. Ty Wigginton walked forcing Atchison from the game.  Scott Shoeneweis entered the game to face Rhyne Hughes.  Hughes then singled to right field to score Miguel Tejada.  Wieters singled to center field through a drawn in infield to score Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton.  Julio Lugo proceeded to pop a bunt up that was caught for the first out of the inning.  Terry Francona has apparently seen enough from Shoeneweis, and has gone to his bullpen again for Manny Delcarmen.
Delcarmen retired Montanez on a fly ball to left, and struck out Adam Jones to end the Oriole half.  Jim Johnson stayed in the game for the bottom of the tenth, and gave up a lead off double to Kevin Youkilis.  He got David Ortiz to fly out, but the fly out moved Youkilis to third. J.D Drew then doubled to score Youkilis.  Adrian Beltre singled to move Drew to third.  Bill Hall then singled to left to score Drew making the score 7-6 Orioles.  Trembley went to the bullpen after replacing Jim Johnson with Cla Meredith.
Meredith got Marco Scutaro to line out to Ty Wigginton to end the game.  The Orioles win 7-6, and end their 5 game losing streak.  Cla Meredith earns his first career save, and Jim Johnson gets the win.