Tagged: Baltimore Orioles

9/27 – Hold Your Breath

The American League Wild Card race is getting real interesting right now. With a Baltimore win over the Red Sox and the Rays downing the Yankees, the Rays and Sox are now tied atop the AL Wild Card standings. It looked for a while like the Red Sox may be able to hold their ground and continue this dominant season but the Rays have really come on strong and can smell the playoffs.

Josh Beckett pitched well against the Orioles last night but the Baltimore offense has decided to play the role of Major Spoiler and give the Rays some help. Chris Davis and Robert Andino were the unlikely heroes in Baltimore’s 6-3 victory over Boston, Davis driving in a pair and Andino scattering three RBI throughout the game.¬†Tonight the Red Sox will send veteran southpaw Erik Bedard (1-2, 3.63 ERA) to the mound against rookie and fellow left-hander Zach Britton (11-10, 4.44 ERA).

The Rays needed a big inning to bust through against the Yankees and that’s what they got in the bottom of the third. With the score at 2-0 Yankees, a two-run double off the bat of B.J. Upton and a Johnny Damon RBI single put the Rays up for good. Having James Shields on the mound gave the Rays that extra boost of confidence to overcome the Yankees as Shields pitched eight and two thirds innings of six-hit, two-run baseball. Kyle Farnsworth recorded his twenty-fourth save of the year. Tonight young righty Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90 ERA) will go against journeyman righty Bartolo Colon (8-10, 4.02 ERA) in a chance for the Rays to hop into first place in the Wild Card.

It’s Veteran vs. Youngster for the Sox and Youngster vs. Veteran for the Rays in what could be the biggest game of the season for both of these two playoff-bound teams.

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5/2 – Game 4 vs. Orioles

Of course! The night I’m at an awesome concert and miss the game the Sox have to win. 

Alex the Resurgent hit a home run, his second of the year. I’m really glad that he’s starting to heat up because he was our spark plug last season and, even if he won’t be that guy this year, it’s good to have him doing things. Konerko homered as well, his eighth of the season, which is awesome. We’re sort of getting into that “We really need a long ball here” mode that we’ve been in for so long. I know home runs are good but we can’t depend on them – moving baserunners along is good, too. Scoring on a double, even scoring on a single if you’re fast. But that’s enough of that for right now. We won and that’s all that matters.
Pretty good night out of the bullpen! Jesse Crain had yet another solid outing, striking out another three batters. Chris Sale still seems lost on the mound as he gave up a two out, two-run homer to Derrek Lee. Sergio Santos came in and locked up the save, though, so that is stellar. Because Crain is so hot lately he’ll get another three points, Santos will get two, and Sale will get one. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 19 points
2. Jesse Crain – 17 points
3. Will Ohman – 12 points
4. Chris Sale – 11 points
5. Jeff Gray – 7 points
6. Tony Pena – 6 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

Hate to see Thornton still chilling at the bottom of the list but that’s what he gets for not being good. 

I took a good amount of pictures at the concert tonight. They’re all on my sister’s iPod so once she posts them on Facebook I’ll put a couple in a post on here. 
The Sox welcome in the Minnesota Twins tomorrow. Lets beat up on them and keep them in the cellar, shall we? Edwin Jackson (2-3, 5.86) vs. Francisco Liriano (1-4, 9.13) – see what I did there? I bolded the lett–nevermind… we should score a lot based on Liriano’s ERA…
Go Sox!!
EDIT: Instead of going in and editing what I said I’m just going to admit my mistake. Konerko homered twice tonight, his seventh and eighth. See what happens when I miss a game? I can’t even read a box score correctly.

5/1 – Game 3 vs. Orioles

So that first month of the season was kinda like in Spiderman 3 when Harry takes a pumpkin bomb, throws it at Peter, Peter grabs the pumpkin bomb out of the air with some web, spins around, throws it back at Harry, and the pumpkin bomb blows up in Harry’s face. Harry was all like “Yeah, man! Look what I can do while you aren’t looking!” but Peter was totally “Oh yeah? Check this out.” and Harry was all “OW! My most of my face! And my pride and my confidence and stuff…” 

Except in this case, the Sox fans are Harry, our hope is the pumpkin bomb, and Peter is reality and the rest of the American League. Stay with me, there’s more. 
So now I’m thinking somewhere along these lines: remember when Harry is so frustrated with what’s going on in his life at the end of Spiderman 1? He picks up a knife and chucks it at his father’s reflection that he’s looking at in the mirror. Harry is thinking that by smashing his father into pieces he’ll get rid of the past, but the knife flies straight through the mirror and into a hidden area of his house. Harry walks through the mirror and realizes his true potential. Well, in this case, we’re still Harry, the mirror is our hope, and the reflection of Mr. Osborne is the month of April. Make sense? Cool.
(I was thinking about all of this in the car on the way to church this morning.)
That being said today’s ballgame was mostly some leftovers from April. It’s okay, it’s only the first day of a new month, there’s still time.
Adam Dunn hit a clutch pinch-hit two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to throw the knife at the reflection of April. Somehow, though, Kevin Gregg (who my friend affectionately nicknamed “Captain Suck” when Gregg was with the Cubs) was able to shut us down with two on and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Some pretty bogus calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser – who I’ve never heard of before. He tossed Alexander the Seemingly Resurgent after he argued a called strike three that I’m pretty sure almost grazed his belt. 
Everyone outta the bullpen today will get two points, except for Jesse Crain who will receive three points for striking out the side in the seventh inning. Absolutely filthy. Will Ohman pitched a good eighth inning and Sergio Santos pitched an equally good ninth inning. So the top three spots on the leaderboard all made appearances and pitched exceptionally well, showing signs of the bullpen that we expected to have back when the season started.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 17 points
2. Jesse Crain – 14 points
3. Will Ohman – 12 points
4. Chris Sale – 10 points
5. Jeff Gray – 7 points
6. Tony Pena – 6 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

Oh, and good defense today, boys!

Jeremy Guthrie (1-3, 2.53) will go for the Orioles tomorrow against Mark Buehrle (1-3, 5.12). Today’s offense had better continue into tomorrow and I have a foolproof way to beat these guys. Hold them to less than six runs and score more than five runs. That should be good enough for a win…
Go Sox!!

4/30 – Game 2 vs. Orioles

It looked pretty good for a while there until our defense once again handed the ballgame over on a silver platter. 

A.J. Pierzynski’s error in the eighth inning was a bit contributor to the Orioles’ four-run explosion. Mark Teabag also flubbed an easy enough play. This defense is really frustrating me lately. Forget the offensive struggles, forget the bullpen issues, the defense is our big problem right now. We’re just giving games away. 
Phil Humber once again was brilliant. He pitched seven innings of two-run baseball, striking out five, walking one, and surrendering two runs, one on a home run off the bat of Robert Andino. His record falls to 2-3 after a wasted performance.
“Alexander the Seemingly Resurgent” Rios hit his first home run of the year in the bottom of the ninth inning. It’s annoying when the a dangles hope in front of your face and then yanks it away as you reach for it. The Sox have been doing that a lot lately, too. And as Keleigh pointed out in the comments, Adam Dunn is hitting below .200 – .160 to be exact. He’s been driving in runs but he can’t get on base, which, to me, is just as frustrating as the floundering defense. We’re paying this guy the Big Bucks to hit home runs and drive in one hundred thirty runs but all he’s done is strike out thirty times in seventy-one at-bats. I’m hoping that it’s the weather (which is a bogus excuse but I’ll accept it) and that he’ll warm up as the weather does. 
Once again the bullpen pitched well enough but it was the defense’s fault that they gave up as many runs as they did. Thornton came on in the eighth, faced six batters before recording an out, gave up four runs, three earned, and then Jeff Gray pitched an inning and two thirds of shutout relief ball. Two points for Gray. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 15 points
2. Jesse Crain – 11 points
3. Will Ohman – 10 points
3. Chris Sale – 10 points
5. Jeff Gray – 7 points
6. Tony Pena – 6 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 1:10 PM, Zach Britton (4-1, 2.84 [Yeah, I know, I said “Oh no…” as well]) will go against The Pitcher of Mystery (3-1, 3.60). According to Ed Farmer, Jim Palmer says Britton “can really pitch.” Jim Palmer was a pretty good pitcher so I’m positive he knows what he’s talking about. 
Ugh… 
Go Sox.  

4/29 – Game 1 vs. Orioles

I’m so glad we’re home. That long road trip felt too long and I really missed our home white uniforms with the black pinstripes. I also missed hearing the sounds of the fans at The Cell getting up from their seats and leaving in the seventh inning when the stinking Baltimore Orioles score five runs because Alexei Ramirez decided to hold on to a ground ball that would’ve been a sure inning-ending groundout. Didn’t you miss that? 

The Bridge (still looking for a better nickname but until I get it he’s The Bridge) has been really good over the past week. He cracked a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning that just barely snuck over the left field wall. His stance reminds me a lot of Aaron Rowand’s before he started doing that weird thing with the bat that he does now. I’m talking 2004, 2005 Aaron Rowand – the good Aaron Rowand. His defense lately is also very Rowand-esque. I’m glad he’s making his way into the lineup more often, we really need his productivity lately. 
The highlight of the game for me was this exchange between Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson
DJ: He[Vladimir Guerrero]’s got the wingspan of an Anaconda.
Ed: …Anaconda’s don’t have wingspans… they’re snakes…
DJ: Oh, well what’s that big bird thing?
Ed: A pterodactyl?
DJ: No…
Ed: A Condor?
DJ: Yeah, Condor, that’s what I meant.
I’m glad the guys are still humorous when the Orioles are shellacking the Sox 10-4 in a game that should’ve been 5-4 into the ninth inning. 
Pierzynski’s two-run home run in the second inning (his first of the year) was also a highlight but it didn’t make me laugh. 
Crain and Sale allowed five runs but only one of them was earned, so I don’t know how I should go about awarding the points. Matt Thornton was solid in his one inning of work so he’ll definitely get two points. I guess since Crain was on the mound for the brunt of the damage he’ll only get one point and Sale will get two? Yeah, that sounds good.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 15 points
2. Jesse Crain – 11 points
3. Will Ohman – 10 points
3. Chris Sale – 10 points
5. Tony Pena – 6 points
6. Jeff Gray – 5 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

I’m thinking of doing this for position players, too, once May rolls around… your thoughts on that? 

Like I said at the beginning of the post: I’m just glad to be home. It’s only April, we should settle into a groove pretty soon here – hopefully a winning groove – and everyone will be blogging with happy faces. However, as I said on Facebook, “For those of you who don’t know, baseball is my life. The outcome of Sox games really do temporarily affect my mood. Needless to say I’m very unhappy right now.”

*shakes head solemnly 

First pitch is tomorrow at 6:10, Phil “Oh My Gosh We Really Need You Right Now” Humber (2-2, 3.20) will pitch against Chris “He’ll Probably Pitch Better Anyway” Tillman (0-2, 6.16). By those numbers it should be a 6-3 Sox win. We’ll see… numbers have been lying a lot lately. 

Go Sox!!