Thursday, April 19, 2007

Musings on 8-7

-To the people that scoffed at the expensive bullpen, well, I have one thing to say to you: HA! You have to give the Orioles front office credit, in the short term anyway, for the immediate turn-around we have seen in the pen. With last year's pen there is no way we win at least 3 of the games we have won so far. The pen is among the tops in the AL right now and taking out the two late inning grand slams they ARE the tops with a sub 2 ERA.

John "THE TRUTH" Parrish has been simply amazing, striking out people at an alarming rate. In 7.2 IP Parrish has K'd 13 and only walked 2. His BAA is a minuscule 1.72 and his ERA is, of course, a perfect 0.00. Chris Ray shook off his early shakiness in New York and has since logged five saves not giving up a run since the A-Rod granny in New York.

-Teams are still backloading their lefties to throw at the Orioles trying to take advantage of the perception that the Orioles struggle against southpaws. Well they do. The Orioles are 2-4 against lefty starters this year. Toronto is no different pitching AJ Burnett on Friday.

The Orioles recalled Jon Knott minor league darling and lefty-masher and he broke through REAL quick, in 2 games he has hit 1 HR and 4RBIs and tearing the cover off the ball. Offseason acquisition Jay Payton will also return Friday from his stint on the DL. This of course is leading to speculation that Knott will be optioned back to AAA Norfolk rather than speedy defensive replacement and light hitting Freddie Bynum.

I would love to see Knott stay here, but I am not going to hold my breath. I want Knott to stay and you have to think his hot bat will help his case, but it seems that Manager Sam Perlozzo is resigned to having a speedster/ defensive guy on the bench for late inning replacements. And that is the big knock on Knott, his defense leaves a lot to be desired.

But man that kid can hit the ball a ton.

-From the American League desk: The Los Angeles Angels are STRUGGLING. They just lost hot second baseman Howie Kendrick for an indeterminate amount of time with a broken bone in his left hand. This coming after a sweep at the hands of the Red Sox which has helped the team limp to a 6-9 record.

- Mark Burhele pitched his first career no-hitter last night, and the first no-hitter of the season as his White Sox defeated the Rangers 6-0. This was the first no-hitter thrown by a White Sox pitcher since 1991.

As alluded to above the Orioles will open up a weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday. Tomorrow it will be Daniel "I should spell my last name with a K from now on" Cabrera taking on A.J. "Potential" Burnett. Friday night is of course student night AND, thank God for this, the temperature should be in the 60's for the game! Winter seems to finally be ending around here as warm weather will be creeping in. That can only mean good things for Cabrera who seemed bothered by the cold weather in his last start, in which there were periodic shifts between windy-cold and windy-cold-rain.

The Orioles finished the first 15 games of the season above .500 and playing pretty decent ball. Tejada's bat is starting to heat up as he was 3-4 yesterday afternoon with a single, a walk, a double and two runs scored. Nick Markakis hit his third dinger of the year yesterday as well. He muscled an opposite field shot into the first couple rows of the left field stands. All in all I think Rick Dempsey said it best on the post-game show:

"Good teams find a way to win even when they don't play their best."

And that is what the Orioles have been doing. They did not look sharp in Tampa Bay. The starters were shaky at best. Both Loewen and Trachsel got yanked early and had to rely on the bullpen to pick them up, or at least stop the bleeding. The defense was suspect and clutch hitting was sometimes a problem. But the Orioles stuck with it, got great contributions from guys like Bynum and Knott and were able to win the series as part of a larger 8-4 run since they were swept by Minnesota to open the season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm still scoffing