Well there goes the perfect season for the Baltimore Orioles! No longer are the O’s in contention for a 162-0 season after last night’s loss they are however on pace for a 0-162 season. Obviously neither of those are actual possibilities for O’s but after last night’s 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Orioles looked to be in mid season form (circa the entire 2000’s) after only nine innings into the 2010 season.
It’s not that the loss bothers me since I predicted the Orioles to lose more games than they’ll win this season (75-87), it’s more how the Orioles lost last night’s game that gets me more than anything. Since baseball is a numbers and statistics game the glaring stat from last night’s game was the inefficiency of the team to drive in runners when they were already in scoring position. The O’s were 1-12 with runner’s in scoring position last night, including 0-3 from both Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejeda. A key hit here or there for the O’s would have made the game less “blowable” for Mike Gonzalez. Now I know that Gonzalez is Baltimore’s least favorite Orioles after only one game, but the blame for the loss can’t be placed purely on his shoulders alone. Roberts was 0-5, Tejeda was 0-5, and both Atkins and Pie were just 1-4. There’s enough blame after the 4-3 loss to go around in the club house.
The great thing about a 162 game schedule is that there’s nearly always a game the next night. Tonight the Orioles get a chance to even up their record as Jeremy Guthrie takes the “bump” for the Orioles against Matt Garza for the Rays. Both pitchers are trying to rectify losing seasons in 2009 and start their 2010 campaigns with an early W. It will also be the first action of the season for Nolan Reimold, who hopes to build off of an exciting, but injury cut short rookie season.
Here’s tonight’s line-up for the O’s:
1. Roberts 2B
2. Jones CF
3. Markakis RF
4. Tejeda 3B
5. Scott DH
6. Wieters C
7. Reimold LF
8. Atkins 1B
9. Izturis SS
Yesterday’s Home Run prediction: Adam Jones (homered in the 3rd)
Today’s Home Run prediction: Matt Wieters
In other baseball news, it’s hard watching former Oriole Melvin Mora playing second base for the Colorado Rockies right now. Mora never played 2nd for the O’s, so this is definitely taking some getting used to. I wish Melvin all the best, but I wish that this would be the second or third season away from the Orioles, not his first.
Congrats to the UCONN Huskies for defeating the Stanford Cardinals to win their 78th game in a row, the NCAA Championship, and their 3rd straight championship. The Huskies must have been wondering if their season was going to end with total disappointment at halftime as they trailed Stanford 12-20, but awful shooting from the Cardinals in the second half opened the door for the best team in women’s college basketball to win the game. This game certainly didn’t do much to help women’s basketball gain more popularity with both teams shooting enough bricks to extend the warehouse at Camden Yards all the way to Pimlico. I gave it a chance, I watched a little, but in the end I just can’t get into the women’s game and only 12 first half points from a team that entered the game on a 77 game winning streak was simply the nail in the coffin.
On the ice the Capitals knocked off the Penguins in Pittsburgh to sweep the season series with the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Capitals continue to expand on their best regular season in franchise history as they notched their 118th point on the season. Alexander Ovechkin scored two goals and Sidney Crosby scored once, tying them for the league leader in goals scored this season at 48 a piece. With two games left for the Caps and three left for the Pens the race is on for either Ovechkin or Crosby to win the “Rocket” Richard Trophy. If Ovechkin won the award again this season, it would be his 3rd straight of his young career, for Crosby it would be his first.
Keeping an eye on Ovechkin’s stats is really all that’s for Caps fans, after clinching the Presidents Trophy last week for the league’s best regular season record. In addition to being tied with Crosby for the “Rocket” Richard, Ovechkin also has his sights set on the Art Ross Trophy as well. The Art Ross is given to the player that leads the league in scoring during the regular season. Currently Ovechkin trails Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin by only one point. Ovie knows what’s on the line right now and he’s pressing to get it. Clearly the #1 goal is winning the Stanley Cup, but after already having won the Presidents Trophy as a team, tied for the Rocket Richard, and one point away from the Art Ross, the only thing left for Ovechkin would be his 3rd straight Hart Trophy (MVP) and the Conn Smythe Trophy for the MVP of the playoffs. I can already see the poster of Ovechkin grinning (with one tooth missing) surrounded by all of these trophies he acquired this season. One things for sure in Ovechkin’s last two games of the regular season, he’s definitely going to be shooting the puck early and often to to make sure HE beats Crosby in anything he possibly can.
Finally, thanks to everyone who came out to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood www.jimmysfamousseafood.net last night to watch the O’s season opener. Also congrats to Ben Perovich who ate his way to winning a Cal Ripken Jr, signed baseball in the 7th Inning Stretch Eating Contest. I can’t wait for the home opener on Friday and hope to see everyone at Luna Del Sea on Pratt St. before the game.