There is no doubt that yesterday’s loss hurt. There is no question that the O’s do not have the ability to hold momentum. That is often the case with rebuilding teams. Walking hitters with a four run lead in the ninth inning is unacceptable! Period! That said, Bergesen was GREAT! As impressive as he has been in the last six weeks, to do that against the Red Sox showed me something. If the point is to develop starting pitching, and we all know that it is, he has taken an important step for this baseball team.
One game does not change the plan. As I wrote yesterday, we all know they will finish in last place this year. Coming back from ten runs was not going to change that! However, this team IS better! The return of the Orioles to prominence will be about three things; the development of starting pitching from within the organization, the continuing maturity of a talented offense, and McPhail’s ability to resurrect the infrastructure that is the Oriole’s organization from top to bottom. Rome was not built in a day, and neither are strong baseball organizations built to succeed for the long term. Yes, you can buy all the free agents in the world, and raise your payroll to the height of Mt. Everest, (if you can get pitchers to come to a hitter’s ballpark which the Orioles can’t) but you will have a barren farm system that will have no prayer of helping you. The Orioles cannot be competitive for years to come like that. This is the only way to be perpetually strong!
Blaming Dave Trembley for yesterday’s loss is ridiculous! Yes, I would have liked to see Bergesen start the ninth inning. That said, most managers in the game would have brought in one of his two best bullpen guys who have been on a roll. It would be different if he had brought in Hendrickson, or Chris Ray to get some work. He brought in the two guys he counts on the most to get three outs with a four run lead! Yesterday’s loss was about walking three men, up by four. Johnson, who didn’t pitch in the game the night before, had nothing, and Sherrill, after striking out his first two batters, couldn’t get it done. You can’t even blame the umpires, who were absolutely horrible in this series! HORRIBLE! As much as I would like to say Varitek swung and was the third out, it really was too close to be definitive. Frankly, I think he checked his swing. Either way, you know that the Red Sox will always get that call when it is close because…they are the Red Sox! The trick is to not put yourself in the situation of loading the bases when you had a four run lead in the ninth. To blame Trembley for this loss because his best weren’t at their best, is knee jerk reaction to a horrible loss. You can question Trembley for his team’s collective base running mistakes. You can blame Trembley for his teams on again, off again display of fundamentals. You can blame Trembley for his lineups, and his use of the bullpen on many occasions. You cannot blame Trembley for yesterday! Look at the box scores from yesterday’s games, and you will see that most managers would do the exact same thing. Do you want to blame someone, I present to you Jim Johnson and George Sherrill.
You want to call me an apologist? Go ahead! Knock yourself out! I am tired of pounding on an organization that is clearly getting better. There are no guarantees. If the five or six young pitchers in the minors don’t pan out, we will be back to square one. That is the way the game works. I look forward because I already know what is behind. Are the Orioles obstacles daunting? No question about it! Is there no hope in sight? Not anymore! Yesterday was painful, but I knew they were going to finish in last place this year. So did you! I will be watching tonight. I hope you will as well!