Tag Archive | "brad"

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Did You See That?!?

Posted on 22 April 2009 by Nicholas Miskelly

Did You See That?!? 

Wow!  That was all I thought of as I was watching Brad Bergesen debut last night.  Orioles excitement was alive and well in my house last night.  Nothing, not even the monsoon that passed over the region last night, would dampen my mood as I sat down and enjoyed the beginning of what I have been saying will be a bright future!  That’s right the future began last night and he began with an emphatic bang. 

Brad Bergesen, the first of what is expected to be a great collection of young arms, took the mound last night against the Chicago White Sox.  Not only was he saddled with the pressure of his first Major League start, he was also saddled with the pressure of being the first of this great wave to come into Camden Yards and re-energize this franchise and rebuild the hopes that some day soon, the Orioles will be relevant again.  If successful, the fans may start to believe in the plan that Andy McPhail has laid out for us but if he fails  many would be left to question what exactly we are supposed to be hopeful for.   

While the debut for Bergesen was delayed for more than an hour and a half it surely was not dampened.  He came out and shut down the Chicago White Sox hitters with the maturity and confidence of an All-Star.  From his first pitch of the game until he was questionably removed in the sixth inning, he owned the mound.  It seemed as though every pitch he threw went right were he had planned on pitching it and all the Sox hitters could do was beat it into the ground.  Bergesen started the first 3 and two-thirds innings of his career without allowing a hit.  If it had not been for an error on Wigginton in the fourth, who knows how much longer he could have pitched no-hit ball.  Not only did the error lead to the first hit by a White Sox player, it also forced Bergesen to throw an additional 15-20 pitches in the forth inning.  If Wigginton catches the ground ball hit at him by Quentin, more than likely the Orioles turn two and get out the inning with a 2-0 lead.  Bergesen would have also been saved those additional pitches and could have pitched further into the game saving a bullpen that has been taxed to this point.  This is the problems with bad defense.  Not only are you preventing an out and putting extra people on the bases, but you are extending your pitcher.  You are forcing him to throw more pitches which, in turn, forces him out of the game sooner.  When you are getting an effective start out of your pitcher, the last thing you want to do is break into an over-worked and not-so-effective bullpen.   

Well enough about my tangent on why defense is so important. Today is a day for celebration and excitement.  That’s right, we are here to commend Bergesen for a job well done.  He really impressed me in every aspect of his game.  I was really impressed with his movement.  His balls seemed to dart all over the place.  They moved down in the strike zone and from side to side with a great zip to them.  He really looked tough to hit.  This was evident as very few hitters were able to get the ball into the air and out of the infield.  In fact, of the first ten outs Bergesen recorded, 6 were via the ground ball and the other 4 were as a result of a strike out.  For the game, only three outs were recorded on balls hit to the outfield, 2 fly outs and 1 put out for Markakis off of a single to right. 

Two things really impressed me about Bergesen’s debut.  The first thing was when he faced Quentin in the first inning.  After cruising through Getz and Fields to start the game, Quentin presented Bergesen with his first challenge by way of a 13 pitch at-bat.  Quentin continued to battle Bergesen as he fought off good pitch after good pitch.  Bergesen’s maturity really showed to me in this at-bat as he never gave in and  stuck to his plan.  He kept the ball down and kept hitting his spots, never once showing any frustration for an inability to put the hitter away.  Oftentimes, pitchers of any level of experience will get frustrated when a batter extends the at-bats with a number of foul balls and ultimately, ends up walking the batter or grooving a pitch that allows the hitter to reach base.  Bergesen did neither of those things as he kept making his pitches before ultimately striking him out.  That was a battle and Bergesen was able to prevail. 

The other aspect to Bergesen’s start that really impressed me was his poise and plan out on the mound.  While watching Bergesen pitch yesterday it was clear to me he had a plan as to what he needed to do and with the help of Zaun behind the plate his was able to successfully put his plan into play.  Some people are throwers and some are pitchers.  After watching Bergesen last night it was clear he is a pitcher.  He came into the game with a strategy of mainly staying down in the strike zone and moving the ball in and out to the hitters.  He accomplished that.  He kept the ball darting towards the ground, preventing hitters from getting under it, and successfully pitched to both sides of the strike zone.  He also was aware of the importance of changing the level of plain that hitters look at as he managed to select his spots where he would run a ball up in the strike zone, to keep hitters off balance, but never in a hittable location.  When ever he went up in the strike zone is was always with care as he never left a pitch up in the strike zone in a position where a hitter would be able to drive it. 

Bergesen’s debut was great to see for all Orioles fans.  It showed us a couple of things.  First, we learned that Bergesen might be the real deal.  He is more of a pitcher, like Mussina, not just thrower, like Cabrera.  The future for Bergesen seems bright.  The other thing that we may have learned from this game is that the plan the Orioles have been trying to sell may just be worth buying after all.   


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Fixing the O’s without risking the future

Posted on 22 April 2009 by Jason Jubb

It’s not as complex as the team makes it out to be. A few simple moves and the team can be a little more palatable with a little more hope for the rest of the season.

The first move to add Brad Bergeson to the rotation is a start. Bergeson is a control pitcher who is the most ready of any of the prospects and even though he has had limited experience at AAA it is not a stretch to put him in the majors. The same cannot be said for the likes of Arrieta, Matusz, and Tillman who still need a year of seasoning before they should be considered.

Next, drop Adam Eaton and bring up David Pauley. Over the past 3 years Eaton has consistently had a WHIP of over 1.50 while averaging an ERA around 6.00. Do you really think anyone can do worse than that? You would be hard pressed to find a guy who has had his last 60 starts in the majors go so bad, and yet end up in a major league rotation the next year. David Pauley gets the nod after going 14-4 with a 3.55 ERA at AAA Pawtucket last year. I’m not saying Pauley will be the answer but I would rather see us get beat with a 25 year old pitcher who has a little upside as opposed to the consistent bad performance of Adam Eaton.

Keeping with the pitching, go ahead and send Hendrickson to the bullpen as the long/mop up man. If you have to send someone down, I think Brian Bass may pass through waivers…Then call up Chris Waters to be the lefty in the rotation. Once again, Waters is not going to set the world on fire but I would rather lose with a guy who has a chance to not totally stink. Mark Hendrickson lost that chance long ago as he has compiled a career ERA of 5.06 in 991 career innings. Also, this may only be a short term gig for Waters if he does not produce since we are hoping Rich Hill will get healthy and return to the rotation sometime in May.

Lastly, cut ties with Felix Pie. I know he has only had a handful of AB’s with the O’s but I have never seen someone who looks so awkward in the majors. He is rigid and timid in the field, while he looks to have no approach at the plate. I find it hard to believe that he can master these skills at age 24 (allegedly, he looks older to me). To draw an analogy, it’s kind of like the wide receiver who can’t catch, you learn to catch when you are 7 years old not 23. Pie lacks skills that should have been acquired years ago. And I have a funny feeling he also might pass through waivers at this point…

In Pie’s spot I would give the AB’s to either Montanez or Reimold. Neither guy is young by prospect standards so it’s about time that one of them makes or breaks in the majors. I would give the edge to Reimold mostly because Montanez has had his chances in AAA and failed more than once. His lifetime average at the AAA level is .241 in 510 AB’s before this season. I am not that impressed with his year last year at AA since he was two years older than the league average at that time.

It’s that easy. The team gets a little better, fans will appreciate the fresh faces, and we do not have to rush the young pitching. If you see Andy MacPhail let him know he can hear me on the Sunday Morning Blitz along with Rex Snider from 10am-12pm or email me at Jason@wnst.net for more advice.

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Birds get complete effort, beat White Sox 10-3 to get Bergesen a debut win

Posted on 21 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Orioles looked like a different team tonight. A great start from a promising young draftee after five years of striving to get this opportunity. The meat of the lineup produced big-time, the bottom of the order chipped in and the bullpen was perfect. End result: Orioles 10, White Sox 3.

Brad Bergesen gets the win. Aubrey Huff hit two homers. Nick Markakis and Luke Scott were terrific. And despite the long-ish rain delay, it still was a memorable night.

Drew started blogging during the rain storm. I picked it up in the sixth. Hope you enjoy our coverage, especially if you missed the game.

11:17 p.m. — Huff continues to pile on. He’s hit two homers and driven in four and the rout is now three outs away from being over. It’s 10-3 and they’re icing down the champagne for Bergesen, who did a nice job.

11:03 p.m. –So just who is the star of this one? Bergesen who is going to win his ML debut? Or Markakis who is 4-for-4? Or Luke Scott who is 3-for-3? Or Aubrey Huff who hit a tape-measure dinger an hour ago? Lots of stars tonight. Heck, even Zaun and Izturis have contributed tonight and the bullpen has been spotless over almost three innings so far…

10:56 p.m. — Both Gregg Zaun and Cesar Izturis have chipped in here in the 7th, the latter with a two-RBI double down the RF line. Luke Scott is 3-for-3. The Orioles have played a great game tonight. Waking up the bats at the bottom of the lineup would surely pay some dividends on this home stand. And it looks like they’ve found a young pitcher who can take the ball every five days and keep them in games.

10:47 p.m. — Nick Markakis is now 4-for-4. He’s hitting .389 on the season. Pretty spectacular start for him after signing for the big bucks. Meantime, the bottom of the order continues to just drag:

Gregg Zaun is hitting .108. Felix Pie is hitting .139. Cesar Izturis is leading the group at .163.

It’s amazing they’ve en route to be a .500 team and 7-7 with this happening on a nightly basis.

10:39 p.m. — I’ve been watching all night but I’m now coming out of the bullpen for Drew, who has to wake up at 4:30 a.m. I have to hope there are more people who care than are at the ballpark tonight. It was a long rain delay and I’ve been watching the game in delay all night. Sad to Bergesen’s family at the ballpark watching their boy make his big-league debut in such a lonely environment.

Brad Bergesen was very composed, as predicted. Aubrey Huff and Nick Markakis continue to rip the ball. This has been a nice night to be in line to break a five-game losing streak. And Bergesen’s line should bring about some hope until Sunday, when he should take the ball again vs. Texas.

Bergesen: 5 2/3 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, just 1 earned run, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. A helluva start. These are the kind of numbers that Mark Hendrickson and Adam Eaton won’t acheive on a nightly basis every fifth day.

Drew’s running blog from the first six innings is here…

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The Future is Coming!!!

Posted on 21 April 2009 by Nicholas Miskelly

The Future is Coming!!!

This was a very tough weekend for all of us Orioles fans out there.  We started the year playing good ball, getting timely hitting, and enough pitching to break out of the gate to the tune of a 6 and 2 record.  You figured that they would lose game 3 in Texas because, well, that was the pattern.  Win the first two games of the series and then lose the finale as we went for the sweep.  Hey, I can handle that.  This O’s team was going to win 66% of the games and the Orioles were going to win 107 games when Gregg Zaun started and then they would lose 55 games when Chad Moeller was the starting catcher.   

We were heading into Boston and hoping that this pattern would continue.  It looked good as we saw Zaun in the line-up.  Everyone knew we were going to win.  Okay, that might be a stretch.  Zaun is not that good and I gain no confidence that our team will win just because he is lined up behind the plate.  In fact, I was quite concerned heading into Boston.  I was really hoping we could split. Boy, things started out great. 

In game one of the series the Orioles jumped all over Brad Penny as Nick Markakis and his GRAND start to the game gave the Orioles a seven to nothing lead after just 2 innings.  This was great.  We had Guthrie, our number one starter, on the mound and we gave him a 7 run lead in the second!!!  The Orioles got off to a great start in Boston and they were going to take game one.  Now I start to think about the possibility of maybe taking one of the remaining three and there you go.  We might sneak out of Boston splitting a four game series.  Well…… 

The second inning of Friday night was the only time I felt good about this team as they humiliated themselves in Boston.  What started out so promising ending with everyone looking around and asking the question, have the Orioles thrown in the towel already?

That maybe a bit of an overstatement but one thing is for sure, the Orioles did nothing right.  With the exception of Uehara, this trip to Boston was a complete embarrassment.  I honestly did not expect the Orioles to do well.  I surely am not excited about the team’s chances to succeed this year.  The future is what has me excited.  But with all that said this weekend really turned me off to the Orioles.  It was not the fact that they got swept by a much better team; it was the appearance that this team never got off the plane from Texas.  I do not know where their heads were for this series but they sure did not seem to be in Boston.   

The pitching was atrocious.  Take out Uehara’s good start in game three and the pitching line for the remaining three games looked like this: 

24 innings pitched

28 runs

39 hits

17 walks 

That is terrible and I did not even mention the 19 runs Orioles pitching gave up in the last game of the Texas series.  You can not expect to win with outings like those from your pitching staff.  The problems did not stop there.  Nobody on this team looked like they knew or understood the concept of defense.  We are talking about routine plays that the Orioles used to film an adult version of the Bad News Bears.  Where is Billy Bob Thornton when you need him?  The defense was horrid and it goes well beyond the numbers. 

After determining that this team could not pitch or field in Boston, it was clear that the offense would have to carry them yet again.  The only problem is the offense showed up for only 2 innings in a four game series.  The Orioles scored 7 runs in the second inning of game one and then 4 in the fifth inning of game 2.  In the remaining 34 innings of the series the Orioles managed a whopping 3 runs.  You are not going to win any games when your pitchers don’t pitch, your fielders don’t field, and you hitters don’t hit.  That is a fact.

But as I mentioned early I knew this team would be bad.  There was no way this team with this pitching staff was going to compete.  What does bother me is that so far the fundamentals are missing.  They were supposed to be a team based around a solid defense and good fundamentals.  Where has that gone?  Well that is a topic for another day.

As I was saying, I knew this team was going to lose but yet I was still excited about Orioles baseball.  And the reason I was, was the future this club might have if the young guns can develop and play well.  I will watch tonight with lots of excitement and anticipation as one of the first pieces to the future that I incidentally still see as a bright one, makes his debut.  That’s right, Brad Bergesen will begin the new phase of the Orioles tonight as he is the first, of what I hope to be many, young Orioles to debut for the big league club.  He had a great spring and looked good down in the minors and I can’t wait to see how he does tonight.  I am not trying to put too much pressure on Bergesen but please, please give me something to hang my hope on.  We will all be watching tonight’s game and Bergesen. And with a good start to his big league career he could really put this season into perspective for us.  He can remind us that it will be ugly at times, hopefully not worse than the last 5 games, but help is coming and the future will be bright. 

So Brad Bergesen I leave you with this:  We are counting on you to not only win tonight but to renew our hope that the future for this once great organization will be bright again.    

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Red Sox complete 4-game sweep, batter Orioles 12-1

Posted on 20 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

1:50 p.m. — The Red Sox are getting well this inning off of the O’s bullpen. Mike Lowell just added another single. Update on Radhames Liz: 1/3 IP, 3H, 6ER, 1BB, 2HBP. His ERA is now: 67.50.

1:45 p.m. — The Bad News Bears weren’t this bad. Youkilis just sent a “seeing eye” pop that bounced an inch from the RF line to score another run. This one looked like it had a message of some kind. Just a crazy swing of the bat. Add another ER to Liz’s line…

1:39 p.m. — Liz just bounced one in front of David Ortiz that hit his leg. Here comes Matt Albers. He inherits the bases loaded and one out in the 7th inning.

Liz: 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 W, 2HBP … His ERA is now 47.25.

Oh, and there’s three more ducks on the pond and Kevin Youkilis is awaiting like Alberts is raw meat. Jim Hunter just said: “Not a good outing for Radhames Liz.”

Yeah, ya think? That’s a helluva observation, Jimmy!

1:36 p.m. — Another single, 9-1. Radhames Liz is NOT a Major League pitcher. Now Matt Albers is warming in the bullpen. At this point, I have no idea why they’re not just saving the bullpen for tomorrow. Brad Bergesen is making his major-league debut. It would be a good idea to save the bullpen.

1:34 p.m. — It hasn’t taken long for Radhames Liz to go into “arsonist” mode. He’s given up a double, he’s hit one batter and walked one. Oh, and he did get one out. It’s 7-1. UPDATE: Another single, 8-1.

1:10 p.m. — This just in: Felix Pie SUCKS! He can’t hit. He can’t run the bases. And he certainly looks lost in the outfield shagging flyballs. The defense has been “spotty” at best over the first two weeks of the season. But, Pie just played a relatively easy play for a major league centerfielder into a two-run triple for David Ortiz. YES…a TRIPLE by Ortiz at Fenway Park! They’re down 6-1. Sarfate’s ERA is going to suffer, but that was just brutal defense. Embarrassing…they’re nine outs away from being swept by the Red Sox in Boston.

I have great admiration for Jim Palmer for not simply jumping out of his seat and saying: “I wouldn’t have pitched for a franchise this bad!”

12:58 p.m. — Looks like five innings is the max, except for Koji Uehara these days. Hendrickson is out. Dennis Sarfate is next. The Birds are still down 3-1.

12:22 p.m. — Well, hopes are that Mark Hendrickson is settling down. He just struck out the bottom of the Red Sox order in 4th inning. He might even make it to the 6th or 7th inning if he keeps throwing at this pace. Jim Palmer is talking incessantly about his 1970 appearance on Patriots Day in Boston. (I love old ‘Cakes’ stories…)

12:06: Finally, we get our first real “call up” treat here in 2009. Brad Bergesen (1-1, 2.45 ERA at Norfolk) will take the ball tomorrow night at Camden Yards vs. the White Sox. Not sure if that sells them any more tickets (some will be going for the free Koji T-shirt) but I’m excited to watch this kid pitch.

12:04 p.m. — The Orioles are on the board, getting a rare RBI single from Cesar Izturis in the 3rd inning. Nick Markakis just played a flyball out into a triple. Jim Palmer: “That should be an error but that’s not the way they do things anymore.”

‘Cakes’ cracks me up!

11:49 p.m. — Mark Hendrickson has been lucky to escape the first two innings with only three runs allowed, as he loaded the bases in the first with no outs and escaped with only two runs plated. In the second, he gave up a monumental home run to Jason Varitek in the 2nd inning.

Now, Ryan Freel made it to first on an infield single and was hit in the head with a throw trying to steal second base and left the game groggy with Robert Andino taking his spot at third base.

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O’s Minor League Rosters are set

Posted on 08 April 2009 by Jason Jubb

The Orioles minor league affiliates have put out there rosters and here are a few things of note:

– I though Chris Tillman could have used a little more seasoning at AA but he is with the AAA Tides. Control seems to be an issue and I fear he may struggle a bit at the start of the season.

– As expected, Brad Bergeson will get the 1st start for the Tides and be their “#1 starter”.

– Jeff Fiorentino is back with the Baysox. He’s no longer a prospect but it’s interesting to see him again.

– Troy Patton starts at AA in order to get an opportunity to pitch. He is probably ready for AAA, but his injury last year and the good problem of too many arms at AAA has forced the move.

– Despite going 12-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 145 IP at Bowie last year, Jason Berken starts back at AA Bowie as well.

– As expected Jake Arrieta will start at AA Bowie. Make it a point to see him there while you can.

– Last years #1 pick Brian Matusz will start at high A Frederick.

– Meanwhile, our #1 from 2006, Billy Rowell will start at Frederick after playing there last year.

– Top prospects from the 2008 draft Jerome Hoes and Xavier Avery will start at low A Delmarva.

Norfolk Tides

Bowie Baysox

Frederick Keys

Delmarva Shorebirds

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A gloomy forecast — today and for the ’09 Birds

Posted on 06 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The sky is gray across the horizon in downtown Baltimore this morning as the Orioles kick off their 2009 campaign amidst a city full of Yankees fans and the inaugural appearance for Baltimore’s homegrown Mark Teixeira as a pinstriper. It was a dark day even before the clouds and scattered showers moved in from the south.

The Orioles, who haven’t played a meaningful game since October 1997, appear to be about to put another 162 insignificant games into the record books as the “dark era” of Birds baseball continues, the longest stretch of inepetitude in the history of the storied franchise. The Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Orioles “win/loss” total at 71 1/2, which means if the Orioles play just “18 games under .500” you win the bet.

I’m not a betting man, but based on what I’ve seen for six weeks in spring training regarding their pitching, I’d be jumping at the “under” on this proposition. That said, I like this team, these position players and the quality of the character it appears Andy McPhail has assembled.

I want to cheer for Brian Roberts. I like Luke Scott and Adam Jones. I’m interested in Felix Pie, although I think he’ll probably be this year’s version of Jeff Stone. I think Aubrey Huff looked inspired for six months last summer and I’m not convinced he won’t rebound with another big year. I’m not sure what to make of Melvin Mora at this point in his career and I think Cesar Izturis will be fun to watch field the ball. And Nick Markakis is just a solid ballplayer, almost a throwback.

On the rare nights that the bullpen will be delivered a 7th inning lead, it’ll be fun to see if they’re as good as advertised.

Some things I’m watching for this season:

When will Matt Wieters arrive for good and how will he perform? It’ll be the biggest franchise mid-season debut since Ben McDonald, which was a very, very big deal.

Let’s be honest: these current starting pitching is a joke and if Jeremy Guthrie, Koji Uehara, Mark Hendrickson, Alfredo Simon and Adam Eaton are the real five starters we’ll use all season, this team is probably 10 games under .500 before Memorial Day and then it becomes a “what to do?” for McPhail.

How will Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman do on the farm this year, especially before the All-Star break. If the current O’s veterans are as bad as we think they’ll be, which of these guys will be heatlthy, effective and ready to promote?

And will the Orioles start the M.L. service time on any of these kids with a summer call up? Or will McPhail allow the current veteran group to get their heads beaten in night after night? Or will Danys Baez or Brian Bass or David Pauley step in and perform? Or not?

That’s why we watch and certainly I’m poised to talk baseball every single day on WNST and AM 1570.

I just hope in these tough economic times, perhaps the people of Baltimore will return to baseball this summer and come to care again about the Orioles, if not in the stands perhaps on their TV’s around town. Of course, it would help if the franchise actually did its fair share and “came back to the people.” During the last six months, the team did exactly two events to promote their team. One of them was two days ago.

They continue to do foolish, selfish and mindless things that almost go unnoticed by the media that is in the business of making excuses for their sins so they can benefit financially.

Today’s starting pitcher — their No. 1 guy and big “hope” for the season — had his paycheck cut by 15% four weeks ago. Happy Opening Day, Jeremy Guthrie!

They continue to ban free speech, even daring their current players to not speak out about unsafe playing conditions in spring training.

We’ll see how much “progress” the organization has over the next six months. Let’s see how the puppies do on the farm. Let’s see how the young emerging stars perform in a mostly empty stadium and with starting pitching that no one can takes seriously as a team that will compete in the AL East in 2009.

But, let’s see how the season goes. My prediction: 65-97. Probably worse if someone doesn’t come in and save the rotation by July.

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O’s Today: Johnson shut down; Hill throws – finally

Posted on 15 March 2009 by Drew Forrester

One step forward and two steps back.  That pretty much sums up the O’s pitching in spring training.

Danys Baez is back.  His most recent effort was decent.   That’s the good news.

Jim Johnson, however, is now on the shelf for at least a week.  That’s not good news.  Johnson is going to be shut down for a week with a right shoulder impingement.  Team officials are saying it’s merely a case of using caution with Johnson – but we all know that’s how it starts.  “He just needs a few days of rest.”  Followed by, “He’s going to get an MRI to make sure everything is sound in there.”  Then, it’s “The injury turned out to be worse than we first thought.”

Let’s hope that’s not the case with Johnson, who is one of the team’s more reliable right handed pitchers and will no doubt be the team’s 7th inning “bridge pitcher” in ’09, with the responsibility of getting the ball to Chris Ray and George Sherrill.

Meanwhile, Rich Hill, bothered all spring with a sore throwing arm, tossed 26 pitches in a side session with pitching coach Rick Kranitz today.  Hill reported that everything felt great and he’s anticipating making his spring training debut next Saturday.  Already penciled in as the team’s #3 starter by most followers, Hill’s condition is of great concern to the O’s.  If he can’t start the season in Baltimore, that most certainly means the O’s starting rotation will include some combination of Radhames Liz, Hayden Penn, Brad Bergesen and, possibly, David Pauley. 

O’s 2nd baseman Brian Roberts has joined the USA team in the WBC after an oblique injury sidelined Boston’s Dustin Pedroia.

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O’s Today: Pauley struggles

Posted on 11 March 2009 by Drew Forrester

With only Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara guaranteed rotation-life as starters for the Orioles, each spring training game gives another pitcher an opportunity to impress manager Dave Trembley.

Today, among others, it was David Pauley’s chance to shine.

It wasn’t pretty.

Pauley – out of options and therefore, a must-keep for the O’s on their opening day roster – gave up eight hits and a walk in three innings of work today as the Birds lost to Minnesota, 4-3.  He’s now allowed 20 hits and 22 baserunners in 9.1 innings of Grapefruit League work – and his e.r.a. is a not-so-swift 7.71.

If Pauley’s spring ERA was 2.35, the O’s would be excited.  Instead, it’s his WHIP (walks/hits allowed per inning) that’s 2.35.  

They’re not excited about a guy with a 2.35 WHIP.

With Rich Hill sore-arming it through spring training and still looking for his first real action – and Brad Hennessey shelved with an arm injury as well…the pickins’ are pretty slim for the O’s as they try to complete their starting rotation before the April 6 opener. 

Apparently, if nearly 10 innings of spring training work can serve as a fair barometer — David Pauley is probably not the answer.

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Loyola ends up short and falls to Manhattan

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Loyola College men’s hoops team went on a 16-4 run late in Saturday evening’s MAAC match up with Manhattan, but the Jaspers were able to hang on late and pick up a huge road win 72-65 in Baltimore.  The loss is the Greyhounds’ second consecutive and drops them under .500 in league play at 6-7 and to 11-14 overall.

It seemed as though Loyola had completely bottomed out with 5:47 left to play in front of their home fans, but they were able to turn it on with smothering defensive intensity and with a Marquis Sullivan 3-ball the Greyhounds found themselves down just 1 with 1:28 left to play.  During the run Coach Jimmy Patsos used a lineup featuring a 6’4 Brad Farrell as its tallest player.

Give him his credit when it’s due… Coach P. pushed the right button sacrificing size and muscle for shooting range and quickness in employing an effective full court press.  On the floor for Loyola during the run was Rudolph, Harvey, Barney, Sullivan, and Farrell.

However how many times have we seen  a team come all the way back late, but can’t for whatever reason, be it fatigue, time, or whatever, get the game tied or go ahead.

Farrell knocked down a pair of FT’s with 23 seconds left to pull Loyola within 2 at 67-65 but that would be the closest the ‘Hounds would get under a minute.  As Farrell’s second free throw was in the process of tickling twine Manhattan guard Chris Smith broke the length of the floor beating the Loyola defense and was hit in stride with a long touchdown pass.  Smith went up strong, Brian Rudolph would catch-up, but Smith (younger brother of J.R.) dunked with one hand and ended any chance of a comeback.

Coming of a 28% shooting performance at Fairfield Sunday, the Greyhounds’ offense once again struggled to get on track.  Most glaring tonight was the 13 free throws they missed.  Going 18-31 from the line is never acceptable; leaving that many points on the table is deadly and especially frustrating considering Loyola leads the MAAC and ranks in the top 20 nationally in FT%.

Sullivan, the senior guard, drained 5 triples and led four teammates in double figures with 15.  Farrell and the MAAC’s leading scorer Jamal Barney had 12 while Brett Harvey chipped in 11 off the bench.

Both Loyola and Manhattan were tied coming into the contest with a MAAC record of 6-6.  The loss knocks them down to a sixth place tie with Iona.

Loyola will now go on the road Monday night and take on conference heavyweight Siena.  The Saints were handed their first MAAC loss Saturday at Rider after running off 12 straight to start the season.  The ‘Hounds can play with them, for whatever reason they match up relatively well.  Last season Loyola beat them 2 out of 3 while earlier this year a more talented and veteran Saint team had to scratch for a close road win at Reitz. Tip time will be 7pm.

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