Tag Archive | "brian"

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Rain drops Koji: Birds lose to Mariners 6-3

Posted on 11 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

My new favorite Oriole, Matt Wieters, was the featured Bird tonight but didn’t play. Koji Uehara looked pretty good until the rain came. The Orioles lost again.

Mired in an offensive slump, tonight’s Birds lineup was another head-scratcher with Ty Wiggington, Gregg Zaun and Robert Andino at the bottom of the order. To their credit (and perhaps Dave Trembley, who filled out the card) they combined for 3 of the Orioles’ 7 hits tonight in a 6-3 loss.

Uehara gave up three runs in the sixth inning and another in the fifth, while Brian Bass pitched 1 2/3 of rocky relief.

Uehara looked like he was affected by the rain and Trembley’s postgame indicated that as well. He said the hamstring wasn’t an issue.

The Mariners got a big night from Russell Branyan, who hit a home run off Bass further than any ball I can remember, landing the last row of the bleachers below the scoreboard in deep, deep right centerfield. They called it 450-feet. They said it’s the sixth furthest shot in the history of Camden Yards. I don’t believe it. It looked like it was at least 475 and was just amazing.

The Orioles had a semi-rally in the first inning that got them two runs but could’ve been much worse. Former Oriole Garrett Olson was on the ropes yet survived five innings and got his first win of the season, which must’ve tasted good coming against the team that shipped him out for lowly Felix Pie back in January. After Luke Scott homered in the first, Olson settled down and did enough to survive.

Trembley lamented in the postgame about the offensive struggles of the team. “When it rains it pours” is how Trembley put it. “You stick with your guys, you back them up and there’s not a whole of other things you can do.”

As an aside, I think Ichiro Suzuki is one of the best baseball players I’ve ever seen. He exciting to watch, even when he strikes out looking silly at the hands of Brian Bass. I wish he was an Oriole!

The Orioles will welcome the Atlanta Braves to Camden Yards for three games.

Please feel free to join Bob Haynie at The Next Friday night before the game for an ice cold Bud Light.

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Orioles: Shut out, swept & headed home on 5-game losing streak

Posted on 07 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Bad pitching has become a hallmark of the 2009 Orioles but this weekend’s bizarre meltdown in Oakland has solidified the basement in the AL East for the Orioles who have a lot of problems coming back to face the Mariners here at Camden Yards on Tuesday.

Today, Rich Hill didn’t make it out of the first inning, walking four and hitting another Athletic en route to a three-run first inning that held up for the duration in a 3-0 loss to complete the sweep at the hands of the A’s.

Strangely enough, the A’s only had two hits yet still manhandled the Orioles despite amazing relief pitching from Brian Bass, Matt Albers and Jim Johnson who were nearly perfect.

The Orioles are now 24-33 and deeper in the basement than they’ve been in a while at 9.5 games back.

Some lowlights:

The Orioles offense managed just five hits off of Vin Mazzaro today. They scored just five runs in Oakland and surrendered 18 runs on the weekend.

Matt Wieters (0-for-4 today), who created mass hysteria and a one-weekend run on the orange box office last weekend, is now officially “slumping” in his big-league debut. He’s 4-for-28 and hitting .143.

Adam Jones was the leadoff hitter today as Brian Roberts got the day off and Jones got a pair of hits raising his average to .346. I’ve gotta say it was strange seeing Robert Andino and Ty Wigginton as the keystone today. And then there was Oscar Salazar at first base.

The Orioles have Monday off and return to Camden Yards on Tuesday with Brad Bergesen (2-2, 4.64) facing Jason Vargas(2-0, 1.93).

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Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy: Birds give finale away in 3-2 loss to Seattle

Posted on 04 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

While we’re all drinking the orange Kool Aid these days in hopes of “better days ahead,” it’s losses like last night’s in Seattle that keep anyone who appreciates good baseball scratching our heads in disgust. After a series of boneheaded baserunning blunders and mental mistakes, the Orioles finally succumbed to the Mariners in a 3-2 loss at Safeco Field when Adrian Beltre hit a seeing-eye single past Cesar Izturis off Jim Johnson in the 9th inning to win the game.

Aubrey Huff – allegedly a veteran – not only got picked off of third base by Mariners catcher Rob Johnson in the sixth inning to kill a rally but was also caught stealing in the ninth to thwart any chance of a go-ahead run. To his credit, Huff faced the music afterward, telling The Sun: “There’s no reason to get picked off right there. That’s just a stupid rookie mistake by a veteran guy. It can’t happen. There’s no reason for me to be off the base that much. If Wieters gets a hit, I’m scoring anyway. It was really, really stupid.”

At least he’s showing some accountability for his losing behavior.

Perhaps sometime soon someone will ask Dave Trembley why the team insists on “hit and run” situations with the game on the line?

But aside from the general lack of offensive production and oppotunity, there were plenty of goats to go around in the Pacific Northwest. Nolan Reimold also got caught stealing earlier in the game and the situational hitting has been non-existent. Matt Wieters hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded early in the game and Brian Roberts is now mired in an 0-for-17 slump heading into Oakland for tomorrow’s series with the A’s.

So how bad has the offense been since Friday night’s “Matt Messiah” game?

The Orioles have stranded what few runners they’ve had over the past week and have scored only five runs in 27 innings in Seattle and were 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position. Add in the weekend brilliance of the Detroit staff and they’ve now scored only five runs in their past 39 innings and have scored three or fewer runs in 9 of the past 19 games.

Hitting slumps are acceptable. Mental mistakes are not.

Trembley, who is usually dour even when the team wins, looked downright distraught last night during a terse post-game press conference because he knows this was a very winnable game that got away.

The whole team might want to hit the cage in Oakland with outfielder Luke Scott, who continued his torrid pace with a home run in the second inning and an RBI double in the sixth. He’s now registered five home runs this week while no one else on the Birds has hit a homer since last Friday.

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Wieters fever: Will he be the savior that this franchise needs?

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Wieters fever: Will he be the savior that this franchise needs?

Posted on 28 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

We fully expect that Camden Yards will be packed tomorrow night for the debut of Matt Wieters. It’s a Friday night, the forecast is good and this is probably the most unique evening of baseball in Baltimore since “Fan Appreciation Night” back in May 1988, when the team was greeted with unconditional love after an 0-21 start.

Clearly, the Orioles marketing folks have finally put the “WNST Cap” on and used an evening to create an “event.” They were already guaranteed about 30,000 on a $6 student/fireworks night. And after a couple of years of press, accolades and hype, the can’t-miss-kid is coming to town. They could’ve made his debut tonight, but they’ve chosen a night when they were already en route to a full house. This alone, is a departure from some of their foolish decisions related to getting people interested in the team.

Here’s where you can make all of the jokes about how few people still DO go to Orioles games. Yesterday, the Orioles battled back from an 8-3 deficit to win a game in dramatic, 11th-inning style with a walk-off home run by young Nolan Reimold and there weren’t 5,000 people in the stadium to witness it. On Tuesday night, it was truly a “friends and family” night with less than 3,000 people there in the rain to watch young Jason Berken pitch his debut.

That won’t be the case tomorrow night when the flashbulbs glow all over Camden Yards for the coming of the catcher/messiah. It will be a virtual “sea of orange.”

(ONE FAIR WARNING: If you’re planning on “walking up” tomorrow at 6:30 and getting in, think again! The Orioles have one of the most inept game day staffs in the universe. You will be standing line until the 4th inning trying to get in if you roll up there at any point after 6 p.m.)

Oh sure they’ll say Wieters is “just another ballplayer” and one of the many “fine young prospects in the organization.” Andy McPhail and Dave Trembley have already begun calling for “calm” and have made the “give the kid some space” pronouncements.

They’ll say all of the “right” things because they don’t know if he’ll hit .300 or flop once he gets to the big leagues. No one ever knows but Wieters is about as much of a sure thing as we’re going to get in this lifetime in an Orioles uniform.

All of the indicators of maturity, pedigree and ability are there for Wieters to literally be a Hall of Famer.

Wieters HOF

Go to www.mattwietersfacts.com for more fun like this above…

He was the best player in the draft, who was made hard to draft because of the Scott Boras factor and signability issue. But at the 11th hour two years ago, Peter Angelos found a way to get it done and get him into an orange jersey.

Wieters has come into the organization and literally earned every promotion he’s received over the last two years.

But the franchise needs “saving” as much OFF the field as on the field. Sure, winning will be the ultimate tonic for all that ails the Orioles. (At least that’s what the current ownership believes.)

But what will Wieters’ impact really be in Baltimore over the next four months?

Or four years?

Or for the next decade or so, if he’s truly “The Chosen One” for the organization?

Will he be a guy who does charity work and lives in the community?

Will he be another guy who lives “out of town” during the offseason?

Will he be stupid enough to go on a radio show and call Baltimore a “horseshit” city? (Doubtful, by the way!)

Will he be able to hit .300 and have the kind of impact that Joe Mauer has had in Minnesota?

Will we be comparing him to Mike Piazza or Earl Williams in 2011?

Will he be Cal Ripken or Jim Fuller?

Will he be Eddie Murray or Craig Worthington?

Where will he bat in the order?

Will fans flock to see him after tomorrow night? Will Wieters be playing in front of 40,000 empty green seats once the “shine” wears off his star?

Will he be a “reason to come to the ballpark” more so than Nick Markakis or Brian
Roberts, who have both exceeded any reasonable expectation over the past five years yet still play in an empty stadium most nights when the Red Sox or Yankees aren’t in town booing the home team?

What’s going to make this promotion of Matt Wieters “special” somewhere down the line?

Here’s hoping that all of our wildest dreams or fantasies as Orioles fans are realized with this promotion on Friday. Let’s hope it’s the beginning of the end of the 12 years of hell and the 16 years of lousy ownership and leadership and accountability. (I’m in no way holding my breath that the Angelos clan will ever learn how to be a quality community partner and civic leaders for the greater good of Baltimore, but I never say “never.”)

So, I’m drinking the orange Kool Aid for the time being. (Hey, I’m at least sipping from a Dixie cup until Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz get here.)

If Matt Wieters is here to save us all, then I’m the first convertible soul to sign up for the congregation. But it’s going to take more than just rolling the ball onto the field at Camden Yards to change what has been a generation of despair for anyone in this region who loves baseball as much as I do.

Here’s my message to Wieters:

Change the losing culture here in Baltimore, Matt!

Hit .300 and drive in runs. Be a fiery leader and say and do the “right” things here. (In other words, stay away from Aubrey Huff!)

Buy, don’t rent, here in Baltimore and get to know the people and heritage and history of the city. Put a little effort into being special and you’ll get special treatment! And whatever you do, don’t take marketing or human relations advice from Peter Angelos or any of his kin.

We want a hero. We want another Cal or Brooks. We’ve been patient but it’s now all on you. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. That’s the way it goes when you get a $6 million signing bonus and negotiate til the 11th hour and you’re the No. 1 prospect in all of the major leagues according to anyone with a baseball website.

We’ve been waiting a long time for you kid!

I’m not a Wieters beater.

I’m more in line with “Going to bat for Matt!”

Come on up, do your best, make us proud to have “Baltimore” on our chests and give us a fun summer.

After all, if it’s ever going to change here – this sea of ineptitude, mean-spiritedness and arrogance this ownership has wreaked upon Baltimore since 1993 – it has to begin somewhere.

They tell me you’re “The Savior.”

For once — at least — I hope they’re not lying.

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Triple losses: First the Caps, then the Orioles, then Danny Gokey

Posted on 14 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Despite the fun we had in Dundalk last night with an evening of 12 semifinal auditions at Donna’s Tavern, it was an ugly night for local sports. The Capitals fell behind early and had one of the most disappointing Game 7 efforts in recent memory. The Orioles got clubbed by the Rays while Adam Jones left the game early with a hamstring pull.

And, adding insult to the injury that effectively ended my hockey season, my favorite American Idol contestant Danny Gokey got bounced by the American public in a shocking turn of events. (Somehow, I think Kris Allen got through just because he looks like Brian Roberts!)

The Capitals played the entire postseason from behind and last night it finally caught up with them. Simeon Varlamov’s magic ended quite early last night and Bruce Boudreau and the troops must be devastated – if not embarrassed – by that performance in a Game 7 last night. It’s always hard getting eliminated, but not showing up prepared to compete in a game like last night is unacceptable.

The home-ice advantage was nullified pretty early last night in D.C. and it will be a tough offseason after losing a game in that fashion.

The Orioles and Rays combined for 30 hits last night and the teams scored eight runs in the 9th inning, taking turns using each other’s bullpens as piñatas. Bob McCrory got a rough big-league initiation last night, giving up four runs in 1 2/3 innings and Troy Percival entered the game with an 8-2 lead and came close to allowing the Orioles to force extra innings.

Obviously, with Adam Jones leaving the game with a hamstring tweak after losing Luke Scott and Felix Pie to various ailments earlier in the week, it was an ueasy night at The Yard. The Orioles (14-20) will take to the road now for 10 games in 11 days in Kansas City, New York and Washington, D.C.

Nolan Reimold is the “next man up” and McCrory is headed back to Norfolk.

More roster decisions are coming for Rich Hill at some point this weekend and the inevitable Matt Wieters call-up and the need for better starting pitching continue to loom for the franchise.

And, last but not least, the loss of Danny Gokey was probably the biggest shocker of the night. Given that the American Idol competition is a pure “viewer vote” it’s almost impossible to handicap who will actually like these singers and then go through the rigors of voting for them.

So, while Adam Lambert and Kris Allen are clearly talented guys, it’s almost like having a phone vote for U2, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Who knows which one would get the most votes? It’s a big crapshoot.

Either way, I hope Gokey does well in the “real” world because he seemed like an affable, talented guy with a great story to tell. I’d buy an album by Danny Gokey. I can’t say the same for Lambert or Allen.

Meantime, we had our own “American Idol” competition in Dundalk at Donna’s last night. I’ll blog a little later with those results and we’ll get the videos into wnsTV soon.

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Hendrickson stinks but bullpen holds up, Birds beat Rays 7-5

Posted on 13 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Betting the “over” in last night’s game certainly looked like a sure thing over the first three innings but once starters Andy Sonnanstine and Mark Hendrickson left the game the real pitching took over and the Orioles held on to beat Tampa Bay 7-5 last night at Camden Yards.

All of the scoring took place before the 4th inning and both bullpens were taxed in the interim, with Brian Bass emerging as the biggest star on the hill, working four scoreless innings after Adam Jones hit homers in the first and second innings of the game.

So much for starting pitching: Sonnanstine gave up nine hits and seven earned runs in two innings and Hendrickson’s evening was just as ugly as he allowed six hits and five earned runs in two innings.

Felix Pie left the game with an undisclosed stomach ailment and was actually transported to the hospital. Without Luke Scott tonight, they O’s may play with just two bench players. Could a call-up be looming?

The Orioles go for yet another “mini” sweep tonight as they send Brad Bergesen (1-0, 4.98) to the hill against Tampa’s Jeff Niemann (2-3, 5.65).

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Orioles and MLB continue to insult fans with “rainball” at Camden Yards

Posted on 07 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

While you and most everyone you know was asleep last night, the Orioles, MLB and umpire Randy Marsh were seeing to it that a regulation major league game was played last night at Camden Yards.

In an embarrassing display of disregard for the fans and the players in a game that “officially” went until 12:19 a.m. this morning, Marsh spent six hours of the evening through four rain delays to get the Twins and Orioles onto the field for six innings of water-logged baseball and the Orioles stole a 4-1 win.

Today, on “Limited Access” at 2 p.m., we’ll be discussing how it’s evenings like Wednesday night and the utter disregard for the paying customers and their own athletes that continue to find Oriole Park empty most nights.  Can you imagine having a full-priced ticket for last night’s game and having to endure an evening at the ballpark where it rains all night and they insist on playing the game against any common sense?

As expected, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was red-faced with anger and livid that the game ever began — and anyone who looked at the forecast and/or the radar could’ve seen that the chances of playing a legitimate MLB game last night were slim.

Gardenhire said in his postgame press conference: “”The game should have never started in the first place. We never had a window all night long. All you have to do is look at the radar, and you see it’s supposed to rain all night long. Once we stopped the first time, we should never have gone right back out there. There was never more than a 15-minute window to do anything. It stopped raining, starting raining hard again.”

“It’s a joke,” he said, finishing with an obvious statement that I’m sure Bud Selig will fine him for at some point later in the day.

Gardenhire also told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

“Once we got going, we tried to play five innings. And Major League Baseball is nine innings. And we didn’t get a chance to do that because the weather, from the get-go, showed that we shouldn’t be doing this. From the get go!

“Somebody made a mistake here and screwed up. I don’t know who is supposed to be accountable for this mess, but my team ends up paying the final price.”

The Orioles will take any charity at this point, earning their 11th win of the year against 17 losses. As usual, it was Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Luke Scott leading the attack, each with a pair of hits. Markakis and Scott both hit homers.

As for the pitching, getting guys loose in the bullpen during these “on-off” rainy nights is a nightmare on the staff. The Orioles used up both Mark Hendrickson and Brian Bass over the six innings of the game.

Tonight, it’ll be Brad Bergesen (1-0, 5.17) vs. Glen Perkins (1-2, 3.34) in the cap of another two-game series at Camden Yards.

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O’s blow early 7-0 lead, lose 10-8 to Red Sox in Boston

Posted on 17 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

These are the losses that bust you up, the ones you never understand. Except that over the years, evenings like tonight have become so commonplace that they’re shrugged off en route to 90 losses. The Orioles blew a 7-0 lead tonight, allowing the Red Sox 10 runs on 12 hits and even sprinkling in a devastating error by Aubrey Huff to lose 10-8 at Fenway Park tonight.

The “BALTIMORE” jerseys were somehow absent tonight (good luck on the explanation for that one). The Red Sox were wearing bright red “warm up”jerseys and blue caps with the cartoon pair of Red Sox with white trim. They were sharp, but looked like a world championship softball team. But I’m sure they’ll sell some hats.

The Red Sox have suffered the first two weeks with an anemic offensive attack and yet while David Ortiz continues to struggle — he struck out three times tonight — Jason Bay and Dustin Pedroia led the way for the Sox tonight battering Jeremy Guthrie out of the game in the 5th inning and hammering the bullpen led by Danys Baez. Matt Albers got into hot water in the 8th but escaped like Houdini.

The Orioles are now 6-4 — not too shabby, all things considered but they are taking on all of the characteristics of a bad team. Orioles pitching has allowed 29 runs in the last 16 innings of baseball.

Not good!

My running blog below…

10:26 p.m. — Markakis flies out. Huff strikes out. Threat ends ugly and empty. Did I mention that they blew a 7-0 lead tonight with their ace on the hill?

10:19 p.m. –The Orioles are threatening in the eighth. Two on, Markakis up. It’s a “defining” moment. Iwajima is in the game. Lefty on lefty…

10:07 p.m. — They’re booing Big Papi…LOUDLY! Fenway Park sounds like a festival of the “Boo-g Powells.” Big Papi has now fanned three times. He looks like Little Papi in 2009 thus far. Alberts got Youkilis to ground into a double play. There’s still hope! They survived a bases-loaded, no out jam! This could be a “defining” moment, a turning point in the season. Or, maybe not…

10:05 p.m. — Matt Albers is in the game. The bases are loaded. Nobody out. And Big Papi is coming to the dish. Trouble?

9:58 p.m. — Someone just left me a comment about how Gawd-awful MASN’s in-house commercials are and how often we are subjected to them. Agreed. Just painful, and we’re only two weeks into the season! And now, after blowing a 7-0 lead, I’m subjected to Amber Theoharis smiling and giving us “minor league” pitching updates from Bowie, which will be a “good news” staple all season.

The biggest story in the Orioles’ universe tonight is their catcher of the future who should already be here tweaking a hammy in suburban Atlanta. I suppose it’s great that so many folks are interested in their farm system and they’re actually “marketing” these kids. I just hope to God a few of them can actually play come 2011. This is the biggest “sell job” the franchise has ever put on us while we watch pitching that has allowed 29 runs in the last 15 innings.

9:48 p.m. –I hear Danys Baez is a great guy. (I’ve never met him.) But he sucks as a pitcher. The Orioles have now officially blown a 7-0 lead with their ace on the hill against a division opponent that was reeling offensively before tonight.

9:35 p.m. — That Kevin Youkilis header was quite scary. Baez looked a little unglued. He clearly felt horrible about it. Always the scariest thing in baseball, next to the pitcher comebackers.

9:14 p.m. — The game is tied after Nick Green launched one over Adam Jones’ head. Guthrie is headed the shower. Even after being staked to eight runs of offensive support, he can only be the loser. He leaves the game with eight runs scored — no thanks to the Huff botching of a Bill Buckner-esque grounder — and two aboard. Enter Danys Baez. They call this “relief” pitching?

9:12 p.m. — Jeremy Guthrie was sailing through the fifth but all hell has broken loose with two outs. A triple, a couple of walks and then the Aubrey Huff snafu has staked the Red Sox to the brink of getting into the Orioles line of arsonists waiting out in the bullpen.

9:02 p.m. — The Matt Wieters “situation” is apparently nothing too serious, but the Orioles have been known to “fib” with their media relations. So, who knows? We’ll know more tomorrow.

8:48 p.m. — Lots of offense. Lots of bad pitching. Looks like another fun evening at Fenway Park is shaping up. At least Guthrie has survived the initial storm. More than we can say for Josh Beckett. Nick Markakis hits a salami. And Brian Roberts and Adam Jones continue to be the best 1-2 punch in MLB over the first two weeks.

Oh…and Big Papi looks sick. They’re on the way to a series lead. But then again, the bullpen will be called upon at some point.

7:12 p.m. — What the heck happened to “BALTIMORE” on the black road jerseys? Explanation anyone?

7:11 p.m. — Wow, those Red jerseys pop off the screen in HD. Just seeing Brian Roberts stroll up to the plate hitting .444 is pretty cool, especially when you consider how many times this organization dangled him out on the trade market. He’s rich. He’s cool. He’s community-oriented and an all-around good guy. And, he’s hitting .444. What’s not to like about BRob? One of the real reasons to go the ballpark if you do go…

I’m not going to blog inning by inning, but if you want to comment on the game at any point, feel free. I’ll approve them over the next hour during dinner. Looks like a beautiful night to be at Fenway for a game.

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Orioles are 6-2: Jones 2-run blast, big 10th inning lifts Birds to 7-5 win over Texas

Posted on 14 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Another exciting game. Another tight win. Another night where the bullpen was used and abused but this time — other than George Sherrill — the entire unit delivered in a 7-5 win in 10 innings in Arlington to push their record to 6-2. Alfredo Simon got hurt early. Homers were flying early. And the Orioles hung on.

Blow by blow below…

11:29 p.m. — Dennis Sarfate admitted to having an inner-ear infection and basically said he was “really relaxed” during his effort and was “on cloud nine” after he got medicated from the staff during the game. Sarfate said he told Aubrey Huff, “Is that all you’ve got?” after Huff freight-trained him on a foul ball. Palmer said, “Whatever he’s on I want to be on!”

It’s amazing they let Palmer keep his job. It really is. He’s priceless. I love it!

11:24 p.m. — Jim Palmer says it all. Don Stanhouse. Whole pack. “Mr Excitement”? Whatever you want to call him, fine. Let’s just give him the save and make the team 6-2 in the standings with their third series victory to start the season. Now Rick Dempsey is talking about Stanhouse. I have no idea how many listeners/readers know about Stanhouse but I do. And it’s dead on.

11:20 p.m. — Hank Blalock just sent a rocket to the wall and another five feet and this would’ve been an Orioles “tragic” loss. A true heartbreaker. Instead, George Sherrill still needs to get one more out. And you know what Yogi Berra said?

11:15 p.m. — George Sherrill has certainly made this interesting. Four batters, four baserunners, one run scored and Ian Kinsler continues to be such an impressive player. The Rangers’ formidable top of the order is going to have a chance to extend this game. The bases are loaded and no one is out. T-R-O-U-B-L-E…

11:01 p.m. — It’s almost like Ron Washington has conceded. Guardado keeps digging deeper with each pitch, walking Ty Wigginton after allowing Nick Markakis aboard. The Rangers’ bullpen issues mirrors the Orioles’ overused group. Luke Scott just drove one into the left centerfield gap, scoring them both. It’s now a 7-3 game. Geez, they’re gonna be 6-2 in about 10 minutes with any luck. Bye, bye Eddie…

10:56 p.m. — Eddie Guardado just gave up a mammoth two-run homer to Adam Jones who crushed it after Brian Roberts got on. Again, the top of the order have been hellions for the first week of the season.

P.S. Mike Maddux has the best pornstache I’ve ever seen on a former big leaguer with a brother who was one of the greatest ever.

10:47 p.m. — Seeing Nolan Ryan being omnipresent with the Rangers just reminds me that Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken are NOT involved here in Baltimore. A shame…

And I say it all the time: that’s all you need to know…

10:40 p.m. –This one has been pretty good. Good defense. Some big home runs early, some great pitching late. And someone is going to be a hero. Frank Francisco was dealing again tonight. Gonna be interesting to see how Dave Trembley uses the bullpen in this situation as the game potentially goes into extra innings. We’re already seven innings and four pitchers into the bullpen. And the bullpen has been the story of the evening with Jim Johnson still on the hill in the 9th. But how many innings do they have and who winds up in the game if it goes 11 or 12 innings?

9:59 p.m. –The bullpens are dealing all of a sudden. It’s games like these when having Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer help glue you to the action. It’s a very high-level broadcast when these guys are doing it. AND THE GAME IS IN HD…and it’s INTERESTING…and they’re 5-2. A few big hits here and they could be on their way to 6-2. On a night when their starter didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning.

9:34 p.m. — Nick Markakis stole one last night. Tonight, he was robbed by David Murphy on a very similar play. We’re in the sixth but I still feel like some major offense is going to break out at any point. Just not when the bottom of these lineups roll around. I don’t think this one will end 4-3.

9:25 p.m. — We were talking about “long last names” on the backs of baseball jerseys the other day and Arnie Portocarrero was deemed the longest Oriole. We were actually talking about Mark Hendrickson. Now, here comes Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Makes me want to get him on the O’s so I can get a shirt with that many letters.

9:17 p.m. — Felix Pie might be the new Jeff Stone. (For you youngsters, there’s no way his baseballreference.com stats will convey his baserunning prowess.) That was an inexcusable pick-off. And not great situational hitting by Cesar Izturis, who might be the new Mario Mendoza. It’s amazing how hot the top of the order is and how horribly cold the bottom of the order looks right now.

9:13 p.m. — Luke Scott has continued the comeback with a homer. And there might be good news on Rich Hill. More pitching never hurts.

8:56 p.m. — What a weird inning? After the Adam Jones-to-Brian Roberts-to-Gregg Zaun bang-bang play at the plate was made possible by Michael Young’s aversion to contact at the dish, Aubrey Huff threw a forearm shiver into Dennis Sarfate, who had no business being anywhere near where he was. Sarfate is now shaken up and has no one to blame but himself. Geez, sometimes they even play like the cats from “Major League.” That was brutal communication. They’re laughing about it now, but it was touch-and-go there for a few minutes.

8:45 p.m. — Gotta love a two-out run. This top of the lineup comtinues to mash the ball and nullify inefficient starting pitching. I have a feeling we’re in a for a long night. The beginning of a LOT of long nights with this pitching.

8:34 p.m. — On cometh Dennis Sarfate…I hope he’s got three or four innings in him. The O’s are already losing 3-1. Matt Albers is already coming up tomorrow. Can David Pauley or Brad Bergeson be on the way?

8:30 p.m. — Alfredo Simon just gave up yet another homer to Chris Davis. After a visit from Brian Ebel, he’s coming off the hill. As Hockey Meg just said: “That’s NOT going to help our crappy bullpen!” (Although, she really said S***ty!)

Looks like seven plus of relief will be necessary tonight unless it rains. And it doesn’t look like rain in Arlington…

8:27 p.m. — Can’t say I know a lot about Nelson Cruz. But I know Alfredo Simon should never throw that pitch to him again. So far: four outs, two gopher balls. Not a good ratio…

8:19 p.m. — High breaking ball to Aubrey Huff and he belted it. Everyone I talk to about Huff says “he’ll regress this year” and I don’t feel that way. He was always a masher and I think last year helped his game. Hell, at one point, he even SAID the “Bubba The Love Sponge” stupidity actually helped him come to his senses and changed his game for 2008. I think he’s good for 30 bombs this year.

But, the comment about Baltimore was below-the-belt. And stupid. And I know he meant it and it’s how he really feels. The ownership and management obviously didn’t care and put him back on the field. But they’ve been proven to be shameless for over a decade.

I don’t have to deal with these guys anymore so what do I care? If Aubrey Huff hits 35 homers, so be it. He just hit one. He tied the game. That’s what he’s paid to do.

8:16 p.m. — Michael Young’s homer came and went quickly. I’m reserving all judgment on Alfredo Simon until the 6th inning. The bullpen needs all the help it can get. Six innings out of a starter isn’t too much to ask…

8:09 p.m. — Been an interesting evening. Honestly, I feel like working while I watch the game and it’s a LOT more fun just writing this stuff while I surf, watch the O’s and think about the Ravens schedule.

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Orioles Magic goes to 5-2! Orioles almost blow six-run lead, hold on to beat Rangers 10-9

Posted on 13 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

In a twisting, turning game that was long on offense, short on pitching and entertaining to the end, the Orioles outlasted the Rangers’ late attack to win 10-9 over the Texas Rangers in Arlington to go to 5-2 on the season. The Birds jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning and had fallen behind 4-2 by the fourth inning. Led by four hits from Aubrey Huff and three from Brian Roberts, the Orioles scored eight runs in the 4th and 5th innings and held a 10-4 advantage and Koji Uehara was rolling into the 6th inning when he fell apart giving way to Danys Baez and the bullpen of arsonists.

The Rangers scored five unanswered runs late in the game and had pulled within 10-9 by the 9th inning.

The Rangers got two baserunners on in the 9th inning and even pulled off a double steal before George Sherrill gave everyone a Don Stanhouse-like scare (thrill?) before fanning Marlon Byrd to end a 3:16 epic.

The game featured 27 hits — 16 by the Orioles, including four by Huff who is doing a nice interview with his co-worker Amber Theoharis.

Great defense by Nick Markakis. Great defense by Brian Roberts. Great offense from the top of the Orioles’ order.

The Orioles are 5-2.

Oh, yeah. And the Orioles wore BALTIMORE on their chests and the game was in HD with Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer tonight from Arlington.

My running blog is below and features more than just the game.

11:14 p.m. — Wow, Nick Markakis might’ve just single-handededly won the game with a diving, flailing catch at the wall of a ball that Michael Young just clobbered. It would’ve been a double and might’ve even been an inside the parker with a bad hop. Kinsler almost got doubled off after hitting a foul line double down the right field line to start the inning. No doubt this one should be tied. Cakes made the best defensive play of his career in a big, big spot. Good work!

11:10 p.m. — Frank Francisco came in and just flat pumped gas. Three up, three down and Roberts, Jones and Markakis didn’t look to be a factor with the big guy. He was impressive. Now, here comes George Sherrill. Gary Thorne just said: “Put your seat belts on…” No doubt. They’re three outs from a 5-2 start. This is a big inning. They can’t blow this massive lead all the way, can they? Ian Kinsler, Michael Young and Josh Hamilton. That’s a helluva test…

11:01 p.m. — Dave Trembley is “managing” this one by the book. He’s going to go matchup-by-matchup and play the numbers. Jim Johnson is next to get some work to face Taylor Teagarden, one of the more colorful names in the big leagues. Johnson goaded T2 into a flyout to Adam Jones. And Brian Roberts just robbed Elvis Andrus of a single by diving into the hole on one of the best plays of this — or any other — season. Major leather from BRob! Onto the ninth. George Sherrill will get a save opportunity.

10:52 p.m. — A leadoff double by Luke Scott is wasted. The Orioles have 16 hits. They had a six-run lead in Texas, where no lead is safe. They even got a decent start from Uehara. But it hasn’t been enough to put away the explosive Rangers. Bottom of the order is coming up for the Rangers and it’s as soft as the Orioles bottom three are on a nightly basis. I expect pinch-hitting. Jamie Walker is next up for the O’s…

10:41 p.m. — Andruw Jones just hit a monster homer off of Danys Baez, who stinks. It was a two-run job and the score is now 10-9. It was 10-4 when I turned it on a half hour ago. It’s only the 7th inning. I have a feeling the fireworks are far from over — on both sides!

10:39 p.m. –What a strange day? I got to work at 1:15 and by 1:45 Harry Kalas was being rushed to the hospital and was reported dead at 1:54. At Padonia Station at 6:40 p.m. Ray Bachman told me that Mark Fidrych had died. And on the way back from the show with Billick and DeCosta tonight, my wife told me that she saw on the web that Marilyn Chambers died. A very weird day when three celebs who I interacted with all die in the same news cycle…

Harry Kalas came on my show anytime we ever asked him. He was just a super nice man. My heart breaks for all of his many, many friends and admirers. He was the voice of Philadelphia. He was the voice of the NFL. As a guy who has made a living in radio, he was a very inspirational, powerful voice. A tragic loss for many…

Mark “The Bird” Fidrych will always hold a special place in my heart. He was just fantastic for a 7-year old boy to watch during the summer of 1976. I was a baseball freak and he was a loveable superstar. Just a magic summer he had, only to be replicated once that I can think of, and that was Fernando Valenzuela (who was also a super good guy!) I interviewed Fidrych at a few All-Star Games back in the 1990′s and he even did a radio liner for me. He had a thick New England accent and the same floppy hair.

Ah, Marliyn Chambers. Well, I didn’t interview her as much as I called in as a listener to ask her a question when she was on the Tom Snyder overnight radio show. I did it as “a dare” with the guys on the sports desk at The Evening Sun in the late 1980′s. The culprits shall remain nameless, but I remember sitting in Jack Gibbons’ office at 2:15 a.m. with the lights off talking with Marilyn Chambers and Snyder saying “You’re on the air!” I don’t even remember what question I asked her, but I’m sure it was something stupid.

Like I said, just a weird night and now the O’s are trying to blow this one…

10:28 p.m. — I just got back from Padonia Station where we had an awesome evening with Brian Billick and Eric DeCosta. It was a rambling 90-minute discussion about all things purple and NFL draft. Good stuff…can’t wait for you to hear it and see it! I’ll splice the videos in with the “Coors Light King of Baltimore Sportstalk” auditions.

I flipped the Birds game on and the score after their early fireworks was 10-4. Lots of hits, lots of runs and Koji Uehara looked like a legit No. 2 starter for the second time, doing a decent job of keeping the Rangers at bay until he fell apart in the sixth and couldn’t get anyone out.

Enter Danys Baez…

He’s didn’t quell the storm, but it’s now 10-7 and the O’s are into the bullpen and have nine outs left and three runs to give to baseball most potent offensive attack.

It’s still a game…

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