Tag Archive | "Matt Holliday"

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Twelve Orioles thoughts following 8-3 loss to Yankees

Posted on 31 May 2017 by Luke Jones

With the Orioles suffering their eighth loss in nine games in an 8-3 final against the New York Yankees, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The good vibes from Monday’s win vanished in a matter of nine pitches as Chris Tillman allowed a pair of solo home runs. We’ve seen Tillman straighten himself out after rough first innings numerous times in the past, but it was apparent that wasn’t happening Tuesday.

2. Tillman allowed nine of the 17 New York hitters he faced to reach base in what was easily his worst start of the year. His command wasn’t there as he either missed his spots badly or left pitches over the heart of the plate. That’s a lethal combination.

3. It was only a matter of time before the home runs allowed began to normalize as Tillman hadn’t allowed one over his first 20 1/3 innings of 2017. That was one of the lone factors keeping his ERA at a tolerable level through his first four starts.

4. Tillman showed his best average fastball velocity of the season at 90.8 miles per hour, but that’s still below his career average. He again said after the game that his shoulder feels good physically, but you wonder if this is the best we’re going to see from him moving forward.

5. Yankees starter Luis Severino deserves credit as he lowered his season ERA to 2.93 after 6 1/3 superb innings, but the Orioles scored fewer than five runs for the seventh straight game. Most of the lineup just looked lost as the quality at-bats were few and far between.

6. Manny Machado struck out four times in a game for the second time in his career as his average fell to .210. You could lower him in the order or sit him down, but perhaps a game at shortstop would get him to focus on something other than his struggles.

7. J.J. Hardy had an RBI single in the eighth, but three straight swinging strikes on Severino sliders with the bases loaded in the second were deflating as the Orioles had a chance to fight back against an early deficit. The 34-year-old shortstop has a .561 on-base plus slugging percentage.

8. Trey Mancini continues to be a bright spot as he went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. His .873 OPS continues to lead the Orioles, and he continues to have impressive at-bats for a rookie.

9. Matt Holliday and Brett Gardner continue to be Oriole killers in 2017 as they each hit two home runs on Tuesday. Holliday has five homers against Baltimore this season while Gardner has four.

10. I hate the mentality of immediately blaming coaches when players aren’t performing, but hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh has to find a way to help get Machado going. The inconsistency of Chris Davis is one thing, but Machado is too good to be struggling this long.

11. Buck Showalter was asked about the possibility of shaking up the lineup Tuesday, and the time feels right to try it. With few hitting well, I’m not sure which direction to go, but maybe he should just draw names out of a hat like his mentor Billy Martin once did.

12. At some point, the obvious question needs to be asked about the Orioles’ starting rotation: How do you go about cloning Dylan Bundy?

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Twelve Orioles thoughts following 7-3 loss to Yankees

Posted on 09 April 2017 by Luke Jones

With the Orioles suffering their first loss of the season in a 7-3 final against the New York Yankees, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The Baltimore pitching staff tested its fate throughout the afternoon by walking a total of 11 batters before the floodgates finally opened in the ninth inning. Frankly, the Orioles were fortunate to even have a chance to win with that kind of pitching performance.

2. Darren O’Day getting off to a poor start is concerning after an injury-plagued 2016 season that included hamstring and shoulder ailments. He walked three and gave up four earned runs in the ninth inning and has now issued five free passes in his first two innings of 2017.

3. You won’t find many starts stranger than what Wade Miley offered as he matched a career high with seven walks while giving up one hit in five scoreless innings. For a guy with a career walk rate of 2.8 per nine innings, you don’t expect control problems like that.

4. Even with those optics, I’d guess most fans would have gladly taken five scoreless frames from the inconsistent left-hander. Of course, it didn’t help that Ubaldo Jimenez and Kevin Gausman had short outings the previous two nights.

5. You knew the Orioles wouldn’t have their full bullpen Sunday after closer Zach Britton and setup man Brad Brach had pitched four times in the previous six days. Buck Showalter confirmed after the game that those two as well as Oliver Drake were not available for the series finale.

6. Of course, the offense didn’t help matters by managing only three runs before the final 14 Baltimore hitters were retired in the defeat. With Miley on the hill and a short bullpen behind him, the Orioles had to figure they’d need plenty of runs to stay undefeated on Sunday.

7. Tyler Wilson snapped the bullpen’s streak of 17 1/3 scoreless innings to begin the season by giving up a two-run triple to Ronald Torreyes in the sixth. Showalter leaned heavily on his pen to secure the first four wins, but it will catch up to you, especially without much offense.

8. It was good to see Mychal Givens get a key out against lefty-swinging Chase Headley to end the seventh, but he blew his second save by giving up the game-tying home run to right-handed bat Aaron Judge in the eighth. My main concern with Givens is still getting out lefties.

9. The Orioles haven’t seen a ton of Matt Holliday as he’s mostly played in the National League, but the new Yankees designated hitter capped off an impressive weekend by drawing a career-high five walks. The 37-year-old remains a dangerous hitter.

10. Caleb Joseph had a chance to end his long RBI drought, but he grounded out with runners at second and third in the second. He showed in 2014 and 2015 that he can be a good backup catcher, so I’m rooting for him to get through this embarrassing spell.

11. There had to be plenty of groaning in both dugouts after the clubs combined for just two runs despite 13 hitters reaching base over the first three innings. This one was hardly a classic.

12. Some uneasiness about O’Day’s performance is fair after Sunday’s defeat, but the Orioles still finished off a 4-1 homestand to begin the season. The irrational dream of a 162-0 season is over, but you’ll gladly take that kind of a week against two AL East foes.

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Hey you-help us rip off Mets fans and win some concert tickets!

Posted on 07 August 2014 by Glenn Clark

So I’ll just tell you flat out-the “Hunter Pence Signs” meme is the best I’ve seen from sports fans in, like, ever.

Are you not familiar? Perhaps it’s time to study up.

The concept is simple. You make fun of a player to get them going, but it’s only mildly insulting. It’s mostly just good comedy. I mean, even Hunter Pence himself got in on it Thursday.

The meme (like everything else that happens on the interwebs) has gone viral. In fact, it showed up Wednesday night in Toronto where the Baltimore Orioles were facing the Blue Jays. From Jays fan “Mr. Zach Palmer” on Twitter…

Classic all around.

“Chris Davis wears socks and sandals.” “Chris Davis puts mayo on fries.” Excellent.

The concept is that you’re not really making fun of the guy. In fact, it’s a bit endearing. It’s like a way of showing respect. “We don’t really have anything mean to say about you so instead we made some stuff up.”

So we’ve decided to have fun with it on “The Reality Check”. We want to continue the meme this weekend. The St. Louis Cardinals are coming to town, so we’ve decided to make outfielder Matt Holliday our “victim”.

The game is easy to play. All you have to do it be funny and clever in coming up with your insults. The best one will win a pair of tickets to The Hot August Music Festival (featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek and Dr. Dog) next Saturday at Oregon Ridge.

I’ve already gotten a BUNCH. Some of the highlights…

Brad-“Matt Holliday doesn’t like Christmas”
Patrick-“Matt Holliday likes Hangover III”
Dean-“Matt Holliday changed his walk-up music to “Wrecking Ball”
Ed-“Matt Holliday dots his autograph with a smiley face”
Mark-“Matt Holliday cried during Marley and Me”
Steve-“Matt Holliday takes his fruitcake without walnuts”
Kerry-“Matt Holliday uses AOL”
Doug-“All of Matt Holliday’s albums are best of collections”
Greg-“Matt Holliday thinks Skip Bayless is always right”
Chris-“Matt Holliday stays out after 9pm on school nights”
Mark-“Matt Holliday thinks Michael Bay is underappreciated”
Lee-“Matt Holliday leans over the glass when ordering his burrito”
Syd-“Matt Holliday still uses payphones”
Joe-“Matt Holliday drafted Blaine Gabbert as his fantasy quarterback”
Jon-“Matt Holliday likes Nickelback”
GP-“Matt Holliday rooted for Apollo Creed”
Even our own Ryan Chell-“Matt Holliday thinks Andy Dalton is underpaid”

And Patrick is probably the leader in the clubhouse right now with “Matt Holliday still checks his MySpace”.

That’s just a sampling. We got hundreds during the show. I was going to include more but I’m writing this while sitting at the Ravens game and got bored. Blame the NFL.

We want yours. Be timely. Be clever. Be creative. Be MILDLY insulting without being cutting. Put it on an actual posterboard and you’ll get extra points!

You can email me-glenn@wnst.net or Tweet us @WNST with your best Matt Holliday insults. We hope you’ll take your signs to the stadium this weekend and share them with the masses.

“Matt Holliday enjoys preseason football” is off limits. That one is mine.

-G

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