Posted on 09 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 09 May 2012 by Luke Jones
History was made at Camden Yards on Tuesday night, but the story for the Orioles wasn’t Josh Hamilton becoming the 16th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a single game.
Entering Monday with the best earned run average in the American League and coming off a nine-game stretch in which they allowed a total of 23 runs against Oakland, New York, and Boston, the Orioles have surrendered 24 runs over the last two nights against the powerful Texas Rangers to knock them down a couple pegs in an otherwise impressive start to the 2012 season.
Like Brian Matusz on Monday, Jake Arrieta had no answers for the Texas lineup as an Orioles starter turned in a poor outing for the third straight game while a patchwork bullpen that included three call-ups over the last two days hasn’t been any better.
Needless to say, manager Buck Showalter wasn’t in the mood to discuss the heroics of Hamilton, whose 18 total bases on Tuesday set an American League record and were one shy of former Dodger Shawn Green’s major-league record 19 set on May 23, 2002.
“We didn’t score many runs, either,” Showalter said. “I think you’ve got to tip your hat to their pitching staff, too. We’ve obviously given up a lot of runs in a couple nights to make it tough. Obviously, Hamilton had a big night.”
The offense, which seemed to have come alive in the last five games of the last road trip, has suddenly gone silent over the last two nights against Texas starters Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz, scoring just six runs in two games.
The Orioles have lost consecutive games for the first time since April 20 and 21 in Anaheim, but one of the most impressive aspects of their 19-11 start has been their ability to dust themselves off after the handful of losses suffered over the first five weeks of the season. Even so, you have to wonder how two lopsided losses to the Rangers — who look like the class of the American League early on — will impact the club’s psyche following a successful 5-1 road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox.
After winning a remarkable 17-inning marathon in Boston on Sunday, the Orioles have appeared to lack energy over the last two nights, though it’s easy to say that when facing a team many regard as the best in baseball. In addition to the physical demands of the aforementioned game against the Red Sox, you wonder if the inexperienced Orioles suffered a mental hangover in coming home after such a successful road trip against their two biggest tormentors of the last 14 years.
One of the biggest signs of a winning team is its ability to rebound quickly from tough losses and prevent negative spurts from transforming into extended losing streaks. Realistically speaking, two straight losses are nothing at all over which to be concerned, but mainstays of the roster over the last few years have a laundry list of lengthy swoons they’ll need to keep from their minds while trying to regroup for the final two games of the series against the Rangers.
As uplifting as their 19-11 start has been, dropping 10 of their next 11 would all but erase the positive vibes circulating through the Baltimore clubhouse. They can try to fight it all they want, but losing still flows through the veins of many key players and can’t be eliminated completely in a 30-game period. Unlike winning clubs of recent seasons, the Orioles don’t have positive experiences of rebounding from adversity from which to draw, forcing you to take pregnant pause at the first sign of trouble.
They simply aren’t familiar with how winning teams handle a bump or two in the road.
Despite being outscored 24-6 over the last two nights, the Orioles will have the opportunity to put that behind them immediately on Wednesday and Thursday as they try to snap a seven-game losing streak to the two-time American League champions that dates back to last season.
Unlike any other sport, baseball gives you the opportunity to erase the pain immediately.
But it’s also unforgiving in how consecutive losses can quickly turn into a nightmarish stretch of time if you’re not careful.
The Orioles know that all too well in recent years and will try to get back on track with their pitching, the phase of the game that’s carried them to their best start since 2005.
It needs to regroup in a hurry.
Posted on 08 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 08 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 08 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 08 May 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Boxing-ShoBox Yudel Jhonson vs. Willie Nelson (Friday 11pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 68 (Friday 8pm from Atlantic City live on MTV2); Roller Derby: Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena); Soccer: MLS-DC United @ Houston Dynamo (Saturday 4:30pm from Houston live on NBC Sports Network); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Rochester Rattlers @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on ESPN3.com); Tennis: ATP Tour/WTA Tour Mutua Madrid Open (Tuesday-Friday 7am Saturday 5am Sunday 9:30am from Madrid live on Tennis Channel); Preseason WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Monday 7pm Verizon Center)
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers (Thursday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Avett Brothers (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Go-Go’s (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Andrew Bird (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Eve 6 (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre), Lit (Sunday 5:30pm Recher Theatre); Fear Factory (Saturday 7pm Sonar); ALO (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Mike Doughty (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Dar Williams (Saturday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); M83 (Saturday 7pm & 11pm 9:30 Club), Cranberries (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Maine (Saturday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Esperanza Spalding (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Carolina Chocolate Drops (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere), Chris Isaak (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); The Gourds (Wednesday 8:30pm State Theatre); Feist (Wednesday 8pm Strathmore); M3 Rock Festival feat. Night Ranger, Kix, Ratt, Queensryche, Skid Row, Warrant, Quiet Riot, LA Guns, Great White (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion), Rob Zombie/Megadeth (Sunday 3pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); DC101 Chili Cook-Off feat. Incubus, Cake, AWOLNation, Angels & Airwaves, Airborne Toxic Event, Neon Trees (Saturday 11am RFK Stadium); Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Thursday 7pm Friday & Saturday 8pm Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts); Glenn Frey (Monday 8pm Warner Theatre); Silversun Pickups “Neck of the Woods” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)
One of the highlights of my life was getting a MySpace message from the Eve6 drummer. Seriously.
Mike Doughty is super talented.
I’m not really a Rob Zombie type of guy. I’m such a Rob Zombie type of guy though.
I know a guy who worked as a telemarketer his senior year at Perry Hall High School and sang “Short Skirt Long Jacket” by Cake into multiple answering machines. That guy was me.
9. Brad Sherwood/Colin Mochrie (Friday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Christopher Titus (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Colin Quinn (Tuesday & Wednesday DC Improv); “Dark Shadows” in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival (Thursday-Saturday Turf Valley); Foodie Experience feat. Andrew Zimmern (Saturday 3pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome)
Colin Quinn is pretty funny. That said, Colin Quinn was never really all that good on Weekend Update…
Hey! Kat Von D has tattoos! Why don’t a post a picture of her here and just move on already…
Posted on 07 May 2012 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — A day after one of the wildest games in franchise history, the Orioles were forced to make difficult changes to their roster to add a couple bullpen arms to the mix with the powerful Texas Rangers coming to Baltimore for a four-game series.
Limited to just 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the year on Sunday, starter Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk along with backup catcher Ronny Paulino to clear room for relievers Jason Berken and Stu Pomeranz. Manager Buck Showalter made it clear the moves were byproducts of the 17-inning series finale in Boston, but he also acknowledged some of the physical challenges that have hindered Hunter in recent weeks.
“Understand that Tommy had a slight oblique, which he’s 100 percent back from,” Showalter said. “He had the flu that everybody had. He had an ingrown toenail. So, he went about two weeks without being able to do some of his strength stuff.”
In six starts, Hunter is 2-1 with a 5.00 earned run average and has allowed 1.42 hits and walks per inning pitched. The 25-year-old right-hander has pitched up in the strike zone far too much, resulting in allowing a club-worst nine home runs in 36 innings.
With the Orioles needing bullpen help and Hunter having an option, he became an unfortunate casualty and creates the question of who will make Friday’s start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Barring a need to replace an injured player, Hunter must remain with the Tides for a minimum of 10 days. Showalter said Berken could be a candidate to make the start, but that will depend on how much the Orioles may need to use him over the next couple nights.
Showalter doesn’t anticipate a long stay in the minors for the club’s No. 2 starter entering the season, but he made no promises when breaking the news to Hunter.
“I look to see Tommy really getting back on track down there with one or two starts,” Showalter said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”
It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that third catcher Luis Exposito would be optioned back to Norfolk with the Orioles calling up at least one reliever, but Paulino received the surprising demotion instead. Showalter cited Paulino’s abbreviated spring training — due to work via issues — and his preference to get more time for Paulino behind the plate, which makes you infer the Orioles manager may not be enamored with Paulino’s defensive work.
“He’s done some good things for us,” Showalter said about Paulino. “We just want to let him catch every day down there and get back to where he’s comfortable. Build up some of his leg strength and get some consistent at-bats.”
As for Monday night, Showalter would not tip his hand as to who else would be available in addition to Berken and Pomeranz, but you can only imagine the list to be a short one. He essentially ruled out any pitchers who appeared in all three games of the Boston series — Matt Lindstrom and Troy Patton fall into that category — but it’s hard to imagine him wanting to go to Kevin Gregg or Jim Johnson.
Each threw two innings on Sunday, but neither is accustomed to going more than one inning under typical circumstances. With Gregg’s sporadic workload over the last month and Johnson’s recent bout with food poisoning zapping his strength, the Orioles would be wise avoiding those two if possible.
Considering the Orioles called up two relievers and made two unexpected demotions in the process tells all you need to know about the desperate state of the bullpen.
More than anything, Showalter is praying for a lengthy outing by left-hander Brian Matusz as the Orioles welcome the Rangers to town in a four-day meeting between two of the best teams — record-wise — in the American League. After recording his first win of the season in his last start in New York, Matusz will be expected to give the Orioles innings in the series opener — even if the results aren’t the prettiest.
Here are tonight’s lineups…
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
DH Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
3B Brandon Snyder
CF Craig Gentry
SP Matt Harrison (3-2, 5.40 ERA)
2B Robert Andino
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
DH Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Wilson Betemit
1B Chris Davis
C Luis Exposito
SP Brian Matusz (1-3, 4.67 ERA)
Posted on 07 May 2012 by WNST Audio
Posted on 07 May 2012 by WNST Staff