Tag Archive | "red sox"

Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you’re not familiar with WNST.net MLB analyst Allen McCallum. Allen was once the Ballpark Reporter at WNST, covering the Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis. He’s remained with us in the years since then, appearing once a week in studio (currently with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) to talk Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles.

Allen is a really good dude, but is decidedly un-American in my book. You see, Allen doesn’t like football. I don’t understand it either, trust me. I have every reason to believe he celebrates the 4th of July and enjoys a good slice of Apple Pie, but he loves baseball and just doesn’t care about our national pastime.

Despite this obvious flaw, I’ve maintained a level of friendship and (as much as is possible for someone who I have to imagine may be a communist) respect for Allen. I don’t dislike him, I just don’t understand how someone like him can exist in this country. You see, football is our beautiful game. It’s a game fathers play in the backyard with sons. Baseball is okay when there aren’t real sports to watch, but is clearly inferior to football in every way.

I’m kidding. Well I’m kidding a LITTLE bit anyway.

The reason my lede is about our resident purveyor of Orange Kool-Aid is because Allen likes to make a point during the course of baseball season that is relevant to both sports. As Birds fans have a tendency to freak out over the results of a couple of games (or one game…or a couple of innings…or a single at-bat), Allen likes to send out a reminder that “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games to be played.”

It hasn’t always been good news in Charm City that the O’s have to play 162 games, but the point he makes is relevant. During Ravens season we tend to overreact to one particular game, but we do that knowing that one game reflects roughly six percent of the season. While a NFL team can certainly recover from a stretch of two or three bad games, a bad streak can quickly spiral into killing a quarter of a football season. At the same time, a bad streak of three or four games during baseball season does not even represent the same six percent of the season that one football game represents.

Let me try to step away from math for a second. A single football game is more significant than a single baseball game. But you already knew that.

Seven days ago (which as I type this would have been June 4), there was reason for great concern amongst Baltimore baseball fans. After getting off to a 27-14 start, the Birds were mired in a streak that saw them drop 10 of 13 games. Sitting at 30-24, the Birds had appeared to already be well into their annual “June swoon” and seemed destined to find themselves on their way to the cellar of the AL East.

But something funny happened in the six games that followed. Instead of continuing their free fall, the Birds stabilized. They won two of three against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, then returned home to take two dramatic extra inning contests against the Philadelphia Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of thousands of stunned supporters who had made their way down I-95 from The City of Brotherly Love.

(Continued on Page 2….)

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Buchholz, Red Sox dominate Orioles in 7-0 rout as Matusz struggles

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Buchholz, Red Sox dominate Orioles in 7-0 rout as Matusz struggles

Posted on 07 June 2012 by WNST Staff

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Red Sox 7, Orioles 0 (final boxscore)

Posted on 07 June 2012 by WNST Staff

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Tejada continues hot hitting for Norfolk in win

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Durham plated two unearned runs in the top of the 10th inning, sending Norfolk to a 3-1 loss Sunday afternoon at Harbor Park.

With the score tied 1-1, Henry Wrigley opened up the 10th frame with a grounder to third base, but Miguel Tejada short-hopped his throw into the dugout, allowing Wrigley to advance to second. One out later, Reid Brignac plated pinch-runner Shawn O’Malley with a single to right off of Jon Link (0-2), giving the Bulls the lead. Former Tide Jeff Salazar later added a single to left-center to plate Brignac, extending Durham’s lead to 3-1.

Norfolk starter Jason Berken was extremely effective, but once again was left searching for his first victory of 2012. Berken, who entered the contest ranked 6th in the IL with a 2.50 ERA, allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five in seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.12.

Sunday was the third time this season that Berken left a game with a lead, only to see the opponents rally against Norfolk’s bullpen.

The Tides scored their only run of the contest in the seventh inning, as Joe Mahoney led off the frame with a walk and scored on a two-out triple by Blake Davis.

Tejada finished 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in the contest, and he’s now hitting .375 in seven games since joining Norfolk.

Hideki Matsui had a single in four plate appearances for the Bulls.

The Tides travel to Pawtucket on Monday to start a four-game set with the Red Sox. Zach Clark will be making his first start for Norfolk since being promoted from Double-A Bowie, and he’ll be opposed by right-hander Doug Mathis (3-2, 4.23). First pitch is slated for 4:05.

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Bundy allows first pro earned runs but wins Frederick debut

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FREDERICK, MD – In front of an over-capacity crowd of 9,833 fans at Harry Grove Stadium, the Keys won 5-3 over the Salem Red Sox in Dylan Bundy’s highly anticipated debut with the Frederick Keys.

Dylan Bundy earned the win after going five innings and allowing two runs on six hits and also collecting six strikeouts and no walks.

The 19-year old, who had a 0.00 ERA in Delmarva through 30 innings, gave up the first earned runs of his professional career when Travis Shaw of Salem hit a two-run homerun over the right-center field wall.

Yet that was his lone blemish as he held the league’s best hitting team to two earned runs through five innings of work.

The performance from Bundy helps pushes the Keys to 17-27 on the year while Salem slips to 26-19.

After the Keys took a 1-0 lead in the second on a sacrifice fly from Michael Mosby, that’s when Salem struck with Shaw’s two-run homerun off of Bundy to take a 2-1 lead.

It wouldn’t last long as Kipp Schutz connected on a pitch in the very next inning for a solo homerun – his first of the year – to tie the score at two.

Later in the inning, after Bobby Stevens singled and Michael Rooney drew a big two-out walk, Trent Mummey hit a two-RBI double to give the Keys the lead right back at 4-2.

Getting an insurance run from a Jeremy Nowak single to make it 5-2 in the seventh, the Keys’ bullpen held strong, allowing just one run in a combined four innings of work.

The Keys will try and win the rubber match against Salem tomorrow at 6 PM for Girls Night Out when RHP Kyle Simon (1-6, 4.40 ERA) goes against RHP Miguel Celestino (2-1, 3.46 ERA).

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Red Sox 6, Orioles 5 final box score

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Arrieta to hill for Birds in matinee rubber match Wednesday

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Roberts to begin minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday

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Roberts to begin minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 7:30 p.m.)

BALTIMORE — A day after second baseman Brian Roberts expressed optimism that he was closer than ever to a return, the Orioles announced he will begin a long-awaited rehab assignment on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Roberts will report to Double-A Bowie to begin a minor league rehab assignment, which the club hopes will lead to his return after a year-plus layoff. Roberts last played in a game on May 16, 2011 at Fenway Park.

“[I'm] excited, scared, a little bit of everything,” Roberts said. “It’s been a long time coming for sure. Sometimes it feels like two days and sometimes it feels like 10 years, but I’m extremely excited.”

Under major league baseball rules, Roberts has a maximum of 20 days for a rehab assignment as a position player. Manager Buck Showalter and Roberts said he will likely take the full amount of time before being activated.

Roberts will play second base and receive two or three at-bats in his first couple games. He also expects to serve as the designated hitter on occasion and will have some days off mixed in as well. Roberts said he’s viewing the 20-day period as his version of spring training.

He’s embracing the reality of once again playing baseball — even in the minor leagues — after simply struggling with his overall quality of life at different points over his recovery time.

“When there’s days where you’re laying on the couch and you really can’t even function, you’re not necessarily even thinking about baseball,” Roberts said. “There were days that [playing again] never even crossed my mind. I was just trying to get back to a normal life. As we continued to progress, I still had doubts about playing baseball, but I had more confidence in being able to live a productive and enjoyable life. Now, I’m beginning to think that playing baseball at a high level is a reality as well.”

The 20-day period would end on June 11, meaning Roberts could be in the lineup when the Orioles welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to town for an interleague series on June 12.

 Listen to Roberts’ entire interview with the media prior to Tuesday’s game right here.

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Could Roberts’ return be unlikeliest chapter of surprising season for Orioles?

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Could Roberts’ return be unlikeliest chapter of surprising season for Orioles?

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The view from the dugout wasn’t pretty on Monday as the Orioles squandered an early lead before falling 8-6 to the Boston Red Sox, but Brian Roberts is watching the action with a different perspective these days.

Having not played in a game in over a year, the second baseman admittedly wondered if he’d ever take his spot on the diamond at Camden Yards again while simply struggling with his overall quality of life at different points over the last 20 months. However, after a healthy spring of fielding ground balls, taking swings in the cage, and turning the double play in an empty stadium hours before games, Roberts can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

While manager Buck Showalter and Roberts won’t disclose the specific timeline, the pair admitted there is a date in mind for the 34-year-old to go on a much-anticipated minor league rehab assignment — perhaps as early as the next week or so. After so many setbacks and disappointments over a long road to recovery, you can forgive the involved parties for not wanting to jinx the possibility.

“For a long time, I wasn’t sure where the finish line was and I certainly didn’t see it,” Roberts said before the start of the Boston series. “When you do get a glimpse of that, it’s nice and you do get a breath of fresh air and some added momentum. There were a lot of times in the last year that I had no idea if I’d ever play baseball again. So, in some ways, it’d be a huge achievement or triumph just to get back out on that field.”

Of course, embarking on a rehab assignment isn’t exactly taking the field against the Red Sox or the Yankees at Camden Yards, but Roberts has done everything he possibly can and cleared all hurdles spelled out by the doctors to this point. The medical team has prepared Roberts for the possibility of some growing pains as he re-acclimates himself to playing in a live-game environment with a quicker pace and the background noise of people in the stands.

But when you remember Roberts was advised not to attend January’s Fan Fest event due to the effect the ambiance of a big crowd might have had on his recovery efforts, simply hearing the Orioles and Roberts talk in terms of when — not if — he will play again is a colossal step forward.

Admittedly, the veteran second baseman won’t really know how close he is to being ready to return to the Orioles until he faces real pitchers and takes his spot at second base for one of the organization’s minor league affiliates.

“Mike Bordick doesn’t have the stuff that Strasburg had [Sunday],” Roberts quipped. “I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll know until I get out there. I’ve taken probably thousands of swings off coaches without a huge environment around. I have been in the environment, I haven’t played in the environment and had the adrenaline rush and all those things I will have to get used to again. My doctor said I will probably go through the ups and downs that first week or two of getting back into it.”

While the possibility of Roberts’ return remains a hypothetical until proven otherwise, Showalter admits to daydreaming more and more about the former All-Star second baseman returning to the lineup. What kind of workload he can handle remains to be seen, but the Baltimore skipper made it clear he won’t view the longest-tenured Oriole as a part-time project after dismissing the notion that Roberts might only be a role player at this point in his career.

Showalter has too much appreciation for all the trials the 12-year veteran has faced over the last year to sell him short on a potential return.

“I think Brian is looking at it as a lot more than just getting here,” Showalter said. “Brian wants to get here and bring what Brian can bring, and we all know what that capability is. I think he knows what it takes to perform at this level. He’s not going to put himself in a position to come back unless he knows he can bring that.”

If — and it’s still a major if at this point — Roberts proves capable of making his return to the big leagues after a successful rehab assignment, the Orioles will be faced with the interesting dilemma of how to work him back into the lineup. In Roberts’ absence, current second baseman Robert Andino has done an admirable job, playing solid defense and providing more offense than expected at the bottom of the order.

The effort hasn’t been overlooked by Roberts, who praised Andino’s play when asked whether he felt he would have to compete to win back his starting job.

“Robert has a done a phenomenal job,” Roberts said. “It’s been fun to watch him play, and I’ve been excited to see him. Our team would be not where we are right now if he hadn’t played the way he has.”

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Britton continues moving closer to Orioles return

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Britton continues moving closer to Orioles return

Posted on 21 May 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The first-place Orioles welcomed the red-hot Boston Red Sox to town to begin a three-game set on Monday, but all pre-game discussion centered around two players yet to step foot on the field in 2012.

Second baseman Brian Roberts appears closer than ever to making his long-awaited return to the field and may start a minor league rehabilitation assignment within the next week or two. Roberts and manager Buck Showalter have a date in mind to begin the assignment, but the organization is keeping it close to the vest in case of any unforeseen setbacks.

In an extensive interview with the gathered media in the clubhouse on Monday afternoon (you can hear his comments HERE), Roberts said it was unlikely he would report to Sarasota but would instead begin playing in minor league games — Double-A Bowie and Single-A Frederick would be the logical destinations based on their schedule of home games — when deemed ready by his doctors.

I’ll have much more on Roberts later at WNST.net, but it’s apparent the Orioles are talking in terms of when — not if — the veteran second baseman returns.

“Hopefully, that’s something that’s imminent,” said Showalter about a rehab assignment. “We’ve got a plan in place, and 99 percent of it is based on what Brian and his doctors are talking about. We’re at the point where there’s a potential date involved.”

Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton is moving closer to a return after pitching in an extended spring training game in Sarasota on Monday. He threw 69 pitches over five innings and will have another workday on Wednesday. If all goes to plan, Britton could report to an affiliate to officially begin his minor league rehab assignment on Saturday.

Britton hasn’t suffered any setbacks since being placed on the 15-day disabled list late in spring training, and it appears the 24-year-old could find his way back to Baltimore by mid-June, which would create the interesting question of who he might replace in the rotation. Given the pitching woes of the last decade, that would be a welcome problem to have.

The news wasn’t as positive on relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom (finger) as he will not be ready to come off the disabled list on Saturday. He will likely go on a brief rehab assignment, and Showalter said it will likely be another two weeks or so until he’s ready to return to the 25-man roster.

Third baseman Mark Reynolds (strained oblique) is also close to going on a minor league rehab assignment. Meanwhile, veteran infielder Miguel Tejada reported to Triple-A Norfolk over the weekend and was scheduled to bat cleanup and play third base for the Tides on Monday.

Here are Monday night’s lineups…

Boston
SS Mike Aviles
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Will Middlebrooks
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
LF Daniel Nava
CF Marlon Byrd
RF Che-Hsuan Lin

SP Clay Buchholz (4-2, 7.77 ERA)

Baltimore
LF Xavier Avery
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Chris Davis
3B Wilson Betemit
DH Nick Johnson
2B Robert Andino

SP Tommy Hunter (2-2, 4.78 ERA)

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, Brian Roberts, and Jim Johnson here and follow WNST on Twitter for live updates and analysis from Camden Yards throughout the evening.

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