Tag Archive | "Rich Hill"

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Shaq & the O’s

Posted on 26 June 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

Will Shaq help LeBron bring a championship to Cleveland? Hell Yes!!!

 This is a medium risk high reward trade. At one time Shaq was the most physically imposing players in the NBA. In his day, his size and strength were unmatched in the NBA.  He had a great comeback year in Phoenix and looked like he cared about playing again.  As well as he played, he couldn’t get the Suns into the playoffs. While Shaq sat at home he had to endure watching his old nemesis, Kobe Bryant, finally win a championship without him.  

 

This is why Shaq will be back better than he was last season. He wants to stay one up on Kobe. They still don’t like each other and want to embarrass each other whenever they can. During the All- Star game they worked together but the press conference afterward showed nothing had changed between them. They were cordial but not friendly. Kobe’s winning a ring and teaming with LeBron James will make Shaq even hungrier. He will give the Cavs a legit center and a big body to throw around. The Cavs will have to pace him and keep him rested for the playoffs. Shaq wants nothing more than to beat Kobe head to head for another NBA title.  His dislike for Kobe pushes him to the edge.

 

If, and it is a great big if, Shaq can stay healthy, he will help LeBron get his ring. He would like nothing better than to rub Kobe’s face in it. Then he can make one more rap about it and ride off into the sunset, knowing he won the last battle in the war.

 

At 38 he’s a gamble but one you have to take to get to the Promised Land.

 

Orioles: All of the momentum the O’s built up in Philly has just flown the coup. The first game the O’s showed heart with their comeback in the ninth. The rest of the serried they looked out matched.

 

Rich Hill couldn’t make it out of the 5th inning again. He was so dominant in Philly. I thought he had turned the corner on his season. With his stint on the DL he needed some extra time to get himself into midseason form. Tonight, after the first inning he looked like he was throwing BP.  With his mechanics I’m not sure if he can ever be a consistent strike thrower and winner.

 

The hitting tonight wasn’t clutch. We had runners on base every inning but couldn’t deliver when we needed it. Nick Markakis had a great night tonight. He continues to raise his average but has been inconsistent game to game.

 

 Adam Jones has definitely been regressing.  He went hitless for the series. He is swinging at pitches he let go by at the start of the season. He is swinging for the fences. The more he presses the more he is failing. He looks like he needs a day away from baseball to clear his head. Unfortunately, the O’s play 10 games during the next 10 days and he is needed in the lineup.

 

Please! No more Felix Pie. Enough is enough.

 

I think you can interpret the acquisition of minor league 1st baseman Michael Aubrey two ways.  First, the O’s must be close to trading Aubrey Huff. He could get a chance to stick with the O’s if the move happens. Or the O’s feel Brandon Synder won’t be ready for the bigs next year so we needed to get a potential replacement for Huff. It could be a little of both. It could be a good deal if he can get PT and stay healthy. Hopefully, the player to be named later will be Felix Pie.

 

Here is a little film of Michael Aubrey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Could he be our Adrian Gonzalez?

 

No need to jump ship or  pannic. Young teams will have their ups & downs. Just think of the future snd wish it were here a little sooner. 

 

 

 

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Tonight's Orioles - Marlins Lineups

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Tonight’s Orioles – Marlins Lineups

Posted on 25 June 2009 by Chris Bonetti

Tonight at 7:10pm the Orioles will try to salvage the last game of three in South Florida when they take on the Marlins this evening at LandShark Stadium.  Last night’s 5-2 loss was one of the sloppiest games we’ve seen from the Orioles all year long.  They’ll need to play more crisp baseball tonight to carry any sort of momentum into this weekend’s trip to Washington to take on the Nats.

Rich Hill will take the mound for the O’s in what will be his eighth start of this season and in his Baltimore career.  He’s been up at times, and down at times… but his last outing was certainly one on the plus-side of things.  At Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia six days ago Hill had his big hook working and was quite effective in his 6.2 innings of work.  The Phillies only managed five hits and two runs, while Hill was able to strike out five batters.  In total on the year Hill boasts a 3-1 record with a 5.18 ERA.

The Marlins and manager Fredi Gonzalez will send out Sean West to attempt to complete the sweep.  West is a big 6’8, 200lb left-handed pitching prospect who Florida expects even bigger things from in the future.  Just 26-years old in his first season in the bigs, West has an even 2-2 record and an impressive 3.96 ERA through his first six career starts.  However in his last appearance he was not on the top of his game and needed to be removed after only four innings after surrendering five runs on 10 hits to the New York Yankees.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Nick Markakis – RF
Adam Jones – CF
Ty Wigginton – 1B
Melvin Mora – 3B
Nolan Reimold – LF
Matt Wieters – C
Robert Andino – SS
Rich Hill – LHP

Marlins

Chris Coghlan – LF
Emilio Bonifacio – 3B
Hanley Ramirez – SS
Jorge Cantu – 1B
Dan Uggla – 2B
Ronny Paulino – C
Cody Ross – CF
Brett Carroll – RF
Sean West – LHP

Jason Berken was... average last night... giving up three runs over five innings of work. (Courtesy: AP)

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Despite improved talent, O’s still making same old mistakes

Posted on 25 June 2009 by Luke Jones

When looking from afar, it seems nothing has changed this year from the last 11 seasons of baseball.  Stuck in last place with a 32-39 record, the Orioles appear destined to complete their 12th-straight losing season of baseball.

But despite the lack of improvement in the win-loss department, anyone paying close attention this season can see the improved talent level at several key positions.

The outfield of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Nolan Reimold appears set for the future, and Matt Wieters—you may have heard of him by now—may be the new face of the franchise if numerous scouting reports from all around baseball are legitimate.

And, of course, there’s the pitching.  We’ve already seen promise from Brad Bergesen and David Hernandez, and a plethora of arms waits at Triple-A Norfolk.

While the talent level is vastly improved from the teams of the past decade composed entirely of over-the-hill veterans and undeserving young players, a major problem still plagues the Orioles despite the promises made by manager Dave Trembley two seasons ago.

Stressing the importance of playing the game the right way, we heard reports of the team taking infield practice before games and focusing on fundamentals in spring training.

So where are the fruits of their labor?

Much like the last 11 seasons, the Orioles continue to display poor fundamentals, lack instincts, and make mental mistakes—areas that are completely inexcusable at the big league level.  Slumps and lack of execution are unavoidable parts of the game, but being fundamentally sound is an absolute prerequisite for winning baseball.

The last two losses to the Florida Marlins are a microcosm of what continues to plague this ball club.  In case you missed it, here’s a brief summary of the lackadaisical play and mental mistakes that were made:

–  In the top of the 11th of Tuesday night’s game, Ty Wigginton singles with a man on first and one out.  With the pitcher’s spot on deck and no pinch hitters available, Wigginton inexplicably gets thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.  Instead of first and third with one out, the Orioles send Rich Hill to the plate—with Brian Roberts waiting on deck—with two outs.  The Orioles do not score, and they lose in the bottom of the 12th inning despite a remarkable comeback in the ninth.

–  On Wednesday, in the top of the first, the Orioles have runners on first and second with none out.  Felix Pie gets a poor jump on the backend of a double steal and gets thrown out at second base.  Pie’s jump was so poor that he actually stopped halfway between first and second.  Instead of simply staying put and leaving the club with a first and third and no out situation with Markakis and Aubrey Huff coming up, it turns into a runner on third with one out.  The Orioles do not score.

–  Later, in the bottom of the fourth, the Marlins’ Dan Uggla scores from first on a double by Cody Ross into the left-field corner.  Left fielder Luke Scott seemingly takes forever—even by his standards—getting to the ball and digging it out of the corner, allowing Uggla—who doesn’t run particularly well—to score despite a good relay.

–  And finally, in the bottom of the seventh, Florida’s Emilio Bonifacio attempts to steal second on a pitch outside and in the dirt.  Instead of simply holding the ball, Wieters makes an ill-advised throw that sails into center field.   Topping it off, Pie—making the embarrassing mistake of a little leaguer—holds onto the ball in center and then lobs a throw into Brian Roberts, allowing Bonifacio to score, putting the Marlins ahead, 4-2.

While the mistakes of the last two nights haven’t occurred quite as frequently over the entire season, the same mental mistakes have been made far too many times.

The baserunning has been most problematic—too many runners caught stealing or not knowing the situation when trying to take an extra base on a hit.

Entering Wednesday night’s game, the Orioles ranked last in the American League in stolen base percentage with only 64 percent of attempts being successful.  The club has also had 27 runners thrown out on the bases (not including pick offs, caught stealing, or force plays), fourth-highest in the American League.

Veteran and longest-tenured Oriole Melvin Mora has been one of the poorest base runners—as he has been for much of his otherwise good career in Baltimore.  The third baseman has been thrown out on the bases five times this season.

Where is the accountability with the same mental mistakes being made repeatedly?  Why do the veterans get a free pass?  Sure, these are grown men playing in the big leagues, but where does Trembley and the coaching staff fit into the equation?

For all of the talk we’ve heard over the last two years about playing the game the right way and stressing fundamentals, it sure does not reflect in the play on the field.

Whether it takes a screaming session in the clubhouse, sending a player like Pie packing, or simply spending more time on infield and baserunning drills, the message needs to be sent that the lackadaisical play will not be tolerated.  With so many talented young players in the fold, they need to be taught to play the game the right way.

Physical tools may take individual players a long way, but strong fundamentals and baseball instincts are an absolute necessity for building a winning franchise.

The message needs to be sent that anything less will be unacceptable.

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O’s show the Phillies no “love” in the City of Brotherly Love

Posted on 20 June 2009 by Marco Romanell

The Orioles improved to 7-3 in Interleague play by defeating the defending World Champion Phillies in 7-2 at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Friday night.

Friday’s win was a total team win as Rich Hill was sharp, the bats were stellar and the bullpen was stellar. Philadelphia is nicknamed by as “the city of brotherly love”(an obvious lie for anyone who has ever been there), but Friday night the Orioles showed the Phillies anything but love.

Rich Hill pitched 6 &2/3 innings allowing two runs- both in the first inning- and five hits, while striking out five to get his third win on the season. Hill also helped his cause at the plate, putting the Orioles ahead for good with an RBI single and the offense pilled on from there.

After struggling at the plate in his first week in the big leagues, Matt Wieters is starting to show what all the hype is about has he improved his average to .259 on the season. Wieters drove in two runs with a second inning double giving him multiple RBI’s in back to back games.

Nolan Reimold doubled and hit his eight home run-tops among all rookies- while Nick Markakis recorded two hits and drove in two runs with a double in the 9th inning.

Aubrey Huff continued his torrid hitting with an monstrous opposite field double that plated Markakis in the 6th inning. Huff- whose name is floating around in just about every trade talk- added to his team high RBI total and has possible suitors taking note.

After year’s of struggling against the “senior circuit” the Orioles have been very successful against the National League this season playing spoiler against the Mets and the Phillies so far.

In a city known for its “love” the Orioles showed no love to Antonio Bastardo and the host Phillies. Hopefully, the Phillies pitchers continue to show the Orioles bats some love and the Orioles can leave “Filthadelphia” with a series win.

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Tonight's Orioles - Phillies lineups

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Tonight’s Orioles – Phillies lineups

Posted on 19 June 2009 by Chris Bonetti

Starting with tonight’s game at Philadelphia’s Citizen Bank Park against the Phillies at 7:05pm, the Orioles are back on the road, fresh off completing their longest homestand of the season.  The O’s 5-4 record in Baltimore over the last week-plus has at least temporarily righted the ship before playing the world champs and Florida Marlins in their next to series.  So far in interleague play this season the Orioles have won all three series they’ve had and hold a 6-3 record over the N.L. East’s Nationals, Braves and Mets collectively.

The often up-and-down Rich Hill will take the ball tonight for manager Dave Trembley and the Orange and Black.  Through his first six starts in a Baltimore uniform Hill owns a 2-1 record with an above-league-average 5.81 ERA.  However, his last two starts haven’t O’s fans too much optimism.  On the awful West Coast trip Hill was unable to make it through the first inning in Oakland and six days ago at Camden Yards gave up four earned in four-plus and on 80 pitches.

The Phillies will offer the first of three consecutive lefties in this series this evening in rookie left-hander Antonio Bastardo.  The 23-year old had his last outing cut short due to a near two-hour rain delay six days ago in his home ballpark against the Red Sox.  However, Bastardo was by no means cheated of a great night, through only one inning of work when he allowed five runs to come across and took the loss in the eventual 11-6 Phils loss.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Nick Markakis – RF
Adam Jones – CF
Aubrey Huff – 1B
Melvin Mora – 3B
Nolan Reimold – LF
Matt Wieters – C
Robert Andino – SS
Rich Hill – LHP

Phillies

Jimmy Rollins – SS
Shane Victorino – CF
Chase Utley – 2B
Ryan Howard – 1B
Jayson Werth – RF
Pedro Feliz – 3B
John Mayberry – LF
Carlos Ruiz – C
Antonio Bastardo – P

Last night was the first victory for the O's after trailing going in to the 9th (Courtesy: Lloyd Fox)

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Are You on the O’s bandwagon?

Posted on 15 June 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

It seems quite a few of you out there are jumping off the Orioles bandwagon lately. Why?

 

The Orioles early success in April was great and maybe it gave to many people a false sense of hope. They had one of the best offenses in baseball during the opening month. When April changed to May, they bats cooled off but the young pitching started to shine.  Mighty Matt Wieters was promoted and struggled at the plate while shining behind it.

 

Then May turned into June and the wheels fell off the apple cart. Except for Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott the rest of the lineup went into a slump. We couldn’t buy a run. When someone got into scoring position we would strike out. If we started to rally, our base running would run us right out of the inning. The starting pitching has been inconsistent except for Brad Bergesen.  

 

If you fooled yourself into thinking the Orioles were going to be competitive or win the AL East, the April Fools’ Surprise is over. Reality has returned and the O’s are what they are. A sub .500 to .500 team that will struggle with consistency until it gains more experience.

 

And to all this I say, SO WHAT! As Tripper, Bill Murray’s character in Meatballs said, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! We should be watching and supporting the O’s for what is to come.

  

They have shown us glimpses of the future and the future looks bright. We have a very solid foundation. All of the pieces aren’t here but we have the beginnings of a winning team. We haven’t had this much young talent on the roster since the 70’s.

 

I have never been more optimistic that we will turn the 11 year losing streak around.  It won’t happen this year and may not happen next year. After that we should be competitive for at least five years.  

 

Our outfield is young and could develop into one of the best in baseball.

 

LF – Nolan Reimold is 25 and leads all rookies in HR. He has shown he is not overmatched at the plate and was ready when he was promoted to the bigs. He has played well in the field and been an upgrade over Felix Pie.

 

CF – Adam Jones is 23. He has shown tremendous improvement over 2008. He has struggled of late and is still hitting .324. He has shown he can hit for average and power. He covers as much ground as any CF in baseball. Jones is tied for the team lead with 41 RBI. He looks to be our leading candidate to make the All Star team. He appears to be a perennial All Star.

 

RF – Nick Markakis is 25. He is known for having a good eye and patience at the plate. Lately, he has struggled and not shown his usual patience while pressing at the plate. He is hitting a respectable .284 and has 40 RBI. He has the swing of a perennial .300 hitter and a 100+ RBI man. He has one of the best arms in all of baseball. He should be another All Star for several years.

 

Everyone knows about Matt Wieters. He just turned 23. He was the top prospect in all of baseball. He has a big bat and a big-time arm. He has excelled at handling the pitchers and calling a great game. He struggled at the plate early and has had a couple of multi-hit games lately and appears to be coming out of his slump.  He needs to play and get his AB’s. As we continue to develop and promote our young pitchers he can grow with them.

 

Speaking of our young pitching, how can you not be excited by the possibilities? The best pitchers are still supposed to be in the minors. Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, Troy Patton, and Dave Hernandez are all at Norfolk.  Tillman and Arrieta are supposed to be front of the line #1 or #2 starters. They will likely spend the rest of the year at AAA before they get a chance to make the major league roster in 2010. Brandon Erbe, Zach Britton, and Brian Matusz are all at AA. Erbe is hurt but he and Matusz have dominated hitters at AA. Matusz is another potential #1 starter. This doesn’t include this years #1 pick Matt Hobgood. The more I read about him the more I love the pick. He is mature beyond his years and shouldn’t be a head case like some of our past prospects.

 

At the major league level we have some very good talent in the bullpen. Matt Alpers and Brian Bass have worked well in the Middle Reliever/Long Relief role. They are both under 30 and should continue to be solid barring any injuries. Jim Johnson has been a great setup man. He has an ERA around 3 and could move into the closers role when the Orioles trade George Sherrill and Danys Baez. Chris Ray is at AAA trying to regain the form that made him our closer in 06 & 07.

 

The surprise of the young starters has been Brad Bergesen.  He has been fantastic lately. He has four straight quality starts and has been the most consistent starter since being promoted from Norfolk.  He has gone deeper into the games as the weather has warmed up. He had his first complete game yesterday.

 

Jason Berken and Rich Hill have been inconsistent but have shown potential as starters. As the higher rated prospects move into the starting rotation they may be moved to the bullpen or traded to acquire some needed position players.

 

I didn’t include any of our players who were over 30 because they will be trade bait before we become competitive. Luke Scott has been fantastic this year and could provide a contender a much needed bat and bring us a young quality infielder.         

 

I know we have been bad for soooo long and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You’ve waited this long and will probably wait another year but there is hope. Believe good things are around the corner and help is on the way. Training Camp opens in July but the young O’s should be intriguing enough to be worth following. Stay on board and watch how the young players mature over the rest of the season and dream of what’s to come.

 

   

 

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O’s Offense, Hill take the usual Sunday beating

Posted on 07 June 2009 by Luke Jones

The Orioles completed a 1-5 road trip with a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

Oakland rookie Vin Mazzaro was outstanding, stifling Orioles hitters for 7 1/3 innings and scattering five hits.  He is now 2-0 and has yet to allow a run in 13 2/3 innings of major league work.

Here are a few thoughts, as the Orioles will make their way home to start a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday:

– The good vibes of Matt Wieters’ major league debut last Friday have quickly faded away.  The rookie catcher is hitting .143 (4-for-28) and has yet to drive in a run.  The Orioles are 2-7 since Wieters was promoted.

– To say the Orioles are slumping offensively would be an understatement.  The offense has managed just 13 runs in their last eight games.  I don’t care if you have the 1971 starting rotation; you’re not going to win many ballgames with that output.

The hitters’ approach at the plate varies from listless to trying to hit a five-run homer with the bases empty.  It’s painful to watch, quite frankly.

– Who would have thought Brad Bergesen would be the team’s most reliable starting pitcher at the beginning of June?  With Koji Uehara on the disabled list, Bergesen hasn’t been great (2-2, 4.64 ERA), but he’s been a steady contributor to the rotation—something that’s been sorely lacking.

– Six Sunday losses in a row.  I suppose the Orioles are the anti-Tiger Woods; Woods always shows up on Sunday (as he did at the Memorial today) while the Orioles…well, at least nobody got hurt today.

*****

Update (4:35):  If you just turned on MASN and wondered what happened to Rich Hill, no, he wasn’t a late scratch or injured in the first inning.

Hill lasted just 2/3 of an inning, surrendering three runs, walking four batters, and throwing 39 pitches (15 of them for strikes).

This was the type of start that infuriated Cubs manager Lou Piniella last season and landed Hill in Triple-A Iowa.

The Orioles have now had two starters—Jeremy Guthrie on Friday and Hill today—fail to make it out of the first inning this weekend in Oakland—not exactly the way to keep fans interested for late West Coast games.

Thankfully, Brian Bass came on and stranded the bases load, keeping the early deficit at three runs.

*****

Adam Jones – CF
Nolan Reimold – LF
Nick Markakis – RF
Luke Scott – DH
Melvin Mora – 3B
Oscar Salazar – 1B
Matt Wieters – C
Ty Wigginton – 2B
Robert Andino – SS

No, there are no typos, glitches, or errors in today’s lineup.  Maybe Dave Trembley is taking a page from Billy Martin and drew the names out of a hat.

Brian Roberts and Aubrey Huff get the day off, and we get our first look at Oscar Salazar in 2009.  Let’s hope the new lineup can generate some much-needed offense.  Of course, it’s Sunday, so I wouldn’t expect too much, especially with the “B” squad lineup.  The Orioles have scored just 13 runs in the last seven games.

Rich Hill (2-0, 4.15 ERA) goes to the hill against Vin Mazzaro (1-0, 0.00 ERA) who pitched brilliantly against the White Sox in his first major league start on Tuesday (6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER).  On a positive note, at least he isn’t left-handed.

The Orioles will try to snap a four-game losing streak while Oakland hopes to continue its trend of five-straight victories.

In case you were keeping track, the Orioles have lost five Sunday games in a row with their last victory coming on April 26 against the Texas Rangers.

Suddenly, I’m having visions of Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil.

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Tonight's Orioles - Mariners Lineups

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Tonight’s Orioles – Mariners Lineups

Posted on 02 June 2009 by Chris Bonetti

Tonight the Orioles and Mariners will battle in game two of the teams’ three game set at 10:10pm EST from Safeco Field in Seattle as the Birds continue there six-game West Coast trip.

Last night the O’s won a good ol’ fashion pitchers’ duel by the score of 1-0 after Rich Hill turned in perhaps the best performance by a Baltimore starting pitcher this season.  Once Hill was able to avoid trouble in the first three innings against the pesky M’s lineup, he was on cruise-control afterward.  He, along with Jim Johnson in the eighth, and George Sherrill closing things out in the ninth, retired the last 20 Seattle batters to step to the plate.

In a bit of a baseball oddity, Orioles fans are probably much more familiar with the opposing team’s starting pitcher than their own.

Tonight Dave Trembley, his team, and their fans will get just their second look at hard-throwing David Hernandez on the major league level.  Just days after being called up from Triple-A Norfolk Hernandez earned the win in his big league debut at Camden Yards in a 5-1 Oriole victory on May 28.  The 24-year old, 6’3, 215lb right-hander scattered five hits and allowed just one earned run over his 5.2 innings of work.  Hernandez had astounding strikeout numbers throughout his tenure in the farm system, but it didn’t exactly translate in his first outing against Detroit, he only struck out three while walking four opposing hitters.

The familiar face on the bump tonight for the Mariners is none other than former Oriole, Erik Bedard.  The lefty seems to have his mojo back after a sub-par and injury-plagued first season out west last year.  Through eight starts Bedard has compiled a record of 3-2, with a very low 2.48 ERA, and an impressive 56 K’s in 54.1 innings.  Bedard spent four full seasons in the Baltimore rotation, but was traded to Seattle in the offseason going into ’08 for current starting centerfielder Adam Jones, closer George Sherrill, and #1 pitching prospect Chris Tillman, amongst others.  In an Orange and Black uniform Bedard tallied 40 wins from ’04-’07.

Here are this evening’s starting lineups that will be taking the field in the Emerald City:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Adam Jones – CF
Nick Markakis – RF
Aubrey Huff – DH
Melvin Mora – 3B
Ty Wigginton – 1B
Matt Wieters – C
Nolan Reimold – LF
Cesar Izturis – SS

Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki – RF
Russell Branyan – 1B
Adrian Beltre – 3B
Ken Griffey Jr. – DH
Jose Lopez – 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt – SS
Rob Johnson – C
Endy Chavez – LF
Franklin Gutierrez – CF

Bedard set the O's all-time single season K's record with 221 in '07. (Courtesy: AP)

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Hill Thrills

Posted on 02 June 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

Another impressive win for the Orioles! They won there first 1-0 game in over two years. Rich Hill looked great on the mound tonight. The first three innings were a little shaky but he pulled himself together. He has looked good in three out of his four starts. Right now he looks like the pitcher everyone remembers from 2007 and not the lost one of 2008. He has made Andy McPhail look shrewd and balanced out the Felix Pie trade.   

 

The Erik Bedard trade is the trade that keeps on giving. McPhail’s fleecing of the Mariners continues to pay huge dividends. He acquired Adam Jones, our everyday center fielder and Perennial All Star in waiting. Jones hit a double in the sixth and scored the games only run on a sacrifice fly from Aubrey Huff. Our current closer, George Sherrill was the closer insurance in the trade. He came in to record his 11th save last night. He should be dealt this year and could bring more prospects to build with.

 

We still have three pitchers down on the farm thanks to the trade. Chris Tillman is our #1 pitching prospect. He is dominating at AAA with 5 wins and a 2.13 ERA. He will probably be a September call up. He is a good bet to join the rotation in 2010. Kam Mickolio is struggling at AAA. He has an OK arm and may turn in to a contributor out of the bullpen. Tony Butler was supposed to be the other “Big” arm of the trade. He has been hurt and hasn’t pitched.

 

As well as everyone has pitched, part of the credit needs to go to the catchers. Matt Wieters was supposed to be ready at the plate and still developing behind it. He has been outstanding calling the games while struggling offensively. No need to worry, his hits will come! Greg Zaun called a great game on Sunday for Jason Berken. With all of the rookies pitching so well what will the O’s do with Koji when he is healthy? He has been a reliever in Japan the past couple of years and could easily return to the pen.  

 

Nolan Reimold has come up and taken control of right field job. Surprisingly, his 5 Home Runs put’s him amongst the Rookie Home Run leaders.  He is finally healthy and his explosion this year was unexpected. The outfield is shaping up nicely for the next 6 years.

 

Everyone in Baltimore should be thankful we have Andy McPhail running our franchise. He seems to have calmed Sweet Pete down and taken control of the team. The top 3 players he received in return for Eric Bedard have been AMAZING. The trade was so lopsided it helped get Bill Bavasi fired. Rich Hill could be a steal from the Cubs. I don’t know who will be the next Oriole traded but it should be interesting to see how much we can get for them. I wonder how many teams won’t want to trade with us because of McPhail’s success since coming to Baltimore.

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Tonight's Orioles - Mariners Lineups

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Tonight’s Orioles – Mariners Lineups

Posted on 01 June 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Orioles have made the long flight out to the Pacific Northwest and will be at Safeco Field tonight to take on the Mariners starting at 10:10pm EST.  This evening’s series opener is the first of three in Seattle before concluding their six-game roadtrip with a stop down to Oakland for three.  The O’s come in having taken seven of their last 10 and riding the momentum of the organization’s youth movement, which has brought the debut of Matt Wieters over this past weekend.

Rich Hill will get the nod tonight and will be on the mound for the fourth time in an Oriole uniform.  In his first two outings Hill was pretty good in yielding just two earned over 5.2 innings in both a win over the Royals and a no-decision against Nats.  However his last effort, not the lefty’s best; Hill surrendered six earned runs in just 3.1 innings and was lucky to be taken off the hook by his teammates in a 12-10 extra inning win over Toronto.  All total, Hill has gone 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA this season with 15 strikeouts.

The Mariners will also have a lefty of their own going in 12-year veteran Jarrod Washburn.  Washburn is 3-3 with a 3.75 ERA through six starts in this ’09 season.  In his three wins, including his last outing in Oakland, Washburn has pitched 20.0 innings and has given up only two runs.  In his three losses, he’s been well… not as good; teams have racked up 18 runs in 16.1 innings pitched in those appearances.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Orioles

Brian Roberts – 2B
Adam Jones – CF
Nick Markakis – RF
Aubrey Huff – 1B
Melvin Mora – 3B
Luke Scott – DH
Matt Wieters – C
Nolan Reimold – LF
Cesar Izturis – SS

Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki – RF
Yuniesky Betancourt – SS
Adrian Beltre – 3B
Mike Sweeney – DH
Russell Branyan – 1B
Jose Lopez – 2B
Wladimir Balentien – LF
Rob Johnson – C
Franklin Gutierrez – CF

Wieters' debut brought fans to Camden Yards in droves this weekend. (Courtesy: Karl Merton Ferron)

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