Posted on 07 April 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 06 April 2012 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — Regardless of how impressive Opening Day starter Jake Arrieta’s performance was in the Orioles 4-2 win over Minnesota, the 26-year-old is a long way from becoming the ace of the Baltimore staff, at least in the truest sense of the role.
But his ability to pitch deep into the game — without allowing a run in seven innings — is exactly what manager Buck Showalter is looking for after a 2011 season in which starting pitchers struggled to simply get through five or six innings on many long nights. Arrieta’s superb showing not only gave him his first win since July 26, 2011, but it put his team in the win column in the season opener for the second straight year.
“I just want to be a guy who some of other guys can look at and say he will get us to the seventh and eighth inning and put us in a position to win the game,” Arrieta said. “I think I have a ways to go to really establish myself as that guy, but I’m willing to do that.”
Allowing only two hits while striking out four and walking two in his seven innings, Arrieta showed good command in the first outing of his third major league season after being plagued by elevated walk totals and high pitch counts in his first two campaigns. Only one Twins batter even reached second base against him as he shut down the Minnesota lineup in front of a sellout crowd of 46,773 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
While many believed the pressure of pitching on Opening Day might prove too much for Arrieta — especially coming off elbow surgery that cost him the final two months of the 2011 season — Showalter reminded everyone that the right-hander had been in a similar position before.
Arrieta started the home opener a year ago against the Detroit Tigers and turned in a similar outing, allowing one earned run in six innings of work in a 5-1 victory.
“He pitched maybe a little better than he did last year in the same venue,” Showalter said. “I thought he kept his emotions under control, which is always a challenge with everybody. Trusted his fastball — it’s still his best pitch. … He commanded all his pitches.”
It’s no secret that the starting pitching will determine if the Orioles can improve from their 93-loss season a year ago. Showalter and pitching coach Rick Adair will rest easier if the starting rotation can turn in more performances like Arrieta’s on Friday than the shortened, labored outings seen last year that washed out the bullpen by mid-summer.
Too much uncertainty remains to know whether that starting pitching will improve, especially with two of the next four starters in the rotation — Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen — having not even been with the club last season. And that’s not even considering left-hander Brian Matusz coming off a historically-poor season in 2011.
But Arrieta did set the bar high for his fellow starters to try to follow suit. He accomplished exactly what he wanted in taking a step to prove why Showalter selected him to take the ball for the Orioles on the first day of the season.
“My mindset today was really to set the tone for our team in front of a great crowd — lots of excited fans for a new season,” Arrieta said. “It was important to come out and set the tone the way we did.”
It was a fun way to begin the season, a theme echoed by several players following the win.
One down and 161 to go, and the Orioles will view each game as an opportunity to start breaking down the assumptions that they can’t grow up substantially this season. Arrieta emphatically run the first round.
“As a team we take it personal that most people write us off from the get-go,” Arrieta said. “I think we made a statement today that we’ve got a lot to play for this year.”
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Posted on 06 April 2012 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — Happy Opening Day as the Orioles begin the 2012 season by welcoming the Minnesota Twins to town.
With plenty planned for the 20th anniversary of the first Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, there is sure to be a buzz in the air in what continues to be an event in Baltimore despite tempered expectations for the season. The battery that started the 1992 opener, pitcher Rick Sutcliffe and catcher Chris Hoiles, will handle the ceremonial first pitch.
After undergoing abdominal surgery in early January, right fielder Nick Markakis says he is healthy and ready to go for the start of the season. The 28-year-old was limited to just 24 spring at-bats but stated earlier in the spring he needed fewer than that to be ready for the regular season.
“Physically, I think I’m about as good as I can be right now,” Markakis said. It’s just a matter of getting out and playing. All the rehab and hard work in spring training is behind me and now I can focus on the season.”
While Markakis said he never doubted whether he would be ready for Opening Day, manager Buck Showalter felt uneasy after seeing how limited his No. 3 hitter was in the first week to 10 days of spring training.
Showalter also confirmed right-hander Jim Johnson will be his closer with Kevin Gregg settling into a less-defined late-inning role.
As anticipated, left fielder Nolan Reimold will begin the season as the Orioles’ leadoff hitter despite hardly looking like a conventional option. Entering his fourth season, Reimold is eager for the opportunity and wants to capitalize on what looks like a more defined role in the regular lineup than last year.
In 847 career plate appearances, Reimold owns a .328 on-base percentage — a number the Orioles would like to see increase if he’s going to remain atop the order.
“The goal’s always to get on base; the goal’s always to get hits” Reimold said about his new spot in the order. “In that aspect, nothing really changes.”
Here are today’s lineups:
CF Denard Span
SS Jamey Carroll
C Joe Mauer
DH Justin Morneau
LF Josh Willingham
RF Ryan Doumit
3B Danny Valencia
1B Chris Parmelee
2B Alexi Casilla
RHP Carl Pavano
LF Nolan Reimold
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Wilson Betemit
3B Mark Reynolds
1B Chris Davis
2B Robert Andino
RHP Jake Arrieta
Follow @WNST on Twitter for the latest for Camden Yards and be sure to visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, Nolan Reimold, and Nick Markakis prior to this afternoon’s game right here.
Posted on 27 March 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 22 March 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 16 March 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Odds to win the 2012 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies 11/2
New York Yankees 13/2
Los Angeles Angels 7/1
Detroit Tigers 8/1
Texas Rangers 10/1
Boston Red Sox 10/1
San Francisco Giants 15/1
Tampa Bay Rays 18/1
Miami Marlins 20/1
Cincinnati Reds 20/1
Atlanta Braves 22/1
St. Louis Cardinals 25/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 28/1
Milwaukee Brewers 28/1
Washington Nationals 30/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 40/1
Toronto Blue Jays 40/1
Chicago Cubs 40/1
Colorado Rockies 40/1
Cleveland Indians 60/1
Chicago White Sox 65/1
Minnesota Twins 75/1
Kansas City Royals 80/1
New York Mets 80/1
Oakland Athletics 80/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1
Seattle Mariners 100/1
Baltimore Orioles 150/1
Houston Astros 200/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL Pennant
New York Yankees 13/4
Los Angeles Angels 7/2
Detroit Tigers 4/1
Boston Red Sox 11/2
Texas Rangers 11/2
Tampa Bay Rays 9/1
Toronto Blue Jays 22/1
Cleveland Indians 28/1
Chicago White Sox 35/1
Kansas City Royals 40/1
Oakland Athletics 40/1
Minnesota Twins 40/1
Seattle Mariners 60/1
Baltimore Orioles 75/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL Pennant
Philadelphia Phillies 9/4
San Francisco Giants 7/1
Atlanta Braves 9/1
Cincinnati Reds 9/1
Miami Marlins 9/1
St. Louis Cardinals 11/1
Milwaukee Brewers 14/1
Washington Nationals 15/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 14/1
Colorado Rockies 18/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 18/1
Chicago Cubs 22/1
New York Mets 40/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 40/1
San Diego Padres 50/1
Houston Astros 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL East
New York Yankees 2/3
Boston Red Sox 3/1
Tampa Bay Rays 9/2
Toronto Blue Jays 12/1
Baltimore Orioles 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL Central
Detroit Tigers 1/4
Cleveland Indians 10/1
Kansas City Royals 12/1
Chicago White Sox 12/1
Minnesota Twins 16/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL West
Los Angeles Angels 4/5
Texas Rangers 1/1
Oakland Athletics 30/1
Seattle Mariners 45/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL East
Philadelphia Phillies 1/2
Miami Marlins 11/2
Atlanta Braves 6/1
Washington Nationals 8/1
New York Mets 50/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL Central
Cincinnati Reds 7/5
St. Louis Cardinals 2/1
Milwaukee Brewers 11/4
Chicago Cubs 18/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 30/1
Houston Astros 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL West
San Francisco Giants 5/4
Arizona Diamondbacks 2/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 11/2
Colorado Rockies 7/1
San Diego Padres 15/1
Over/Under Regular Season Win Totals
Arizona Diamondbacks 86½
Atlanta Braves 86½
Baltimore Orioles 69½
Boston Red Sox 90½
Chicago Cubs 73½
Chicago White Sox 75½
Cincinnati Reds 87½
Cleveland Indians 78½
Colorado Rockies 80½
Detroit Tigers 91½
Miami Marlins 85½
Houston Astros 63½
Kansas City Royals 78½
Los Angeles Angels 91½
Los Angeles Dodgers 80½
Milwaukee Brewers 85½
Minnesota Twins 72½
New York Mets 73½
New York Yankees 93½
Oakland Athletics 72½
Philadelphia Phillies 93½
Pittsburgh Pirates 72½
San Diego Padres 73½
San Francisco Giants 87½
Seattle Mariners 71½
St. Louis Cardinals 85½
Tampa Bay Rays 86½
Texas Rangers 91½
Toronto Blue Jays 81½
Washington Nationals 83½
courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).
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Posted on 07 March 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 20 February 2012 by Glenn Clark
Stop me if you heard this one before.
If Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training but no one has ever heard of them before, did it actually happen?
To at least some extent, that was the case in Sarasota this weekend. Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers reported to Ed Smith Stadium for an opportunity to
prepare for a run towards the AL East crown introduce themselves to the men they now call teammates.
A year ago, there was a level of false hope about what a full season under manager Buck Showalter and the arrivals of veteran MLB players like Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds could do for baseball in Charm City. There is of course none of that in 2012, but you already knew that.
To be fair, I’m as surprised as you that Endy Chavez fever simply hasn’t spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
The start of Spring Training (most O’s pitchers had actually arrived in Sarasota in advance of this weekend’s report date) produced neither excitement nor as much as a batted eye to baseball fans in Baltimore this year. I will admit that I did not miss the insufferable “Happy New Year” updates on Facebook and Twitter from snobby baseball fans who are unaware their favorite sport is no longer our national pastime, but that’s the only good thing to be said.
It strikes me on this Monday that I honestly find myself pining for a year in which expectations (or at least hopes) for mediocrity fizzled into just another miserable summer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I’m not pining over memories of a World Series run or even a relevant game on Labor Day. I’m pining for a team that mattered…at least a little bit…on St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s that bad.
Some of you will likely use the comments section here to accuse me of wasting hundreds of words on taking a shot at the Orioles. I don’t know that I’ll really bother to argue much with you.
There will be plenty of storylines between now and Opening Day, it’s just that none of them will be interesting.
Someone will have to start against the Minnesota Twins on April 6. Zach Britton is the easy fan favorite, but will have to show his shoulder is 100 percent to even get into the competition. The team will reportedly have to line up four more starters behind whoever goes out for Game 1, despite the fact that you’d be hard pressed to name three quality pitchers in the group of 30 that showed up this weekend.
They also need one of those pitchers to finish games. Jim Johnson is the guy fans most want to see get the role. Fans’ second choice? Anyone not named Kevin Gregg.
Brian Roberts’ health will be the closest we come to seeing something compelling in March. A healthy Roberts would by no means guide the team towards contention, but it would be nice to see the veteran second baseman return to the field instead of being ushered into retirement. Barring injury all other starting positions on the field are set. That’s of course part of the problem, as even with talented players like JJ Hardy, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones suiting up there’s little hope of producing enough against the staffs in Boston, New York and Tampa Bay.
There will be some competition for bench jobs, but that excitement will wear off before I can finish typing the names Matt Antonelli and Jai Miller. But hey! Look over there! It’s Nick Johnson! I’ve heard of him!
We’re going to attempt to have some relevant baseball conversation over the course of the next few weeks. All of it will involve the phrase “not like it really matters, but…” at some point. If it doesn’t, the conversation will probably be started by someone asking “have you heard anything more about those rumors that Peter Angelos is thinking about selling the team?”.
We can only pray that at some point Dan Duquette makes an off-color comment about Brian Cashman’s off-field exploits to momentarily make the Birds interesting. If you’re not, rest easy knowing I certainly am. I’d settle for a rumor that Oil Can Boyd was going to get coked up and make a start at OPACY to promote his new book.
(Now that I’ve typed those words, I actually think it’s a hell of an idea. Please pass it along to someone.)
Yes, it’s baseball season again in Baltimore. Anyone wanna talk about Justin Boren’s future in purple?
Posted on 22 April 2011 by John Collingsworth
The Baltimore Orioles (8-10) host the New York Yankees (10-6) this weekend for a 3-game set beginning Friday night.
Last week, these two ball clubs were disrupted due to rain and one of the games has been postponed to a later date. But the extra inning loss to the Yanks last Thursday night in New York was like a bad hangover the Birds could not shake until this past Tuesday against the Twins.
As the Bronx Bombers bats are heating up in mid-April, the O’s are just trying to find some offensive consistency game-in and game-out. With the young starting pitching beginning to show signs of stability, and life from the lineup, the bullpen has to hold up their end. Perfect example was Monday nights loss to the Minnesota Twins. SP Chris Tillman went 6.2 IP and gave up 3 runs, good enough to keep the Orioles in the ball game. After a solid relief appearance by RP Clay Rapada for the Birds, RP Kevin Gregg came in and gave up 2 runs in the top of the 9th, and the Orioles lost by 1 run. This has to change, and fast.
The New York Yankees have a problem of their own, and it deals with one of the fan-favorites, OF Brett Gardner. He has been struggling since the start of the season (15 Games / 47 AB / 1 2B / 0 HR / .128 AVG / 2 RBI ), so manager Joe Girardi benched Gardner in the final game of the Toronto series this week in favor of OF Andrew Jones.
No Transactions for either team in the last three days.
Well, I was right! The Orioles accomplished all THREE of my “Keys to the Series” vs. the Twins:
1. The offense has to come alive vs. the struggling Twins pitching staff. – CHECK
2. Britton must shine on national television Wednesday night. – CHECK
3. Buck needs to get the Birds back on track and find a team leader for this ball club. – CHECK
Here are the Orioles “Keys to the Series” vs. the Yankees:
1. Take last Thursday night’s extra inning loss personally and play with vengeance.
2. Silent the Yankee fans at Camden Yards quickly.
3. The young pitching has to shut down the hot bats in the Bronx Bombers lineup.
The official ‘WNST Weather Predictor’ this weekend vs. the Yankees
Friday 7:05pm : PM Rain – High 51 / Low 44 – With the likely chance of Friday night’s game being a rain out and Yankee fans coming down, look out for them doing this!!!!
Saturday 7:05pm : Scattered T-Storms – High 72 / Low 61 – As the weekend night game comes around, look forward to seeing this particular Yankees fan at Camden Yards!!!
Sunday 1:35pm : Scattered T-Storms – High 74 / Low 59 – Supposedly the sun breaking out in the afternoon, I’m hoping for this O’s fan to be in attendance!!!!
( 8 – 10 ) ( 10 – 6 )
Friday April 22nd, 7:05pm EST
Orioles vs. Yankees- Camden Yards
Brad Bergesen (0-2, 3.38 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (0-1, 2.52 ERA)
Saturday April 23rd, 7:05pm EST
Orioles vs. Yankees- Camden Yards
Chris Tillman (0-2, 6.16 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
Sunday April 24th, 1:35pm EST
Orioles vs. Yankees- Camden Yards
Jake Arrieta (2-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (1-2, 7.63 ERA)
Baltimore Orioles Projected Lineup & 2011 STATS
1. Brian Roberts- 2B
18 Games / 75 AB / 21 Hits / 3 2B / 3 HR / .280 AVG / 14 RBI
2. Nick Markakis- RF
18 Games / 69 AB / 14 Hits / 2 2B / 2 HR / .203 AVG / 6 RBI
3. Derrek Lee- 1B
18 Games / 67 AB / 14 Hits / 2 2B / 1 HR / .209 AVG / 6 RBI
4. Vladimir Guerrero
18 Games / 75 AB / 21 Hits / 2 2B / 3 HR / .280 AVG / 9 RBI
5. Luke Scott- LF
14 Games / 42 AB / 8 Hits / 2 2B / 2 HR / .190 AVG / 4 RBI
6. Adam Jones- CF
17 Games / 63 AB / 14 Hits / 1 2B / 3 HR / .222 AVG / 8 RBI
7. Mark Reynolds- 3B
18 Games / 59 AB / 11 Hits / 2 2B / 1 HR / .186 AVG / 10 RBI
8. Matt Wieters- C
16 Games / 52 AB / 14 Hits / 4 2B / 3 HR / .269 AVG / 11 RBI
9. Robert Andino- SS
9 Games / 25 AB / 8 Hits / 0 2B / 0 HR / .308 AVG / 0 RBI
New York Yankees Projected Lineup & 2011 STATS
1. Derek Jeter- SS
16 Games / 64 AB / 14 Hits / 1 2B / 0 HR / .219 AVG / 4 RBI
2. Nick Swisher- RF
16 Games / 55 AB / 15 Hits / 2 2B / 0 HR / .273 AVG / 8 RBI
3. Mark Teixeria- 1B
16 Games / 58 AB / 15 Hits / 4 2B / 6 HR / .259 AVG / 16 RBI
4. Alex Rodriguez- 3B
13 GAmes / 41 AB / 15 Hits / 5 2B / 4 HR / .366 AVG / 10 RBI
5. Robinson Cano- 2B
16 Games / 66 AB / 20 Hits / 6 2B / 4 HR / .303 AVG / 13 RBI
6. Andrew Jones- LF
6 Games / 16 AB / 4 Hits / 1 2B / 1 HR / .250 AVG / 2 RBI
7. Jorge Posada- DH
15 Games / 50 AB / 8 Hits / 0 2B / 5 HR / .160 AVG / 9 RBI
8. Russell Martin- C
15 Games / 51 AB / 16 Hits / 3 2B / 4 HR / .314 AVG / 11 RBI
9. Curtis Granderson- CF
16 Games / 55 AB / 15 Hits / 3 2B / 6 HR / .273 AVG / 9 RBI
If you are home or out this weekend and want the latest information during the O’s game from the experts, then head online and enter the Orange Crush Live Chat with Luke Jones this entire weekend!!!!
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