Last Seven Games

4/15 -- Rangers 19, Orioles 6
4/17 -- Red Sox 10, Orioles 8
4/18 -- Red Sox 6, Orioles 4
4/19 -- Red Sox 2, Orioles 1
4/20 -- Red Sox 12, Orioles 1
4/21 -- Orioles 10, White Sox 3
4/22 -- White Sox 8, Orioles 2

Upcoming Orioles Schedule

4/23 -- vs. Chicago White Sox, 7:05 p.m. (MASN)
4/24 -- vs. Texas Rangers, 7:05 p.m. (MASN2)
4/25 -- vs. Texas Rangers, 7:05 p.m. (MASN)
4/26 -- vs. Texas Rangers, 1:35 p.m. (MASN2)
4/27 -- vs. Texas Rangers, 7:05 p.m. (MASN2)
4/28 -- vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 7:05 p.m. (MASN2)
4/29 -- vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 12:35 p.m. (MASN)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Pattern Emerges

So ... the Orioles win two, then lose one. They win two more, then lose one.

That seems to be the pattern so far this season for the Baltimore Orioles, who are 6-3 and a half-game out of the division lead after Wednesday's 19-6 butt-whooping at the hands of the Texas Rangers. The loss broke Baltimore's two-game winning streak, the third time in this young season this has happened.

The Orioles opened the season taking the first two games from the Yankees at Camden Yards. They then lost the third game of the series, 11-2. Baltimore then took the first two games from the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays before losing the third game 11-3.

Baltimore opened its three-game set with the Rangers by winning Monday's game 10-9 and taking Tuesday's contest 7-5. Wednesday's schelacking kept the pattern intact for the young season ... win two, get killed in the third.

As Meat Loaf once sang, two out of three ain't bad.

Still ... the worrisome part isn't losing a game -- every team loses (right, Nationals?). But Baltimore's three losses this season have been extremely lopsided, the dreaded combination of cold bats mixed with horrendous pitching. Granted, Texas is an offensive powerhouse, and Ian Kinsler is a fine player, but 19 runs?! Kinsler going 6-for-6 and hitting for the cycle?


To be fair, if Baltimore keeps this trend throughout the season (pretty much impossible, I know, but bear with me), the Orioles will end the season 108-54. That's best record in baseball material, and as much as the fan in me would love that, I know as well as anyone else the Orioles don't have the talent or infrastructure to pull off such a feat.

In fact, in each of the last five seasons, Baltimore has been off to a good start, raising the hopes of the fans and making the general baseball world wonder if things might be changing for the better in Charm City. But year after year, the Orioles collapse after the All-Star Break, stumbling toward the finish line with a horrid August and September, leaving Orioles fans crushed and making sure the AL East is still the New York and Boston (and now Tampa Bay) Show.

Will this year be any different? Not if Baltimore sees fit to give up double-digit runs every third night. Sooner or later, that sort of thing's going to catch up with the team, and spread to other facets of the game.

This is an encouraging start to the season for the most part, and by all means, the fans should enjoy it. But be warned, Orioles fans ... there are signs, and there is a history. If this team loses 90 games again this season, I don't want you all devastated.

Enjoy what we have now, but don't count on the future.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Uehara picks up first MLB win, O's beat Yanks

It was probably more interesting than he would've wanted, but Japanese import Koji Uehara won his Major League debut on Wednesday night at Camden Yards, as the Orioles held on to beat the Yankees 7-5.

Uehara went five innings, giving up five hits and walking one. The 34-year-old came into the game only walking 206 batters in over 1,500 career innings pitched ... a far cry from the recently-departed Daniel Cabrera, who dished out walks like candy on Halloween.

If the Orioles are going to make any progress this season and reverse the trend of 11 straight losing seasons, pitchers like Uehara have to be part of the nucleus.

The Orioles were hot at the plate for the second straight game, with Nick Markakis belting his first home run of the season and Adam Jones reaching base yet again with a double in the first inning. Markakis would double him home, showing again that if Jones can get on base consistently, which he did in Monday's season opener as well, to the tune of 3-for-3 at the plate, the Orioles will be a productive offensive team.

Brian Roberts might be the leadoff man, but don't underestimate Jones' value hitting second in this lineup.

In all, the Orioles hit four doubles on Wednesday, with Aubrey Huff and Gregg Zaun getting in on the fun. More importantly, those doubles drove in runs. Baltimore was second in the American League last season in hitting with runners in scoring position, and two games into 2009, that rend looks to continue.

What nearly did Baltimore in Wednesday night, though, was the bullpen. The Orioles led 7-1 at one point, but Dennis Sarfate came in the top of the ninth and promptly gave up three runs -- including a two-run shot to Derek Jeter. Another run came in when Mark Texeira doubled off George Sherrill with two out, but Sherrill got Hideki Matsui to pop out to third to end the game and give the Orioles a 2-0 start to the season.

The Orioles, the only team in the division yet to lose after Tampa Bay beat Boston on Wednesday, will look for the sweep on Thursday afternoon at 1:35. A.J. Burnett will make his Yankee debut, going against Alfredo Simon. Simon will be making just his second career start. In four career appearances, Simon has a 6.23 ERA.

It's early yet, and it's impossible to tell what a team will be like after the first week, but opening the season with a three-game sweep of the Yankees can be just the momentum builder the Orioles need. And after 11 straight losing seasons, O's fans have to find all the positives they can.