Posts Tagged ‘baltimore orioles

08
Oct
10

Baltimore Orioles 2010 season recap

 

The Orioles began the season awful, but finished 33-23 under new Manager Buck Showalter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Ben Linton

The Baltimore Orioles came into the 2010 season with hype and hope that this would be the year they would finally break through in the AL East. The Orioles young stars had another year to grow, while veterans were added to the roster to provide leadership. But when the Orioles started 5-18 after the first month, lost 11 of their first 12, and lost their All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts for 60 days, the season seemed lost already.

The Orioles got off to their second-worst start in franchise history, which prompted the firing of Manager Dave Trembley on June 4th, when the O’s were 15-40. A period of uncertainty and doubt followed when Juan Samuel took over as manager while the front office tried to get things straight. Then on August 3rd, the Orioles hired manager Buck Showalter to bring in a real baseball guy with good credentials that knew how to win in the league. The Orioles seemed energized by this move, as they won 8 of their first 10 games and went 17-11 in the month of August. The Orioles would go on to end the season 33-73 under Showalter.

The Orioles had an up and down 2010, and ended in a familiar spot, 66-96, last place in the AL East, for a 13th consecutive losing season. Although it seems like we’ve heard this song before, there is hope for the future in Baltimore, but not all the pieces are in the right place yet. Here are my season awards for the 2010 season:

Team MVP:


Nick Markakis – Although this power numbers were down from a year ago, Nick Markakis led the Orioles in hits (187) and batting average (.297). At 26 years old, we can only expect better things from Markakis in the future. He is already the best hitter on the team, and if he can find some power next year, a trip to the All-Star game may be in order.


Team Ace:


Brian Matusz- In his first full year as a starter for the Orioles, Brian Matusz made the most of this learning experience, and showed signs of promise for the future. Although he may never be a true No. 1 starter, Matusz has potential to be a solid No. 2 starter in the MLB. He started off shaky at 2-9, but won his last six decisions on the year. Matusz ended with a 10-12 record, a 4.30 ERA, and 143 strikeouts, which led the team. His best performance this season was against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 27th, when he went seven innings, allowing no runs of three hits and striking out eight batters.

Team Disappointments:

As sad as it is to say it, the Orioles season was over in April, and it all started after losing to Toronto in the 4th game of the year when Brian Roberts got injured. Roberts only played in 59 games this season due to an injured back. The Orioles lead-off hitter could only manage to get four home runs and 15 RBIs in his time on the field. Roberts plays a tremendous role in the Orioles’ offense, and losing him definitely hurt the whole team  as the O’s finished 27th in the league in hitting.

Kevin Millwood was brought in to help mentor a young pitching staff, but it would have been nice for him to lead by example. Millwood struggled mightily this year, going 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA. He did have a lack of run support on most nights, but his final stats are not acceptable. The Orioles have been looking for a veteran pitcher to help their staff, and Millwood was not the answer this year.

 

Showalter has managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers before coming to Baltimore. He is inked through 2013.

 

 

Future Outlook:

Looking ahead to next year, the Orioles will need to be active in the market and in free agency. The O’s will need to add a power bat in the middle of their lineup and another starting pitcher to provide support to the staff. It will be interesting to see what the Orioles do about Cesar Izturis and Ty Wigginton next year, who will both be free agents. The bullpen expecets to see some changes next year as well with Koji Uehara becoming a free agent. The O’s will need to decide who to keep out of Mike Gonzalez, David Hernandez, and Jason Berken as well.  In the outfield, will the Orioles trade away Felix Pie, resign Corey Patterson, and hand the starting job back over to Nolan Reimold?

A lot of things will happen this off-season, so keep your eyes on the Orioles as they try to make moves to catch up to their AL East rivals. The Orioles have a long way to go and this season may have been a step back, but as long as the O’s keep their chins up and keep playing the wins will come. As they the Tampa Bay Rays defeat them 5-0 on September 28th to clinch the AL East Division Title, one couldn’t help but remember how not so long ago the Rays were in the same position as the Orioles and how quickly they turned things around. One can only hope that one day the O’s can do the same.

10
Jul
10

Grand Slam Turnaround in Texas

Click here for highlights of last night’s game

By Ben Linton

There must be something about the heat and humidity down in Texas that suddenly energized the otherwise lifeless Baltimore Orioles into beating the Texas Rangers on back-to-back nights trailing 4-0. The Orioles came into the series with the worst record in the MLB, while the Rangers currently held the league’s best record. But so far in the four-games series, the Orioles have taken the first two in remarkable fashion.

Thursday night, the Orioles trailed early, down 4-0 after three innings and seemed on their way to another blowout loss. But the Orioles battled back and rallied, getting two home runs from Scott Moore and Felix Pie respectively, and scoring three runs in the top of the 8th inning to take the lead for good and emerge victorious with a score of 6-4.

Last night may have been the best game the Orioles have played all season, however few fans may have seen it due to the rain delay that took place, causing the game to start at 10:34 instead of the 8:05 expected time. I was lucky enough to be one of those fans that stayed up late to watch it and was not disappointed. Once again, the Orioles trailed 4-0 again after the third inning, but came back with runs in the fourth and fifth to keep it close at 4-2. Then the Rangers got the insurance runs they needed in the 8th inning as they pushed the lead to 6-2. Then All-Star rookie closer Neftali Feliz went on to put the Orioles away.

After a few singles, a walk, a fielder’s choice, and a ground out, the Orioles had loaded the bases with two outs and Corey Patterson up to the plate. After two balls and three fouled off pitches, Patterson finally connected on a 2-2 fastball and sent it flying into the upper deck for his first career grand slam. The Orioles had sent the game into extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Jake Fox belted a home run off of Rangers reliever Dustin Nippert, which sealed the deal for the Orioles as they had completed another comeback victory at the expense of the Texas Rangers.

The only thing I have to ask is where did this come from? All of a sudden the Baltimore Orioles are playing really quality baseball against good competition. Heading into last night, the Orioles were 0-51 when trailing heading into the ninth inning. But there’s a first time for everything, and there was no better time than last night. The Orioles also lead the league in most three or more run comeback wins with 11. An interesting stat for a team in last place, but I guess when you trail that often its bound to happen. I applaud the Orioles for their perseverance and gritty play these past few games, hopefully they can keep it up.

05
Jun
10

Orioles Fire Trembley

By Ben Linton

After accumulating the worst record in baseball within the season’s first two months, the desperate Baltimore Orioles fired their Manager Dave Trembley today. The Orioles (15-39) are last in the American League in runs scored and near the bottom in batting average and stolen bases. The pitching hasn’t been any better, allowing the most home runs in the AL and has more blown saves (10) then completed (9). But since you can’t fire all the players, someone has to be blamed, and that’s why its on the manager’s shoulders. Trembley was the Orioles Manager for two and a half seasons.

Things got ugly early in the 2010 season when the O’s started 2-16, the second worst start in franchise history. The Orioles have only won 2 of their 18 series’, and have been swept seven times. Third base coach Juan Samuel will take over as interim manager.

This is one of the most disappointing beginnings to an Orioles’ season in recent memory. With all the hype and young talent surrounding the team, the Orioles came into the year looking to show promise for the future. Instead they have done the exact opposite and are taking steps backwards. It is frustrating as a fan to see your team not perform, especially when the talent and ability is there. By no means should this team be the worst in baseball. From watching some of the games, it seems like some of the guys out there just don’t have the “it” factor and the desire to win. Everyone lacks the confidence that he is the better than his opponent and the Orioles are losing all the little battles which costs them games. Right now the O’s are curling up into the fetal position while the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays just pound them into submission. The worst part is they seem to be just fine with that.

Something has got to change here. The city of Baltimore is a great sports town filled with great and loyal sports fans, and frankly they are tired of watching this team lose for a soon to be thirteenth consecutive season. Its like this organization is stuck in reverse and keeps breaking down the walls just to build them back up. Its time to give these fans something to believe in and someone to cheer for, and it starts with the players on the field.

29
May
10

Mishap in Canada

By Jesse Jones

Thursday, Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones was detained by immigration officials in Toronto shortly after landing.  Officials believed that Jones had a criminal record, and according to Canadian authorities, and players with a past criminal record may be detained and not allowed to enter Canada, resulting in a player missing games.

Jones was released around 5 AM, and has been allowed to play in this weekend’s series against Toronto, including last night’s 5-0 loss.  Canadian officials mistook him for somebody else, which is understandable as there are many “Adam Jones” in the world.

One other Oriole player was detained as well, but Jones did not say who.

14
May
10

LUUUUUUUUKE!!!

By Ben Linton

Down 5-1 in the 8th inning, it seemed as if the Orioles were on there way to another loss by the hands of the Mariners. Even when newcomer Corey Patterson belted a solo homerun with no one out just seemed like a meaningless stat. But the O’s made more noise when they loaded the bases for Luke Scott, who came through with a grand slam to put the O’s ahead 6-5.

But the fun did not end there. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, runners on first and second, Ichiro Suzuki singled to left and Josh Wilson circled around third heading for home. Corey Patterson, who was in left field, threw a strike to Matt Wieters at home, tagging him out just in time to seal the victory.

It was arguably the best win of the season, as the O’s win the series two games to one. A great way to grab some momentum heading into the next few series’, which are against beatable opponents in Cleveland (13-19) and Kansas City (12-23). It was also nice to see Corey Patterson come up big today, and to see Luke Scott get out of his slump. It looks like everything is starting to fall in place for the Orioles.

02
May
10

Orioles Sweep Red Sox; Win First Series of Season

By Ben Linton

It took a while for the Orioles to win their first series of 2010, but it was well worth the wait. The O’s completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox and sent the numerous Sox fans at Camden Yards home dissapointed with a 3-2 win in extra innings today.

In Game 1 of the series, the Orioles outlasted the Red Sox in extra innings, winning 5-4 in the 10th on a single by Miguel Tejada. Matt Albers was granted the win and Tejada was the MVP, going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and his fourth of the season. It was the kind of game the O’s were used to playing, but also used to losing. It was a good way to steal momentum early to start the season.

Game 2 was highlighted by the debut of Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, but the Orioles rained hits (12) and home runs (5) all over that parade, winning 12-9. Even though he gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, Brad Bergesen was granted the win. Ty Wigginton led the offense with 2 home runs; Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, and Luke Scott all homered as well.

With the series already clinched, it was time for the Orioles to cap off a great weekend with a series sweep of the rival Red Sox. With the score 2-2 in the bottom of the 8th, the Orioles loaded the bases with only one out, but were unable to score when both Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold struck out. Once again the game was headed to extra innings, and the lucky 10th seemed to be true once again. With Nick Markakis on second base, Ty Wigginton ripped a shot into the gap, winning the game and clinching a series sweep. The Orioles won 3-2.

I cannot begin to talk about this series without mentioning Ty Wigginton and his amazing start to this season. So far Wigginton has been the best player on the Orioles, leading the team in batting average (.329), home runs (8), and RBIs (15). In the series vs. Boston, he went 3 for 8 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs. He has been playing all across the infield and second and first base, contributing in any way possible.

With this sweep the Orioles improve to 7-18, still trailing the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays by 11 games. But to look on the bright side, the Orioles gain a much needed momentum boost by not only winning the series, but sweeping it. They gained confidence that they can play with the cream of the crop in the MLB, and that they can win those close games that eluded them so much in the early season. The O’s will need to keep this train rolling, as they head into New York to take on the Yankees for three games next.

12
Apr
10

Could it get any worse?

By Ben Linton

Opening weekend in the Major League Baseball season is one of the most exciting things in all of sports. Regardless of the team’s prospective outlook on the season, fans still flock to the nearest ballpark to root on their team. The energy and atmosphere of the first home game of the season is like non-other and can be very spectacular and breathtaking.

However, opening weekend for the Baltimore Orioles was far from spectacular or breathtaking. In fact, it was bitter and heartbreaking. The Orioles only won one out of six contests, and in all of their five losses were holding the lead at some point. Two games were blown in the last inning, and today’s contest was lost in the eigth.

In the final game of the series against the Tornto Blue Jays, a team predicted to finish last in the AL East, the Orioles held a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the eighth. Kevin Milwood had thus far pitched a gem, only throwing 60 pitches. Milwood was able to get the first two batters out, but John McDonald reached on a error by Miguel Tejada to keep the inning alive. It seemed to be all that the Jays needed, as Jose Bautista hit a home run immediately after to give Toronto a 3-2 lead. Then to make matters worse, Alex Gonzalez hit his second home run of the day to put the Blue Jays in a comfortable lead at 4-2. The Orioles were unable to rally back and were swept by the Blue Jays for the first time since 2004.

I don’t know if things can get any worse for the Orioles right now. The only bright side is that they don’t look overmatched; they are just not making critical plays to win games and seal the deal down the stretch. The Orioles have allowed runs in the eighth or ninth inning of every game, and 11 of the 27 runs they’ve yielded overall have come in the final two innings. The O’s have also left numerous runners stranded on the basepaths like today when Adam Jones hit a triple with no outs but was unable to be driven home. It will be a crucial gut check time when the Tampa Bay Rays come to town for another series.




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