Sunday, June 8, 2014

Oakland A's vs Baltimore Orioles series recap

Every team has a clunker but when Ubaldo Jimenez has those clunkers they are harder to watch than most. Ubaldo stats off well with a walk in the first that is erased by a double play then two strikeouts in a clean second inning. Then, in the third inning he just seemed to lose his release point walking the bases loaded then gives up a ground rule double to John Jaso, all with no outs. If that was unbearable enough Ubaldo then walks Nick Punto to re-load the bases and after getting Josh Donaldson to ground in to a fielders choice Brandon Moss launches a grand slam to make the score 6-0 Athletics leaving Ubaldo’s final line at 2.1 innings pitched 6 runs allowed to go along with 5 walks and 2 hits allowed. This is not the line you want from a pitcher that you’ve invested 50 million dollars in but hopefully Ubaldo will get it together. Brad Brach came in and wasn’t much better, possibly because he already had to go in and pitch three plus innings in relief of Tillman when he went one inning against Texas. Brach allowed 4 more runs and 5 more walks in two innings of relief, giving the Orioles their highest walk total since 2008. After Brach TJ McFarland actually came in and pitched well to save the rest of the pen for Boston with 4.2 innings of relief allowing one run and only one walk compared to ten in the first 5 innings.

The offence really couldn’t solve Scott Kazmir who went 7 innings allowing 4 hits 2 walks and racking up 7 strikeouts. There were a few chances like when Nick Markakis got a hit in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games but then was erased by a double play. Then in the second there were singles by Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce but nothing came of it. The excitement of the game came from Manny Machado and sadly it wasn’t involving him getting hits. There were two times that he hit Derek Norris on his back swing then when Fernando Abad threw around Machado’s knees Manny retaliated by throwing his bat causing the benches to clear for the second time in as many nights. Even Buck had difficulty-defending Manny after the game saying, “If you look at it realistically, it was two competitive guys. Both were probably a little right and a little wrong” referring to Friday, “Two days later somebody decided to do something else. I’ll manage my club accordingly and they’ll live with their decisions.” Manny will probably end up being suspended for around 5 games for the incident and he should just take the suspension rather than appealing so he can be on the field when it counts. The Orioles were able to scratch across a run in the eighth inning with Chris Davis getting a bases loaded walk off of Ryan Cook.
Video of Machado's Bat throw

This is one of those games that you just want to forget. The inability to get outs made me feel like I was watching the pre 2012 Orioles who couldn’t put together a winning season.

The player of the game was Scott Kazmir who continued his career resurgence after being in independent baseball 2 years ago.

Preview to Tomorrow:

The Orioles will start a big series against the Red Sox sending their resident bulldog Bud Norris (4-5, 4.41 ERA) against Jake Peavy (1-3, 4.72 ERA). This is a big series and the Orioles need to win against the struggling Red Sox to gain momentum going into a series vs. the division leading Blue Jays.

Remember that if you like what you've read to follow me @Chuck_Yeaa on twitter to talk some baseball and don't hesitate to like the blog on Facebook at Chat with chuck. We're also looking for guest writers so let me know if you're interested. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oakland A's vs. Baltimore Orioles Recap

Camden Yards Through A Fisheye

The Orioles needed a starter to turn in a solid start and it came from an unlikely source. Kevin Gausman went 7 innings tonight allowing 1 run 4 hits and racking up 7 strikeouts. This was a pitching duel up until the 5th inning with the only runs coming from solo homers from Adam Jones and Coco Crisp, Adam Jones' homer was actually the Orioles only hit up until the 5th inning which shows the level Sonny Gray was dealing on. In the 5th inning Sonny Gray started getting wild and the Orioles offense pounced. Caleb Joseph got the scoring started with a double after David Lough walked to lead off the inning giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead over the A's. Then Nick Markakis keeps his 12 game hitting streak going and knocks Joseph in to up the lead to 3-1. Adam Jones rounds out the inning with a single for his second RBI of the game putting the lead up to 4-1. Afterwards Gausman showed resilience on the mound, after giving up back-to-back singles to Eric Sogard and Coco Crisp he gets out of a jam by striking out Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss. That inning was proved to be huge once Sonny Gray came out for the 6th but was removed after walking JJ Hardy leaving his final line at 5.1 innings pitched with 5 earned runs allowed on 4 hits and he racked up 7 strikeouts. Jim Johnson came in to relieve Gray and was greeted with a smattering of boos (I don't understand why after all he has done for Baltimore and the fact that we were the team that traded him) and a 2 run homer from David Lough who seems to finally be putting it together at the plate to go along with his gold glove caliber defense. The Orioles offense stayed hot in this game and got some major add on runs which is something you have to do against teams like Oakland who are never out of the game. After Lough's homer Gausman came back with a clean 7th inning, which is a career long start for him and has hopefully earned him another start in the rotation. In the 8th Brian Matuz came on to relive Gausman and surrendered a hit and a walk, both of which scored on a single off Darren O'Day bringing the score to 6-3. Just when Orioles fans started to get worried O'Day came back out for the 9th inning and was able to shut the door on those scrappy athletics ending the game with a strikeout of Alberto Callaspo with a runner on second.
This game showed just how much potential the Orioles have after beating Oakland's "Ace" Sonny Gray who was rolling up until tonight. Gausman also held down one of the best offenses in baseball. The player of the game would have to go to Gausman with Caleb Joseph as a close runner up. Joseph did some things that won't show up on the stat sheet like, how he worked out of an 0-2 hole en route to his go ahead double in the 5th as well as calling a great game and keeping Gausman settled throughout the game. 

 Preview to Tomorrow:
Scott Kazmir who is 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA will oppose Ubaldo Jimenez who is 2-6 with a 4.39 ERA in the rubber match of this series. This is another game that has the potential to be a pitchers duel with the roll Kazmir has been on and how Ubaldo battles during every start.

Remember that if you like what you've read to follow me @Chuck_Yeaa on twitter to talk some baseball and don't hesitate to like the blog on Facebook at Chuck's Sports Chat. I'm also looking for guest writers so let me know if you're interested. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

An (Un)easy Transition for "Charm City" By: Micheal Amatucci

It’s been one week since Baltimore sports fans hearts sank after their defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens gave up a playoff spot to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Ohio.  Some fans are still feeling the heart break from last week’s disaster; others see the brighter side of life.  That light at the end of the tunnel, where the Ravens Super Bowl XLVIII hopes once loomed over the “charm city” sits a skyline view of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles.
Though some Baltimoreans might have their season tickets and the taste of an ice cold National Bohemian on the tip of their lips, the Orioles up and coming season still looks like a disaster in the making.  After losing veteran Brian Roberts to the Yankees for a one year $2 million dollar deal, the Birds are going to have to fill his place in the batting order. 
The Orioles have a few options to fill B-Rob’s place.  Ryan Flaherty would be the ideal fit with 2013 Gold Glove winner JJ Hardy up the middle.  Flaherty ended the season with a .224 batting average last year, with some key hits during the season.  Though still unexperienced, I think Flaherty can become an everyday player.   The 27 year-old will be matched up against the newly acquired Jemile Weeks.  I’ve never even heard of this guy, and I don’t see the point in trading Jim Johnson for him.  Just because Jemile is the brother of Rickie Weeks, 2nd baseman for the Milwaukie Brewers, doesn’t mean the kid has the talent his brother has who’s had a smooth experience with the Brewers since 2003.  I don’t see the reason in trading our top closer Jim Johnson to acquire another 2nd baseman when we already possess an adequate replacement for Roberts.  To be safe, if I owned the club I would look to spend some money on an experienced and clutch 2nd basemen to fill the gap the Birds have.  Not saying I don’t have faith in Flaherty, but if most Orioles fans don’t already know, Peter Angelos, owner of the ball club, can be a cheapskate when it calls for money to be spent.  But 50% of the time Angelos, in his 21st year as the owner of the Orioles, usually has a bad track record when it comes to keeping the ball club alive.  In my defense, look at the Sammy Sosa trade back in 2005.       
Besides losing a half-decent veteran, offensively, the Birds almost seemingly gave away veteran closer Jim Johnson and left fielder Nate McClouth.  McClouth had a strong batting average of .258 and 137 hits during the first half of the season but dropped to .206 in the second half.   Seeing that Nate only batted .206 in the 2nd half, I can understand why the O’s wouldn’t give him a 2 year contract like he wanted.  Losing him leaves another gap in the roster.  By no means was he Chris Davis, who batted .286 and was only seven dingers away from matching Hall of Famer Rodger Maris’ single season homerun record at 60 homeruns.  I must say, the Birds need to fill their lineup with some consistent bats or current players must step up to the challenge.  The teams overall batting average last year was .260, according to  Hopefully but unlikely, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and if healthy, Gold Glover Manny Machado can put the team on their back and produce a threat at the plate along with any other acquired players throughout the coming months.
                                                                                                Michael Amatucci

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Welcome to Baltimore David Lough

So the Orioles finally made a move in the offseason that wasn’t met with a ton of fan backlash. Yesterday they traded Danny Valencia to the Royals for David Lough. Valencia’s value was about as high as it will ever be after all of his clutch homers and extra base hits to end the season while the orioles were attempting to make the playoffs. Even though Valencia ended the season with a triple slash of  .304/.330/.553 in 170 plate appearances with the acquisition of Michael Almanzar in the rule five draft he became expendable. The Orioles then used Valencia to potentially fill the hole in left field from the departure of Nate McLouth.
            Lough is a solid pickup who had a triple slash of .286/.311/.413 for the Royals and also finished 8th in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting. Lough brings solid speed and above average defense to a crowded left field battle. Lough will be competing against Henry Urrutia, Nolan Reimold, and Francisco Peguero. Out of this group, besides Urrutia Lough offers the most upside after his rookie campaign. Urrutia is more suited for a DH role but he would need to hit for more power. Lough’s speed, defense and experience at all three outfield positions are the traits that set him apart from the rest of the group.
            Personally I like this trade a lot, Valencia was a man without a position but was too valuable of a trade commodity to be stashed at Triple A. Lough is a very good option in left field who is under team control for at least two more years before entering arbitration. That’s great value for someone whose value was higher than it has ever been and (probably) ever will be again.
            So welcome to Baltimore David Lough and may the odds be ever in your favor in the left field battle.

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