Results tagged ‘ Jeremy Guthrie ’

Orioles vs. Tigers 4/6/11 and 4/7/11

So I usually do single game by game entries, but between
midterms this week and long days at the park (get there around 3:30, leave at
11:30), I have been squeezed for time. 
So, I did the Opening Day entry
earlier in the week, followed by last night the quick post on the Jose Valverde spitting incident.  Here are my game entries for the 2nd
and 3rd home games of the season to finish up the Tigers series.

 

 

So Wednesday was a relaxed night at the ballpark.  Attendance went from sold out on Monday to
12,451 that night, so after BP, we just chilled in the outfield seats.

 

I got there around 3:30, still don’t know why.

 

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Adam Jones tweeted at
me
offering to come in early, but he never got back at me, so that didn’t
happen.  Ballhawks and fans gathered with
me at the gate, and the day had begun. 
For a pic of the group, check out Zack Hample’s blog entry of the game (and the 2nd game) here.

 

So running around to BP, the first ball I snagged on the day
was a Mark Reynolds shot.  He hit it to a
section to the right of where I was standing, and Tim and I both ran towards it
as it hit the seats and rolled awkwardly through a row.  He was 2 rows down, I was right above it, so
I was able to reach over and grab it.  On
the board.  My goal on the day was 4 (to
even out with the 2 from the opener, since I want to average 3 this year), so
this was a quick start.

 

After that, I made two of my best snags ever.  The first was a Casper Wells home run that I
got only about 15 feet to my left, and with no fans fighting for it.  The reason it was special was because I
spaced it horribly, and had to leap and throw my arm back just to barely grab
it on the tip of my glove.  Got high
fives for that one.

 

The 3rd ball of the day was a Brandon Inge home
run that was a section over to my right. 
I ran a bit over, but saw it was landing in a group of people about 6
rows down, so I didn’t really make a move. 
The ball ended up missing everybody and hitting off a chair, flying high
in the air into another group of people to the right and a row in front of me.  I reached above them with my bare right hand,
tipped it up into the air above them all, and then jumped and grabbed it.  This one got me the most congratulatory
remarks I’ve ever gotten, and trust me, I don’t make that many nice catches, so
I was proud of this one.

 

That was it on the day for baseballs.  But 3 is good for me.  I honestly feel good as long as I don’t get
shut out, which hasn’t happened since the 2009 season.

 

And I like this one shot I took of Tillman, Matusz, and
Britton during BP:

 

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After BP, I ran over to where Max Scherzer was signing by
the dugout, and after he ignored me multiple times for wearing an O’s shirt, I
made a “we both hate the Yankees” comment, he smiled, and signed my ticket.

 

I ran over to the Orioles dugout hoping for a warm up
ball.  First, I stopped by where Vlad was
signing for a minute:

 

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And got him to sign an extra ball I had brought with me (I
usually bring a clean ball or two for this kind of situation):

 

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I didn’t get a 4th ball, but whatever.  I’m satisfied with 3 still.

 

Tim and Ben and I stayed out in left field for the entire
game.  Low attendance and lineups full of
right handed power (besides the O’s with Reynolds and Vlad, the Tigers have
Miguel Cabrera), we will be out there all season.  It was a chill night sitting out in the
middle of the LF seats.  Felt like
baseball season again.

 

Anyways, 4 HRs were hit to right or center field.  Awesome. 
Whatever.  And Zack Hample snagged
Alex Avila’s shot, so check out info on that on his blog post (linked at the
top).

 

I left in the 8th to go sit with Brittany and
Donna at Donna’s seats (Brittany has season tix next to the bullpen) that were…
well… beautiful.  To show, here are a few
pics from that view:

 

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So that was cool.

 

Though the Orioles lost their first
game of the season that night, it was still very relaxing to attend the
game.  Afterward, I went with Donna and
Britney out to the players’ lot.  I had
never gone there after games (mainly because I live in the city now, so I don’t
have to worry about rides or missing the subway or anything), but they
introduced me to it.  We waved to
players, talked, and got yelled at.  And
Jake Fox stopped his giant SUV to sign for everybody, though I didn’t get
that.  I got 2 pictures of him signing
from his car, but both are dark and blurry.

 

I then left, went home, and
crashed.  Class in the AM.

 

Stuffs:

 

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Season stats (after this game):

 

Baseballs: 5 (4 hit, 1 on fly, 1
toss up, 0 found)

Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero)

Orioles home games attended: 2

Orioles total games attended: 2

Total MLB games attended: 2

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 2

 

 

Then Thursday hit.  I left class at 2, went back to my place to
do some things, and left around 3:15 for the game.  Got there by 3:45, and chilled outside the
gates again.  Zack Hample never showed
up, but that was because he was at the other gates (Ha!).  Ben and Tim came around 4.  Matt never showed up (turned out he was sick).

 

I said ha before because Zack went
to the other side since the run in is slightly shorter, but his gate opened a
full 30 seconds or so after ours, so we ran past him before he could even come
in.  It was funny.

 

Running in, I got one ball in foul
territory down the 1B line, and then Tom (security guard) pointed out another
in the seats down the 3B line, so I had 2 already before even reaching the LF
seats.

 

BP brought more photos of our young
pitchers.  This one of Matusz and Britton
talking with new pitching coach Mark Connor (I think that’s him):

 

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BP was empty for the first 25
minutes or so for us, which was nice:

 

Zack Hample and Tim Oriole Park 4711

 

In that picture, the people are:

 

1. Tim (going up the stairs to look
for easter eggs

2. Zack (recording notes and such
after Orioles BP ended)

 

I got some pictures of Justin
Verlander throwing some:

 

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Jeremy Guthrie was back from the
hospital (he had pneumonia), pictured here talking with Verlander:

 

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I scooped up an Adam Jones home run
hit into an empty section, then caught a Brandon Inge home run on the fly in an
empty row later in BP.  Though it was
busier, nobody else made a play on that one.

 

And that was that.  I didn’t go for any autographs or extra
balls.  Just the 4 on the day.  Talked with my favorite ushers a bit and
wandered the concourse.  Oh, and got some
of the old Orioles to sign cards.  They
do that every Monday and Thursday home game. 
Got Tippy Martinez, Fred Valentine, and Bill Swaggerty.  Woot.

 

The game was cold.  Tim, Ben, and I again sat out in left field,
but this time next to the bullpen.  Ben
hit 12 balls on the day, including multiple at the pen, so we just chilled
there.  Though on most righty batters, we
got up and moved to ends of rows to prepare for HR balls.  Was quite funny actually how much we never
settled into actual spots, though we got no balls, the seats were so empty that
moving around was easy.  Finally, though,
a HR was hit to LF (Adam Jones’ shot), but it was a line drive smash down the
line, and way out of reach for where we were.

 

Tim and Ben danced like white kids,
Ronnie said hey, and we just had another chill night at the game.

 

Brad Penny pitched for the Tigers:

 

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And Chris Tillman for the Orioles:

 

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The end of the game brought an
Orioles come from behind W, but it also brought us Jose Valverde spitting on a fan in the 8th inning.  Click on that for more info.

 

Here’s my loot (space in the
baseballs is the Jones home run that I tossed to a kid after BP ended):

 

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Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 9 (6 hit, 2 on fly, 1
toss up, 2 found)

Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero)

Orioles home games attended: 3

Orioles total games attended: 3

Total MLB games attended: 3

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 3

 

And I am leaving in just a couple
of minutes for the park.  The O’s take on
the undefeated Rangers this weekend, and I plan to be at all 3 games, win or
lose.  The weather is crummy out, so
probably no BP, but these games can bring some good fortune and fun at times,
so I’m there.

Bullpen: What’s your deal?

Hey everybody!

So as I said a few entries ago, I am busy in my finals weeks in school and have been loaded with papers to get in and tests to take, so haven’t had much time for extra O’s writing.  But don’t worry, I have still been keeping up with it all and will be posting a big entry on the Yankees and Red Sox series overall, and including Minnesota in that too probably since I will write it Sunday night.  Will be in Cleveland this weekend, and going to the Indians vs. Tigers game, so will put up a picture or two from that.

 

I currently do some writing for Baltimore Sports Report and this week I was asked to do a piece on the bullpen situation, specifically Arrieta vs. Jim Johnson.  I was actually surprised by this request.  I do not think the organization is debating in the bullpen specifically between these two.  Instead, I will talk about the bullpen options and what I think should be done.

So here is the bullpen overall as of last night (Wednesday night):

Matt Albers, Cla Meredith, Jason Berken, Mark Hendrickson, Will Ohman, and Alfredo Simon.  You can count Koji Uehara in too, though as of me writing this he isnt officially on the roster until gametime tonight in Minnesota.

Well, let’s look now at the options in the minors (that I consider to be MLB bullpen ready):

Alberto Castillo, Jim Johnson, Jake Arrieta, Kam Mickolio, and Pedro Viola.

 

Now how are those guys doing?  Castillo was on and off, having solid outings, but then having no so great ones, like facing Robbie Cano in Baltimore last week (I don’t like thinking about that).  He is also a lefty with Hendrickson and Ohman, so the O’s don’t feel the need for another lefty in the ‘pen, especially with his inconsistent pitching types (throws overhand, side-arm, and every so often a 3/4 pitch).  He can be kept in AAA for now and will be used when needed. Good to have a veteran guy there though if need be for one.

Kam Mickolio won’t have a chance at anything until he gets his command issues under control, and until that happens, there’s no reason to even discuss him as an option.  Pedro Viola is a high ERA pitcher with some experience in AAA, but he is also a lefty and won’t be used this year unless injuries really start coming.  My consistent on Jake Arrieta is that he has a great arm and needs to keep with his development work in Norfolk, and I see no reason to mess with it.  Especially with the record we have now, we are not in contention, so there is no reason to mess up a guy’s track in the organization when he could turn out to be a great starter of the future for the O’s.

Now to Jim Johnson.  The guy is given no breaks on a club that gives too many breaks to almost every player.  Trembley did finally work with MacPhail and punished some guys like Mickolio and Atkins for their horrendous stats, but then there are guys like Jones, Reimold, and Scott who are still consistently playing despite their terrible hitting numbers on the year.  Johnson is a veteran of the team, despite being only 26, and he should be given breaks as much if not more than a guy like Jones who hasn’t even played a full season with the team yet.  Also, people do not realize this, Jim Johnson is not doing horribly in his set-up role.  His overall ERA may be 6.52 overall, but in the 8th innings, he has a 4.05 ERA.  While that might not be incredible, it is still early in the season to be judged on ERA completely and he was pushed past his limit by pitching 2 or so innings in some games.  That is not what he has been good at, and it is not something he is used to.  Side note: He has better command during day games.  7:1 K:BB on day games and 2:3 on night games.  Allowed his only homerun on the year during a night game as well.

Hm.  Well, Albers definitely has proven himself lately after blowing 2 straight games against the Red Sox a week and a half ago and being on the chopping block for a bit until he caught fire and has been great as of late, finding his control once again.  Cla Meredith, Mark Hendrickson, Jason Berken, and Will Ohman are basically locks for the season as long as none of them making any negative transitions.  There are basically 3 spots or so that are up in the air and most likely will change at least a few more times throughout the season.

Arrieta needs to stay and develop.  Don’t push him.  Viola is worse than Castillo, so if any lefty would be used it would be Senor Alberto.  Gonzo is still hurt.  Mickolio does not have his command down yet.

The best bullpen would be Meredith, Hendrickson, Berken, Ohman, Johnson, Albers, and Simon.  I love Alfredo, and he is on the top of my list to be the closer until we figure out the Gonzo situation.  If we let him close, JJ can go back to set-up, and I think we are set with that.  That is the order that has obviously worked best, so I do not know why we have strayed away from it.  I know I have left Uehara out so far.  That is because I have no opinion on him.  He hasn’t really shown much for the team.  Ever.  Except that he can get injured.  So this bullpen isn’t the one as of now since Koji is taking JJ’s spot (for now), but I expect him to get injured or for JJ to come up somehow.  By the end of this month, the bullpen should be what I said or switch maybe Simon out for Uehara (I hate that idea but the O’s will do it because they don’t like winning it seems).

 

Now, the other issue is what to do when Arrieta and Tillman are ready for the bigs.  Both will get rotation spots soon enough, and whoever is kicked out is either off the team or in the bullpen, depending on who.  For instance, Hernandez could be converted to a bullpen guy.  Guthrie, though, is a starter and we would not try him in the ‘pen.  We will just have to wait and see how that works out along with the constand and nagging injuries that come about.  The issue they will have to deal with is that the starting pitching has been very good quality so far, and the bullpen is the main issue (in terms of pitching, the hitting is what overall drags us down the most), so it will be a tough decision to demote a guy like Hernandez or Guthrie if they keep up with solid starts (both of them have had bad starts their last times out, but we will see if that trend continues, although both were against the Yankees).

Take a Step Back

As I said in an earlier entry, the next few weeks may be scarce interms of my entries, and most likely will not have game summaries and info on a daily basis.  Still trying to get out a post every day or two about different topics.  Since I have baseball games myself also, I did not get to catch the first few innings of each Yankee game, so that’s another reason why I am behind.

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As for this entry.  I have a question for the O’s.  What the hell happened?  The whole Boston series, the team looked legitimate.  May have lost 2 of 3, but were in all 3 games, showed tons of patience and hitting, and kept up with positive starting pitching.  The bad part was the bullpen, specifically Albers who blew the two games we lost in that series.  The good part was that the bats were coming alive.  We were having double digit hit games, multi-hit games for a lot of guys, and the bats of Markakis and Jones looked to be coming back.

The O’s arrived back in Baltimore, and decided to just stick with the trends from the beginning of the season after beating the Yankees on Tuesday.  While Sabathia and Burnett were on top of their games, specifically Burnett who pitched his best stuff in a long time (unfortunately it had to come against us), but why did the bats just die.  At least against Sabathia we got some hits, but it just looked flat out horrible.  We lost the touch that the guys were able to find against the Red Sox on Sunday and the Yankees on Tuesday to bring guys in who were on base and not rack up the LOB statistic.  Wednesday went back to the old crap where we get hits all spread apart and not score.  Last night was just horrific.  We had 3 total hits, and the whole lineup just looked out of it, specifically Wieters.  The last two nights he has look mezmorized at the plate.  Not sure what is going on, but I am hoping Crowley can help him get back on track to hitting .300+.  He dropped below .300 last night, which is hard to see when he was one of the positive aspects of our offense before.  Wigginton continued his hitting with one hit in each of the two past games.  Who would have guessed Cesar Izturis would be our hottest bat at any time in the season.  More to come on him later.  I want to write a post about it, but might wait to see how he does vs. Lackey tonight.

 

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The bullpen went back to the ‘Opposite Day’ concept.  Here is what the stats and happenings are for the bullpen guys:

-Albers has pitched 2.1 innings (1 IP Wed. and 1.1 IP Thurs.) and in those outings only let one hit thru and got a K.  He looks to have gotten his fastball under control.  That is a good sign since he is a guy the team is hoping to build with for the future in the ‘pen.

-Castillo was brought up and had solid innings before yesterday of strikeouts and no runs.  Unfortunately for him, he was brought in to face Robbie Cano, who smacked his 2nd HR of the night off of Castillo’s low speed side arm on the 2nd pitch.

-Hendrickson and Meredith both pitched an inning on Wednesday.  The difficult part of this one is that neither looked bad.  They both looked on top of their stuff, just the Yankees lineup is overpowering and talented.  Luckily, between the 2.1 innings they pitched, they only let up 1 ER, but had 7 hits combined.  Would have been more runs but Hendrickson inherited some Guthrie allowed hits.

-Berken and Ohman came in for 9th inning pitching in the 2 games.  Berken smoothly got 2 outs, and Ohman got 3 with 2 Ks and 1 H.  Sad that they couldn’t be for saves.

 

Just looks like the pitching is going downhill.  Starters haven’t looked stellar.  Sorry to Matusz, but you threw some ugly pitches.  Overall, still looked great, but against a team like the Yankees, you can’t even give up one bad pitch without paying the price.  Guthrie just was disgusting.

 

Hopefully this weekend the O’s can rebuild on their offense and the power they have shown a little bit lately.  My hopes are for Wieters to get back with it, Jones to have a 3-3 or 4-4 night (he sincerely needs it), and Markakis keeps the slugging up.  The reason I think those things are most important are because they are the heart of the lineup and that has been troubling all season.

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