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September 24, 2011

Tying a milestone -- and a big surprise

Pretty eventful first inning for the Orioles on Saturday.

Facing potential AL MVP Justin Verlander, who is going for his 25th win this year, rookie Matt Angle hit his first major league homer to lead off the game. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Angle had 11 homers in 2,054 minor league at-bats. None previously in 64 big league at-bats for Angle.

It was the Orioles' fifth leadoff homer of the season. The first four were by J.J. Hardy.

To make matters worse for Tigers fans against their beloved Verlander? Angle is a Ohio State guy who grew up in Columbus.

Anyway, three batters later, Vladimir Guerrero lined a single to left for his 2,586th hit -- which ties Julio Franco for most by a Dominican Republic-born player.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 7:21 PM | | Comments (6)


Way to go Vlad and Angle. One more hit for that record, one more HR for 450, heck I think one more hit for 4500 TB. Well done Guerrero!

Once again Mismanager Buck Showalter almost cost the O's a win. I can't list the many times I've shaken my head over some of the things Showalter has done, or failed to do, late in games. His primary fault is not having guys warmed up late in the game until the pitcher on the mound is in deep trouble. That necessitates at least two more batters to do their damage before the next pitcher is ready.
Thurs. nite, after Britton had been all over the place and the O's had battled hard to build a 5-1 lead, Showalter left Britton in to give up a walk, a single, a sac bunt and an RBI single. Now any true manager would have had someone ready to come in from the beginning of the inning or, at least, by the 5th batter. No, Buck, the mismanager stuck with Britton who, almost immediately, gave up a 3-run homer. Britton got the final out after giving up 4 runs to tie the game.
Dumb managing. Sat. he did the same with Guthrie. That put the new guy Strop in a tight position, facing the Tigers for the 2nd time in 3 days . Unfortunately he gave up the tying run and only smart play by the O's allowed him to come out a winner.
It just doesn't seem fair to the rest of the players who are now busting a gut to play winning baseball to have the Mismanager jeopardize it by such bad managing.
Maybe the question of the day should be "Will Showalter be on the Oriole team next year". I certainly hope not.

Jayceeo's - Take a second and think about what you are saying. Showalter left Britton in when he was in a tough spot. Showalter brought Strop in the game it a tight spot.

Stop and think, my friend! Showalter knows what he is doing. No other manager out there prepares as much as he does. No other manager out there has as much junk to work with as he does.

Did you ever think he was making those moves in order to help his young pitchers grow? Think of it as if he was throwing them in the deep end. They will sink or they will swim, and he will know who to have on his team next year! We want pitchers who can swim in tough spots against the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, etc.

This season is over, and it has been. Showalter is learning as much as he can about the players at this point, especially the younger unproven guys. He wants to continue to see what they are made of.

The Orioles will never truly improve,or be a respected franchise,until they can seperate themselves from the debilitating shadow of one Peter G. Angelos.

I would like to know the conversation when the pitching coach came out to talk to Verlander. He probably said "They are 30 games out and beating you like a rented mule. Did you get any sleep last night?"

(1) Well, it only took four comments for someone to mention Peter Angelos.

(2) Thank you, Eric, for saying that I was going to type to JAYCEEo's, uhh, not-so-perceptive post.

(3) We've now improved on our 2010. I consider that progress.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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