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March 4, 2009

Uehara impressive (updated)

Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara gave up just two hits over three innings of work, and you could make the case that the two ground balls that got through the infield both should have been fielded.

He threw 36 pitches, 23 for strikes, his command getting shaky momentarily when he bounced a curveball to Willy Taveras and then hit Taveras on the shoulder with a wild breaking ball on the next pitch. Otherwise, his latest appearance was a big success against the most formidable lineup he likely will face this spring.

Still, he wasn't satisfied.

"My control was worse than the last outing,'' he said.

He said through his interpreter that he was not particularly concerned about facing a star-studded Dominican lineup. He was concentrating on his own performance. But he acknowledged that it was good to perform well against a batting order that included David Ortiz, Miguel Tejada and Hanley Ramirez.

"I understand there are a lot of big names,'' he said. "To get that kind of result...I was happy."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:45 PM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

How long is everyone going to refer to Koji as the "Japanese" pitcher? Shouldn't he just be an Oriole by now?

Peter, that Oriole's pitcher Koji Uehara. Koje is one of us now.

How hard was Uehara throwing? Is his fastball fast enough, or does it have enough movement, to sneak by hitters when his command is lacking?

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Pete's reply: He's a mid-to-high 80s guy. It certainly appeared to be good enough against a pretty good set of hitters today.

Since Uehara doesn't speak english very well, what happens when/if Zaun goes out to visit. Is the team allowed to send out Uehara's interpreter?

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Pete's reply: No. They can only talk to him between innings with the interpreter.

I love hearing about the control. I can only hope that his ability to consistently hit the strike zone rubs off on his younger teammates.

Peter - I must agree with the first two comments. Isn't it rather obvious by his name that he's Japanese? If the O's had traded for Pedro, would you keep saying "former Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez"?

My guess is that Sun style forces you to i.d. him as "Japanese pitcher" on first reference. How about having a talk with your editors?

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Pete's reply: Nobody's telling me to do anything. I'll try to stop using the prefix. Force of habit.

My only concern with Uehara is if the umps are going to respect him and give him the black part of the plate and the close calls.

At least for the next 2 seasons, Huff and Uehara will outshine Texeira and their Top Dollar free agent pitchers. How sweet it will be watching the Yanks continued slide towards mediocrity.as we move up the ladder!.. All they have left is Rivera.....

Pete, do you feel regardless of when Matt is called up, that Zaun will catch Koji? I would think Matt is going to have a lot on his plate, so it might be best to have Zaun be Koji's personal catcher.

Pete, if the injuries keep cropping up to the SPs and Baez remains ineffective, do you sense that the O's might look in the bargain bin again? Pedro is out there. He is not the Pedro of old, but if there is any of the old spark left in him, he would be a nice pick up for what I would have to assume would be at a fair price.

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Pete's reply: I wouldn't rule anything out. They were impressed with Pedro yesterday, even though he wasn't all that impressive.

stevO's - yeah, the Yankees suck. No lineup, no rotation. Good thing for them they at least have a 39 year old closer. But you were just being facetious, right? The Yankees DO suck, but they should have a pretty good team this year. If they don't make the playoffs this year, unless it's because of significant injury to their pitching staff, Girardi won't make it through September.

I think there is still a novelty in having a Japanese pitcher, and that's why you keep hearing the nationality mentioned.

As for his velocity well-how fast was Jamie Moyer?

CSB Jack- I'ts possible Girardi may get thrown under the bus to save face for the front office. If their pitching stays healthy they MAY make the playoffs this year...long in the tooth, mediocre D, slow team speed, overpaid decent starting pitching w/o much depth and unless they retooled the farm system, not much help on the way! Tampa rebuilt and the O's r building the right way, The Yanks r going down. If not this year, there will be no playoffs in the foreseeable future.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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