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June 17, 2009

Orioles: Busting out...

Well, maybe. Aubrey Huff hit his first home run in 17 games (May 26) and Matt Wieters hit his first major league home run, while Nick Markakis went 4 for 4 to raise his average almost back to .300 (.298). Does that mean the offense definitely back after a long and painful team slump?

"Hitting's contagious,'' said Markakis afterward. "We go out and the guys who are supposed to hit the ball start hitting the ball and it's contagious and it's good to see it...The biggest thing is to go out and have fun and not stress out too much."

Nick tried to minimize the impact of his own personal slump, which appears to have ended with the six hits he has in his last seven at-bats, including a homer on Tuesday night, but he admitted that it has been a difficult time.

"Yeah, I would say it's one of the toughest stretches in my career so far,'' Markakis said, "but I'm sure there will be others."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:32 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Just baseball


While Markakis and Huff have scuffled, George Sherrill has been Mr. Steady. His ability to reverse a decline and re-establish himself as a first-class closer is one of the best stories of the year. Hats off to him and Kranitz.

Markakis especially was overanxious while in his slump, swinging far too early in the count. When slumping, you need to look at MORE pitches, not fewer by swinging at the first pitch you see.

Until a hitter has 2 strikes, he should be focused in on a "zone," and if the pitch isn't where he wants it, he should take the pitch, even if it's a strike.

And somebody PLEASE tell Brian Roberts he is NOT a fly ball hitter. He should hit line drives and ground balls only. If he quit trying for home runs and bunted frequently he could add 30 points easily to his B.A. His job is not to hit home runs. His job is to get walks and singles and steal 2nd base, and maybe even 3rd.

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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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