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June 2, 2009

Orioles: Rare display

While Adam Jones and Nick Markakis were jogging back to the infield after the game tonight, Adam asked Nick when was the last time he played in a 1-0 game.

"He said he couldn't remember,'' Jones said on the MASN postgame show.

I don't either, but I do remember the last time an Orioles pitcher threw as well as Rich Hill. That would be on Sunday, when Jason Berken threw a similarly impressive seven innings. When was the last time two Orioles starters combined to pitch 14 innings in two games and give up just one run?

Funny thing is, it didn't look to me like Hill really had great command. He struggled with his location early in the game and was effectively wild at times, but he sure did settle in, retiring the final 14 batters he faced. Tack on the two perfect innings by the bullpen and the Orioles staff closed out the game with 20 straight outs. Wow.

Hate to throw a negative thought into this, but can you imagine what people would have been saying about Dave Trembley if Jim Johnson or George Sherrill had given this one up? Hill threw 106 pitches and came out of the game on a roll. When the camera found him in the dugout in the eighth, he was having a fairly animated conversation with trainer Richie Bancells, but I don't know if there was any physical reason for his departure. Seemed like a pretty standard Dave decision at that point.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:03 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Just baseball


Hi Peter, I usually work when the games are on and haven't been able to see Wieters much; how is he looking at the plate his first few games? Keep up the good work, I read your blogs daily.

Pete's reply: He only has a couple of hits, but he doesn't look overmatched. He has had some bad at-bats, but he seems confident up there. I think he'll be okay, but expectations shouldn't be that high for the first few weeks at least.

Pete, Impressive pitching. It's starting to look like the Orioles are putting it together somewhat.

You wrote that it didn't look to you "like Hill really had great command." Agreed, but I think it's more accurate to say that he didn't have great command early in the game.

In fact, as the game wore on, he grew stronger and was pounding the strike zone more consistently. For the most part, those walks early on in the game is what elevated his pitch count.

Three walks in seven innings isn't exactly Koji-like, but considering how lost Hill was a year ago, I think Dave Trembley will take it every time, especially when you add to it only two hits. Let's hope Rich can carry this over from start to start.

This was such a great game to watch as both SPs were great, but 20 straight batters retired by the O's...UNREAL!!!! Hill and Kranny seem to have a good relationship. This certainly looks like the O's found a valuable antique at a yard sale.

If a team has some big time prospects or young guys at certain positions, it makes sense to trade a young prospect, but I find it absolutely impossible to believe that other than #51 that there are two outfielders on the M's team that are even close to Jones. Don't know what they were thinking because if Tillman is as good as people say he is, this trade will haunt the M's for decades. We still talk about the Davis trade so I can only imagine what Seattle fans must think be thinking after watching George finish off the 9th.

As soon as I started calling George Sherill a "Fat Tub of Goo" he has been PERFECT in the 9 hole.

Damn. I don't want to jinx him. Just want him to do a couple reps of crunches or something.

Pete's reply: I covered the original -- Terry Forster. Great guy with a nasty slider. George changed his mechanics and started facing a little more away from the plate at the start of his windup.

I was a bit pissed after the let down Sat. /Sun. where I actually got to watch the games. (I work nights)..
Then listened to damn near the whole game tonight @ work and especially when Johnson/Sherrill came in w/ 1 run??!!
I have to come clean....I expected a big ole "L" to be the outcome..
Was happily suprised with the outcome and will take whatever abuse I have comming for not beliving.......
Call me fair me whatever..this stuff could get FUN!!!

I don't think you can push Hill at this point and if they beat Johnson and Sherill,then that's the way it goes. Both have been lights out lately. I save my Trembley second guesses for losses.

Why is the Sun still showing Weds. and Fri.'s starters as TBA's? Isn't it Bergy/Guthrie's turns?

Pete's reply: I'll have to check, but I believe you are correct.

Peter- This is unrelated, but, I had to write my opinion because I respect your columns and your writing. I can not believe a national writer has not written on this yet either.
This is similar to steroids in baseball because, it is one of the downfalls of capitalism. Cheaters. When you get paid massive amounts of money based on performance, you are going to have scumbags out there take advantage, and it hurts everyone, but mostly those in the same field.
I am talking about Calipari. He signs this huge contract with Kentucky, and leaves Memphis holding the bag of ALL the cheating and recruiting violations that went on there. And he will get away scott free and clear.
We know now that he got rewarded with a huge contract for his success at Memphis, even though he cheated the entire time, and actually, did not win as many as he should have won given the players he bought.
But, its like I say about baseball and steroids, Arod mashes, and it makes Nick Markakis's numbers for example, not look as good. So AROID gets 27.5 a year, and it doesnt matter.
Gary Williams comes under fire for not getting the top recruits, when it seems he should be heralded for not cheating. It makes what GW does look not as impressive.
Do you understand what I am saying?
Calipari should be banned from the game.
There is corruption in everything, and it is so sad that people do not have better morals. If I was a college coach and I played by the rules, I would HATE Calipari and make him aware of it every time I saw him.
Rome fell from the inside out. Not the barbarians at the gate, but the ones inside the cities walls.
Money. You just know that there are government officials that do and vote on things knowing that it is bad for the country but because of money. I mean, look at half the people Obama tried to hire for his cabinet.
Well, I just wanted to voice my opinion, and I can't beleive more people are not bashing Calipari.

Pete's reply: I don't know if it's a statement on our overall society -- or capitalism, since the Eastern bloc countries used to cheat like hell in the Olympics -- but I agree with you that the NCAA system is ridiculous. The coach leaves and the program (including athletes who came after the violations) get punished. What a crock.

I still disagree with the move....its one thing if Hill appeared tired, injured, or out of control but I just don't like taking out a pitcher who is "in a zone." Maybe Johnson has good numbers against Seattle. We all know Johnson has been pitching better recently, but I think at the end of the day this season is about seeing what our sp is all about and not necessarily wins/losses. Not letting our starters go more than they are capable of may hurt us down the road when we finally do ask them to go longer. These are major league baseball players and first class athletes and I am sure Rich Hill has more in the tank than 106 pitches. I am not saying you need to pitch your starters 9 innings every game but if you don't start testing these guys they will NOT be ready to step up in a much tougher situation with more on the line, perhaps in October in 2011.

Pete's reply: I have to disagree strongly with you. It's the manager's job not to wait until the guy's hurt or getting beat up. It's the manager's job to make sure that great pitcher, if he turns out to be great, gets a chance to turn out to be great rather than protecting one game for the fans in a developmental season. If this was the World Series, it might be different.

I don't know that it was a "Dave decision." Not too many managers allow their pitchers to go over 110 pitches these days. I don't like it, but that's the way the game is played these days.

Hi Pete - Thanks for replying. I agree that the manager shouldn't just haphazardly let his pitcher go until his arm falls off but the manager should make sure the best pitcher available is on the mound unless you are down by a baker's dozen. I don't think you could sell me that Johnson was a better pitcher for the 8th than Hill. Maybe the skip saw something with Hill that made him think he wasn't the "best to go with." But it seems every time our pitcher goes past 100 they get a quick yank.

Also, I don't know if we should spend money on Bedard. His attitude may not be the best thing for our younger starters to witness first hand.

Pete,since I've bashedTrembley so many times it's only fair I give him credit for doing something right.With Hill just coming back from the Dl several starts ago,I thought it was the right move to pull him after 7 outstanding innings and 106 pitches,It's not like you had chopped liver coming in behind him.Johnson has been pitching well,and George has been automatic lately,and he's never blown a game against his former team.Doesn't make up for all the boneheaded things I still thik he does,but I certainly believe it was the right call last night.

I think it was a no-brainer to take Hill out. He has something very positive to build on and Johnson and Sherrill both have been pitching very well.

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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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