« Bergesen goes eight | Main | The day after »

July 1, 2009

Mothers Day "massacre" revisited

It's hard not to see the similarities between today's ninth-inning collapse and the infamous Mothers Day loss in which Jeremy Guthrie pitched eight shutout innings against the Red Sox in 2007 and was removed by then-manager Sam Perlozzo. That time, the O's led 5-0. This time, with Brad Bergesen cruising, they led 5-1 and he didn't seem much worse for the wear. The Red Sox won both games, 6-5, though the Mothers Day game was a walkoff win in Boston.

So, let the debate begin. I'll try to be consistent. I thought Trembley was going to take Bergesen out with two outs in the eighth, but Bergesen talked him into staying out there and got the last out of the inning. I knew, after that, he was not coming out to pitch the ninth. Jim Johnson was warmed up and needed to pitch.

Of course, we all know now he should have left Bergesen in, but I'll stick to the same reasoning I used the last time this happened. The manager has a right to believe his two top bullpen guys will hold a four-run lead for one inning. The likelihood of losing that game -- even for the Orioles --factors out to about one time in a whole season, so choosing to be conservative with your most consistent pitcher on a hot afternoon isn't stupid and isn't reason to call for the managers head.

It would have been a great win, but it wasn't. Give the Red Sox an ounce of credit just like you wish they would have given the Orioles a little on Tuesday night. Then try to put this thing out of your mind, because replaying it will drive you crazy.

Radio plug: On second thought, let it fester for awhile and join me at six for Sportsline on WBAL (1090 AM) and we'll agonize over it together. I'll be taking your calls and giving you a chance to vent on another very frustrating day to be an Orioles fan. If you're out of signal range, of course, go to and click on the "Listen Live" icon.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 4:52 PM | | Comments (141)
Categories: Just baseball


Pete, that's a good analysis, and I agree that no one could possibly have seen this one coming, so second guessing is only going to get you frustrated.

But I'm curious --- as far as you know, has anyone actually done a study on whether arm injuries have gone down since strict pitch counts became, apparently, the only way to manage? Going easy on a pitcher in April and May is one thing, but it's July now, and Bergeson has had plenty of time to get "stretched out."

I know there's a lot more pitchers now then back when most teams went with 4-man rotations, so you'd have to factor that into any data somehow, but still --- there must be SOME evidence that 100 pitches as the limit makes medical sense, as opposed to just being a nice round number.

Am I crazy to think that?

Pete's reply: Pitchers threw more in the past, but they also disappeared when they got hurt because they didn't have guaranteed contracts. So you didn't have these guys having arm surgery several times, and if you did, there weren't millions of rotisserie fans hanging on every pitch, so it's hard to say whether the arm injury situation is better or worse than before. I don't know if there has been any study done on that. Nolan Ryan is experimenting with a no pitch count system in the Rangers system. People will be watching to see how that goes.

Another management mistake has cost the O's a game! The Red Sox have been crushing every pitcher we would stroll out there, except Bergesen. Why not give him a shot at the 9th inning with a 103 pitch count!?! Makes no sense to me!!!

Pete: Bergesen was the reality today. Don't you want your starters to have that tough mentality in the late innings (instead of the "whew, I did my job - six innings, baby!. Now get me out of here!")? Brad deserved the shot at winning the game for the Orioles. Winning is what it's about, right? How has Trembley's managing methods, or for that matter, everyone else after Davey J., worked out for this team? Shouldn't it be time to instill in the starters a complete game mindset and toughen their mental approach to pitching? If they get tired or get rocked, sure, bring in the bullpen. But today was just wrong.

Pete's reply: Bergesen did win today. It was the team that lost.

Bergeson told Trembley in the 8th he could get 1 more out. Even if he hadn't said that this is much different from the last time because Johnson and Sherril are much better than Ray was back then.

I can't fault Trembley for trusting Johnson and Sherrill in the 9th but I don't understand his offensive passivity.. In the bottom of the 9th Wieters should have pinch-hit for Zaun and Salazar for Andino. Maybe they would have also made outs but at that point you have to gamble for some offense even if you risk needing to play Wiggins at SS and Salazar at 3B for the rest of the game..

Pete, you make some great comments. There is a strong argument to be made that when you have two All Star callibre guys ready to go in the bullpen, you bring them in and that's all there is to it. But I still count myself in the camp that believes when you have a pitcher who has his best stuff, you throw the book out the window. While it is true that baseball is a game that lends itself to quantification and statistical analysis, these averages are produced over many, many iterations in which you can have significant variation from pitching appearance to pitching appearance, at bat to at bat, which is what we saw today. This is why people say you keep riding the horse that's winning.

Everyone knows Trembley's magic number for his pitchers is 100. BB got there today and, of course, was taken out.

I'm not going to second-guess the manager completely here, but I thought BB should have come out for the 9th and if he lets a runner on then you go to the 'pen (a la Perlozzo in the MD Massacre).

Aren't JJ and FlatHat supposed to be our All Star candidates also?!

Of course, this can't all go on Trembley either. The offense managed to go 24 up, 24 down after Wigginton's home run. TWENTY FOUR UP, TWENTY FOUR DOWN. That is absolutely inexcusable.

Whether taking Bergesson out was the right move isn't really the problem... Johnson and Sherrill should be able to hold a 4 run lead in the 9th.. but of course some must blame Trembley for their total failure (4 walks???)

Both have been pitching very well of late, but the law of averages unfortunately caught up with both of them in the same inning

That's certainly the way the manager played it.

Four walks in the 9th! There's no excuse! Let's not forget we had help from our friends, the umps, calling Pea out at 2nd base when padrovian had the ball in his other hand. I don't understand it, this guy had to make 2/3 calls max and screws up half of them. As I said before--PATHETIC. Where do they get these guys?

JJ and Sherrill have been dominating as of late. It's not Trembley's fault that they blew this lead.
I imagine that Bergesen will get asked if he was out of gas or thought he could go back out for the 9th.(please let us know what he says Pete) Until then, people need to chill.

Trembley did not make the wrong move. Its just unfortunate that a grown man being paid to get people out at the most pressure filled time of the game walks 2 people. Sherrill is a horror show and his successes are an illusion that hides his morale shattering failures. Please trade him now! How can you walk men in the 9th inning?

Guys. If Bergesen is to be our pitcher of the future, can you at least spell his name correctly? I think he deserves it.

I don't know about everyone else, but I always have an uneasy feeling when Sherrill is called in to pitch. I never feel comfortable. My dad and I have a running joke that every time he comes in we say, "Here comes Sherrill to blow it." It is frustrating!

"Jim Johnson was warmed up and needed to pitch."

Fine, bring him in if Bergesen gets in trouble in the 9th.

And, yes, Pete there is much that could drive you nuts if you run through it. Mike Winters' determination that Varitek checked his swing on 3-2 with two outs would be one of those things.

Ah, the bliss of June 30th and the early part of July 1st was so sweet. Was it too much to ask that we die-hard Oriole fans be allowed to stay in that blissful state for another day?

Apparently, that was too much to ask.

After today's game there is absolutely no question that Trembley should be fired. His decisions are just plain bad. This blown game was HIS fault. Why in the living hell did he pull Bergesen after the kid went 8 with a 4 hitter only to bring in a lineup of bozo's who then proceed to walk the game away. 4 walks in the 9th????????????????? Holy crap batman, give me a break. These guys are getting paid millions!! It's just the moron.

Everyone has an opinion on whose fault it was for Mother's Day Massacre 2. I think it was Dave Trembley all the way. Sugar code it all you want. He is the Captain of the ship and he goes down with it, for better or for worse.

Get rid of him!

It's true, JJ and Sherrill should have been able to hold 4 run lead.
But I can't help but to think how the umpires affected these games. The call on Pie, the call on Varitek, pitches 6" outside being called strikes? Inconsistent strike zone the whole series.
Absolutely terrible job by that crew.

I have to agree with most ofthe posters,this game hurts morethan any other this year.You let Bergeson start the inning and you see what he has,if he gets in trouble,you go to your closer.Pie should have caught the ball in the 9th,he took the wrong angle and loafed to the ball,that and his baserunning mistake cost us.The pitch to Veritek could have been called a strile and had been called a strike all game,and regardless,Veritek swung,the replays were quite clear on that.Also the ball Aylesbury hit was foul,it never caught any of the line.You shouldnever bring a guy into pitch in the 9th inning who hasn't worked in a week when you had plenty of oppurtunities to get him some work.And somebody please,please tell me why you don't pinch hit for Zaun andAndino?I've said it before and I'll say it again,we'll never win as long as Trembley is our manager.Weaver and a lot of other managers would have got tossed from that game.The worst three umpired games in a row I have ever seen,butthan again the Red Sox were here,I'm sure that had something to do with it.

Pitching is one thing, bad calls , bad breaks etc.but after the game was tied Zaun and Andino batted with a fullly loaded bench. What is up with that? with Trembley? He continues to manage like it is spring training. I have watched O's baseball since the 50's and am amazed at some of the decision making or lack of it, also lack of team disipline on the basepaths. To be honest I was shocked when he used Salazar to pinch hit for Mora in Mondays game guess was he was more interested in getting Salazar an at bat than making a move to win the game. I thought Trembley was a great choice but seriously question his ablity to drive this team. I loved your article on base running and I am am not calling for his head but he should be on the clock and an exit strategy should be in the works.

There is just one thing I have to say to bloggers I've seen under this subject and others and thats to say I'm tired of people saying this is a throw away year and that we wont compete until 2011 and such. People there is no reason we can't and shouldn't be a .500 team.

Johnson and Sherrill should have been able to hold a four-run lead and Sherrill shouldn't walk three batters after striking out the first two batters he faced in the 9th. The 9th inning wasn't about was a horrible effort by Johnson & Sherrill that cost Bergesen a win and cost the series for the O's.


Sherrill did his job the umps #$%$#@ him. Dont lump him in with Johnson today.

They just showed the Varitek "check" swing in the 9th on Red Sox/Yankees TV (ESPN). That is an absolutely terrible non-call. Pete, did Trembley come out an argue that?
What's the policy on umpires being held accountable for awful calls? Making sure the player actually has the ball in his glove when he makes the tag is the most basic of responsibilities.

Bergesen deserved to pitch the 9th. The only reason he should not have gone out for the 9th is if he specifically told DT that he was done. If the leadoff man gets on, then bring in JJ. Bergesen was at 103 pitches. DT had no problem leaving Bergesen in for a complete game against Atlanta with an 11-2 lead, ending with 112 pitches for Bergesen. That is the game where you can pull out your starter and let the bullpen bring home the W. Not in a 5 -1 game against the AL East leaders when he has held them to 4 hits and 0 walks. DT had let JJ get too long of a break between outings, not having thrown since 6/27. Historically JJ seems to have much better control when working regularly compared to coming off multiple days rest. And your closer just worked late the night before in an emotionally draining comeback win throwing 25 pitches. Even if they have been two of the better bullpen options over the course of the season, today was pretty much lined up for failure - 4 walks and 4 runs leading to a loss and a long plane ride.

Only the Orioles could snuff out the joy of last night in less than 24 hours.

It is so frustrating to be an Orioles fan year after year after year. But they are in my blood and they will always be my team. So here is a suggestion that might help. You need to become a bandwagon fan for other sports. Take basket ball for example....a perfect sport to try out this theory. Date, as opposed to "fall in love with" a coupe of really good and interesting teams. Follow them...root for them...and watch how a good organization is run. Then when they get to the playoffs you will have have a real shot of enjoying a championship season. You will feel the joy, and remember how it used to be to root for the Birds. Life is too short to always root for the loser.....learn how to pull for a winner and you can still be a closet Oriole fan......but you just wont be a miserable SOB all the time. The truth be told...winning is WAY more fun them losing. Every team has its ups and downs.......we have more then our share of down times. What we need is a leader that knows how to win and how to change a culture. Look at what Joe Torre has done for the Dodgers.....Phil Jackson for the Lakers. I am sure Dave Trembley is a wonderful, warm, loving, kind, generous human being.....but is he the one to lead us out of the dark dark basement of the AL East?

I still feel that you give your starter a chance to finish it off in the 9th. Then, if he falters, you bring in your closer. Even the best closer can have a bad day, so I'd rather have the guy out there who has been outstanding the whole game and have my bullpen ready.

OK, pull Bergesen and give the ball to Johnson.

So why pull Johnson after the HR? He had thrown 9 pitches and bringing Sherrill into a day game after he pitched late the night before is very risky to the game AND to Sherrill who burned his arm out last year.

Again, if the logic is to protect Bergesen's arm, doesn't the same logic apply to Sherill's arm?

I dont know if anyone noticed this, but in the 1st inning when felix was tagged out at 2nd base, the ball wasnt even in pedroia's glove when he tagged Pie. look at the replay. when he goes to make the tagged he pulls the ball out of his glove and tags him, but he was still called out. something needs to happen because of that. I watch most of the orioles' games and have seen my fair share of inconsistent strike zones this year, but come on. How do you miss that? He had the ball in his bare hand when he tagged him! I understand that it may not have been the smartest baserunning move on the part of pie, but there is an arguement to be made that he was safe even if the ball was in his glove. Am I missing something Pete or does he really have the ball in his bare hand while making the tag???

Pete's reply: I really didn't see that well enough to answer.

Just tryig to understand the logic of posters like oldetoys:

Pulling the starter in the 9th and 2 relievers don't get the job done should get the manager fired because he's a moron and it's all his fault. OK, let's assume that's true.

So in a game like last night where he pinch hits Salazar who drills a 3-run HR and pinch runner Guthrie score the tying run should give Trembley a $2 million instant raise because he's a mastermind genius and is above reproach now because he made the right moves and the team won.

Doesn't make much sense at all that way does it? How about Francona as the O's coach in 2010? I mean he's the complete idiot/putz/loser that couldn't get 9 outs with a 9 run lead last night. That dummy used 4 pitchers to blow that game. He had a guy like Papelbon in the pen and could have used him in the 7th because he's so clutch, but instead he waited until the tying runners were on base. Such a bonehead OMG.

Saying Bergesen could have done it himself is absurd. Teams lose just as many games leaving a guy in too long as they do taking them out too early. Probably more so in the case of the former. In this case you have the added factor of not wanting to protect your future, which depends on this kid not being on the operating table every 6 months.

It is hard to harp on the Varitek call when the ump seemed to miss the call with Ortiz earlier in the inning. It is easy to blame umps, but it was a 4 run lead.

As far as the Pie call, it was bang-bang...the call can go either way on those. I've watched the replay several times on the MLB site. The tag and his foot on the base are almost coincident. Usually if the ball beats the player (which it does here), the tie will go to the defense. I can argue it is supposed to go to the runner, but a lot of watching baseball has seen that this is the way the umps call it. If the ball beats you, you have to avoid the tag to get the call.

Bergy has to start the 9th. Red Sox had no befudled by Bergy through 8. Give them a reason to lick their chops. Regardless, the ump on first blew the game. Veratek was out. Definitely you pinch for Zahn and Andino.

You have to let Bergesen start the 9th. We need a #1 pitcher and Brad should become the ace of the staff. He pitched well in the 8th. When JJ came in it gave the Sox renewed confidence. Trembley is a joke as a manager. Complete games are not against the rules.

The Orioles will continue holding up the rear of the American League East until they hire a manager who the players not only respect, but fear. Baltimore needs someone in the mold of Weaver or Johnson. Personally I don't care if a player's feelings get hurt by a strong-handed manager. I am tired of seeing talent wasted by bad management.

You have to have the ball in the glove when an out is made with a tag.

Also, what was the missed Ortiz call?
Didn't he strike out on a great curve ball?

Hindsight is 20/20, but why don't managers let guys finish games? and remember, it wasn't Sherrill that lost it - the O's couldn't do anything offensively against Boston for the last 7 innings of the game. A very good team grinded the O's down - you have to play all 9 innings.

This wasn't at all like the Mother's Day Massacre for me - this team is better than that team was. Things seemed hopeless then. They beat the best we had - and our best, Sherrill, is better than what we had then.

Also - was that double in the 11th fair or foul? MASN didn't show a replay of it where I could tell, but it looked awful close.

It never fails does it. Just when the O's give you a reason to believe, they come right back and make you feel like an idiot for thinking they had actually improved.
I don't blame Trembley for pulling Bergesen, he did his job, it's up to the BP to get 3 outs without giving up 4 runs.
I hung with them until Sherrill walked the tie run on base, then I turned the radio off. I knew how it was going to turn out and just didn't have the heart to listen to it again.

To thebeas, you stated we should be .500 and it should not be called a throw away year:

.500 is Not competitive. Not in the AL East. (or most divisions)

I think it was the right move in the 9th to go to the pen. But I felt sick when Pie didn't dive for the ball with nobody on and two outs up by two in the ninth though. The tie run is the next guy up so you have to give more effort than he showed in making the play and ending the game. Heart breaker today. Would have been a nice getaway game.

Can't blame umps for a loss, but this crew is HORRIBLE!! and Joe West, one of the best out there, is the crew chief. The plate ump had no control; did anyone notice that in the beginning of the game, a Red Sox batter asked for time and the ump granted it, but still counted the pitch a ball? He was flustered all day; the ump, that is. After the ump called time HIMSELF, he continued to call the pitch. NOT ONE announcer (here in Boston) mentioned it. And then he can call out David Ortiz on a flinch of a swing; not even close?!! Bring back Ken Kaiser!!!

Chalk up another loss to Tremblay's mismanagement. This makes about ten losses for his bad judgement this year. He is a terrible manager and should be fired. The O's are betting better fast, but they will not win big with him as manager. He is a terrible judge of when to take a pitcher out, stuck on the run and hit, can't make a sensible decision on anyone , and is terrible on his press conference after the game. He's more like a half crocked old professor than he is a baseball manager. Absolutely no life in him to fight and argue. Fire him, please!!!

Well this game was horrendous but at least the Red Sox exposed some flaws to be addressed in our team. I know Sherrill worked last night but altogether I think the pen needs some serious fixing. Hendrickson needs to go back to the NBA; Albers is not reliable, and as good as George Sherrill is at times we may need to move him to a contender that’s looking for a closer or setup man. I think the starting pitchers are going to be okay but we need to get the pen better by moving Sherrill and if Koji will let us put him in the pen.

ESPN shows are all saying that because the O’s blew this game today it makes what we did last night a total fluke… LOL whys everyone gotta pick on the little guy?

Of course Trembley is an idiot. After all, he should've known Johnson would give up a HR even though Johnson's given up three in his entire CAREER. He should've known Sherrill only had two K's left in him. He should've known that his top two guys haven't one bad game between them in the last two months would BOTH self-destruct. He should've known to trust the rookie over the two guys he suggested as the Oriole All-Stars.

C'mon everyone, I'm not the biggest Dave T fan, but let's stop and give credit to the AL's best team. Beckett didn't have his A game early and ran up a huge pitch count, but rather than curl up into a little ball and beg for the bullpen like so many Orioles starters have done over the years, he battled and absolutely shut down the O's in the last four innings. Pedroia had no intention of swinging until Johnson threw him a strike (let's get made at Oriole hitters for not doing that more often). And credit to Baldelli for coming through like he did with a huge pinch hit, but it's not like he hit a scorching line drive. And the winning run scored on some solid execution by the bottom of their lineup.

Let's face it: we're not in the Sox stratosphere yet and, unlike the Yankees, the Sox combine the talent with a baseball savvy that makes them hellish to beat. We may get there someday, but til then, this team need to learn from this one (not the meltdown, but rather how the Sox capitalized on it all) and move on.

And if that same scenario happens next month, I hope Dave goes to JJ again. Because this game was an aberration and they'll win the next time.

I'm not going to go through the shoulda, woulda, coulda's with the pitching miscues and the lack of pinch hitting, it's been argued ad nauseum. What really bugs me is what Trembley said when interviewed during the early innings about seeing the tag on Pie without the ball in the glove. He didn't even bother to go out and argue because what's the point? Uhm, hello, put the bee in the umps ear? Fire your team up? Get a call back later. All those silly little things guys like Weaver and La Russa and Cox have done over the years to, maybe, steal one for the team. I have definitely purchased my ticket and boarded the get rid of Trembley bandwagon. It's taken a couple of months but I have no doubt, this guy stinks.

SandyK says it all. JJ and GS simply didn't do their job. The bat froze after some good early innings. I'm not a big supporter of Trembly at this point, but he made fine pitching decisions today.

103 pitches after 8 for a young pitcher in a regular season game is obviously an indication to take him out. THERE IS NO MANAGER IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES WHO WOULD NOT HAVE DONE THE SAME THING. Our best guys just blew it, is all.

Typical Orioles, giving back all that good feeling in less than 24 hours. Ugh...

Trembley blows.

One thing the O's need to develop as they get better, and with their current talent base they will get better, is a killer instinct. The Red Sox have that; last night they just let off the gas, couldn't turn it back on, and the O's made a fantastic comeback. Normally, the Sox aren't going to do any such thing. When they get ahead, they know in their heads that they are better than you, and that they're going to win. The O's need to learn that cocky swagger that winning teams have. Both JJ and Sherrill, some position players, and ALL of the hitters showed fear when the Red Sox made their move. The Sox smelled that fear and cashed in, like winners do. We can get there; we've got to learn to be mentally tougher so that we have no fear, no matter what the situation. As a player you've got to know in your head that you're going to come out on top. If you have talent, and that kind of attitude, then most of the time you will.

I think Bergesen definitely should have started the ninth, and then go to the pen if he got into any truoble. Listening to the game it was clear Boston had no answer to his great pitching. This game made me sick!!!

if you didnt see it well the first time look at it on this replay. At the very end they show an angle that conclusively shows he never tagged him with the ball in his glove.

Here's the difference.

As soon as Guts came out on the MSM, and Baez was warming up, EVERYONE knew what was going to happen. Guts wasn't up to 100 pitches, either, and did labor a bit in the 8th. But everyone in MD, VA, DE and parts of PA knew as soon as Baez entered what would happen.

As for today, Trembley brought in our two BEST relievers. Look at Jim Johnson's last 10 appearances and tell me you saw this coming. As for Sherrill, sure, last night was an adventure, but his ERA in his last 20 games is 0.50 before today.

Can't lay this one on Dave. It's JJ and Sherrill, and 24 straight retired O's hitters. That's where the blame lies.

Pete, I heard you on the radio today and your reasinings on this and other posters like Sandyk simply don't hold water.

You stated a couple things like "it was hot". Oh please, it was about 80's and not that humid. He also wasn't laboring AT ALL.
You play what the game shows you and the stats.
The game showed us that Bergy should have gone out and finished this up. Not only one batter, but at least until the tying run came up.
What is the likelihood that he would have walked 4 batters before getting 4 outs. I'll answer. A much smaller chance than the two fellas that were brought in. Sherrill can tend to be wild at times. He also had thrown a lot of pitches the night before. The last thing you want with Bostons lineup is to start walking guys,
Again, BERGY HAD NO WALKS. It's not a hard decision.

Your next point and other posters about him being too frail and you would not trade one game now for 5 or 6 in September.
That reasoning has a whole lot of suppositions that won't stand the test of logic.
1. He has already shown the ability to pitch deep and to finish games.
3. You assume becvause he throws 15-20 pitches in this game he can't pitch in Sept. That's just plain ridiculous. You have no way of backing that sort of foresight with any facts.
4. The fact is low pitch counts have not been shown to help prevent injuriies.
5. Have you ever thought that one of the reasons Guthrie never has developed that bulldog mentality is exactly BECAUSE of decisions like removing him from a game like this a few years ago.
6 The bottom line is, by any reasonable standard, Bergesen should have been sent out to pitch until the tying run was on base at least. I'd have let him pitch even if the bases were loaded with two outs. That is how you become a number 1 starter which he may very well turn out to be. Ever heard of Greg Maddux. He didn't throw in the mid 90's either.

Not hinsight, but a feel for the game and knowing statistical odds said "let the kid finish this thing off".

Finally, this notion that no manager in baseball would have sent Bergy out there is also total conjecture. I don't buy it. Under the exact same circumstances, I'm sure many would have let the kid pitch.
He has a track record here AND IN THE MINORS of pitching deep into games. Let him throw 120. His arm will not fall off and it doesn't mean he'll need to be operated on.
Other than that I agree with everything you said.

I want your opinion on my opinion Peter. The way I see it taking Johnson out after the 2 run homer was the mistake! Mind set is everything for a closer and Sherril was already thinking about crab cakes at the inner harbor. He figured the game was in the books without need for his services so he wasn't mentally prepared to enter that game. A manager should have a feel for that! The O's will never win with Trembley

Pete's reply: I don't agree with the Trembley bashing. I think it's a big simple-minded. However, I said in the press box that I thought he should let Johnson stay in and try to work out of it. Of course, if he had given it up, we'd all think Trembley was nuts leaving the hottest closer in baseball in the bullpen. Yes, Sherrill was the hottest closer in baseball when he came into that game. So, you can look at it a lot of ways.

I agree that DT expects the end of game people to be able to close it out BUT that being said, why not let Bergesen start the 9th with a 4 run lead so he can learn to finish what he starts? If someone gets on,, then try Sherrill and not use JJ (To get some work). Too bad today takes some of the luster off last night. Whaddya think Pete?

Pete's reply: Obviously, knowing what we know now, I wish he had, but I don't care about Bergesen learning to finish what he started. Whether I like it or not, complete games are now an archaic stat. Baseball is no longer played that way. When was the last time Tito or Joe Torre left the starter in for the ninth with a shutdown closer? Never. Sherrill was the hottest closer in baseball when he entered the game. You can't forget that. The reason JJ went in was because he needed to stay in rhythm and Trembley wanted to avoid using Sherrill if he could, since they're playing straight through the weekend in LA.

DT made the right moves. It just didnt happen, this time....THATS BASEBALL!!

I really enjoy reading the posts on this blog; everybody critiquing the moves of Trembly, noting the "missed" calls of the umps, yada, yada, yada. Nobody touched on the the overriding problem that has plagued the O's since the mid-90's...ownership. Until Angelos relinquishes control of the O's, these posts are gonna continue. You (Us) loyal O's fans are gonna continue to vent losses like this forever until we get ownership that wants to win...not just field a team that makes a return on investment. Sure, the team has flashes of brilliance; has some talent (Roberts, Markakis, Jones, (pitching potential, but not rock solid). I'm a loyal O's fan of 45 years...born and bred and still living in the heart of Red Sox country (isn't Brooks the greatest ever...along with Frank, Palmer, the Earl, and of course Eddie). The Sox got new ownership and allowed the baseball people under them to do what has to be done to attain a chance at a World Series. I'll still read the reasons for everyday losses, but nothin's gonna change until (the) Angelos(') quit baseball and just do what they do best...suing...

I'm not second guessing the manager today. I'm not second guessing the manager on Mothers Day 2007. I know that they were following today's pitching protocol....pitch counts, use of specialized relievers, etc, etc. But it's that whole philosophy I am second guessing.The modern system of handling pitching staffs. It was not this way years ago. Just look at the career stats of pitchers like Jim Palmer [211 complete] compared to the current era. Randy Johnson has the most of any active pitcher right around 100 career complete games. For the "love of Pete", if the guys mowin' down like a weed whacker let him finish! Managers of today rarely let a starter go the distance.

Pete's reply: I don't agree entirely, but I appreciate your reasoned approach. Nolan Ryan is trying to change the way baseball pampers pitchers these days. It'll be interesting to see how the Rangers staff develops over the next few years.

I think you have to let Bergeson come out to start the ninth. But it is also true, as Peter said, that you would have to believe that our two best relievers have to get three outs before they give up four runs. Not to mention, 24 straight is ludicrous.

The thing is, in this day and age, 99 out of 100 managers bring in the bullpen at that point, so to blame Trembley is to blame ML managing in general. You think Tony LaRussa, Terry Francona, Lou Pineilla, Mike Scosia et al let Bergeson back out? If you do, you haven't been following baseball lately.

Jon, you must have missed to phantom "time" call during Pie's second at bat. With the count 1-2, the umpire's right hand went up just as Becket started forward. Palmer nearly jumped out of the booth when that happened, the pitch was a beautiful curveball that should have been called a strike, but the umpire called it a ball. The super slo-mo showed that Pie raised his bottom hand to call time, but must have known it wouldn't be granted and put it back on the bat. What the umpire was doing raising his hand, I don't know. Very poor mechanics.

BTW, in the previous biggest O's comeback, September of '56 in Fenway, guess who the Orioles RF was..... Tito Francona, Terry's father. Funny, this game of baseball.

they won a game they had no business winning, they lost one they kinda had no business's a wash. Bergy pitched great again, had some nice at bats against Beckett. DT did the right thing, You can't be walking guys in the 9th inning. Recipe for disaster.

saying DT made the right moves doesn't make it so....the right move was to let the pitcher who had not given up any walks and was cruising to pitch the 9th. It was the right decision regardless of the outcome. Taking him out was the wrong move regardless of the outcome.
That's common sense and that's baseball 101.

Pete's reply: It's certainly the right move in hindsight, but you better check with Joe Torre and Tony La Russa about what's Baseball 101. Dave basically does what they do.

Pete, isn't it amazing the number of commentors who have professional experience training and developing young baseball players?

I'm of two minds about today. Brad was being so efficient (103 in 8) that pitching an equally efficient 9th would not have risked damage to his arm. 112 to 115 pitches is reasonable as an anomaly, but I would prefer that my manager not make it the rule. DT could have easily let Brad start the inning and then pulled him at the first sign of trouble.

However, if you think Bergesen should have remained in that game, you've lost sight of the big picture. And you're greedy for short term gains. There is no need to overwork his arm on July 1st, 2009, if it might possibly cause any damage that would make him unavailable on July 1st, 2010 or 2011. This is a pitcher who threw 165 IP last season, and has already topped 100 this year. On a typical development path, he'll be allowed to throw 185-190 IP this season. Which means he has about 13-14 more starts. At his current rate, I don't see how he won't be shut down with a couple of weeks to go.

So while I'm glad he's throwing so deep into games, I'm also saddened, because every inning he throws today is an inning he won't throw in September. And given that, I'm thankful that Trembley had the discipline to pull him, rather than make the "smart" play and leave him in. Count me in the group that thinks DT is the right guy for the job of developing and educating a young team. I'm glad our manager keeps the big picture in mind, rather than just managing for one inning or one game.

Pete's reply: Interesting take.

Matt--An important facet of the big picture in training and developing young ball players is teaching them what it takes to win.

And, by that, I mean winning a game.


I would reject your comment that "Jim Johnson was warmed up and needed to pitch". As a former manager I would like to never EVER have to go to the pen, they are there in reserve when needed! There is a reason they aren't starters and when you most consistent pitcher is on the mound and rolling, let him in! Off with Dave's Head because there is surely NOTHING in it!

Pete's reply: Keith, I respect your opinion, but -- with all that due respect -- having coached doesn't make you smarter than a major league manager. This isn't only about Wednesday for the coaching staff and the front office. That's where the fan and the manager go their separate ways. By the way, I've coached a lot of teams, too, and I sucked at it. Hope you were a lot better than me.

Not a fan of the 'pitch count', and the main reason is what happened in this afternoon's game. An absolutely enjoyable feel-good pitching performance turns into a disaster. Back in the 60's and 70's, it was common for starters to throw 120 pitches on 4 days rest, and you didn't pull the pitcher until he got in serious trouble. Ahhh, the days of yesteryear, common sense, and the feel of the game.

Dave Trembley is a little league coach at heart. He's a great guy, he loves baseball, but he can't make major league decisions. Too many errors committed by this team.

The fielding errors may be the player's fault to a great extent, but the frequency of those errors from seasoned veterans is indicative of sloppy and questionable management.

Add to that poor decisions being made in the base-running game, and most noticeably in the pitching rotation management, and the bigger picture comes in to focus.

I like the man, but I hate the manager. We need someone who can inspire, and command respect through discipline and a hard work ethic.

Look at what Harbaugh did for the Ravens. Billick was good, but he needed to move on, and we're a better team because of it!

Pete's reply: To be fair to Billick, James, I'd like to wait and see what you're saying about Harbaugh six years from now.

Really can understand everyone's argument. But really how often has Johnson and Sherril failed in the last 30 games, not often, and it was the right move, just did not work. Heck Trembley did not throw the balls or the home run pitch, he tried to manage the game and did play to win, he did not run two scrubs out there, he ran two of our two best relief pitchers out there, it just did not work.

please enough , does anybody out there really think if these young pitches gell next year we can win with this journeyman manager !just watch him on a daily basis no fire no spark just bland . dont forget the first inning in a close play pie was called out it couldve gone either way except for the fact pedroias taged him with a empty glove that cost us a run but the fact is this man has no guts does not belive in the complete game . pich count give me a break are we all brainwased , how many complete games would have palmer had with this fool , it makes me sick to lose like this , two in a row afgaist boston we might have ran off a few more .what next start counting warmup pitches , this kid pitched another beauty just to see this bench coach blow it , he had his shot get rid of him at the end of this year , bring in some fire maybe bowa , what about it pete ?

Pete's reply: I've gotten along great with Bowa over the years, so this isn't personal, but I can't think of a worse choice for this particular situation. If this was a team that was going to stay a veteran team for several years, I'd bring in someone like him to kick some butt, but not while developing Wieters, Matusz, Arrieta and the rest. Believe it or not, Dave is a pretty good choice for developing young players.

I wonder of DT would've removed Bergy after 8 innings of no-hit ball on 103 pitches and a 4-run lead? I doubt it.

Pete's reply: I think your right, but that's because we do care about no-hitters. We don't care about complete games.

8 pitches to get 4 four outs in the eighth (Roberts error should have been an out). No one 'talked' Trembley into keeping him in. This was just a manager who uses pitch counts, coddles pitchers, and doesn't expect great things.

Okay Peter - you have a choice! the O's win 6-5 and Bergy gives up 5 runs in 6 innings (a typical rookie kind of start against a good team)...or the O's lose like they did, but Bergy looks like the real deal once again? I would take the latter - not winning hurts, but if Bergy continues to pitch well that is a real good sign for the future.

Pete's reply: You're absolutely right. The funny thing is, if the O's just roll over for Beckett, everybody would still be basking in Tuesday night's win. That's baseball, I guess.

Conspiracy Theory:

Just like Trembley only tells us what we already know whenever he speaks, without trying to ruffle anyone's feathers, so also, do the players say what's expected and respectful when interviewed. The mutual respect that they must display in public makes it very hard to discern what their true feelings are.

So, in reality, there is no manager. The players go through the motions when Trembley requires them to do something. Otherwise, they play for themselves. Every once in a while, things click and they work together as a team, but it is always without Trembley. They, absolutely, don't respect him.

Bergesen was frustrated when Trembley came out and showed it when he barked at Trembley that he should be allowed to get the final out. He conceded the final inning to JJ, perhaps because he thought he had asked for enough by requesting to finish off the eighth ("eighth" is a weird word, as is "weird"). He was also respectful enough to the other pitchers and Trembley to not say, in his post-game interview, that he was perfectly capable to finish the game and that he should have finished it.

The baserunning is another indicator, that the players don't respect him or the coaching staff.

I don't know exactly when Trembley was ever made the manager. I've heard that it was to bring up the youngsters and ease them into the big leagues, but I'm not completely sold. While that looks possible in hindsight, I really think that it was just because he was the only one available who would take the job. He has been pretty good at easing the prospects into their roles - their stats are great and they look real comfortable (minus Hill and maybe Koji, but they aren't exactly young and didn't come up through our farm system). So it might be worth keeping him around until we get a few more guys up. But after that, if we intend to win as a team; if we intend to watch a manager hold his players accountable and players play for their manager, then we must fire Dave Trembley.

The most important investment we must make this offseason, won't be a free-agent starter or a third baseman or a first baseman, it will be a big-deal manager. I challenge every fan, if they want to see a winning team in Baltimore, to make it known - to Schmuck, to the blogosphere, to other fans and to Peter Angelos, if possible - that we need La Russa.

Pete's reply: Christian, you lost me when you said that Bergesen "barked" at Trembley. Didn't happen. Kills the credibility of your argument. Stick with what you actually know.

After all the comments and opinions, the bottom line is the Orioles lost two of three to the Red Sox at home.

And by the way, Pittsburgh now has a better last play record than the Orioles. Ouch.

One last thing Pete, has any memeber of the Angelos family been seen anywhere close to the warehouse this season?

Pete's reply: Yes, Peter shows up regularly. He just keeps a low profile.

You people are ridiculous! Every single person on here calling for Dave Trembley's head right now would be doing the exact same thing if he had left Bergesen in -- and we still lost! You would be saying that he had a pitch count over 100, and that Sherrill and Johnson had been excellent over the past month. You would say that leaving a rookie in the game against a team like the Red Sox with two great relievers warmed up was ludicrous. You would say that if Trembley had just seen the non-evident signs of wear, then we would have won the game.

Do you not remember Bergesen's start against the Phillies!?!?! Pete, please, back me up here. Bergesen had thrown less than 80 pitches in that game, allowing 2 hits (no walks) through 6 innings, but everyone was up in arms that Trembley left him in too long, Bergesen was exhausted from running the bases, BLAH BLAH BULL**** BULL**** BLAH!

Dave Trembley absolutely made the right call taking Brad Bergesen out because, with a 4-run lead, there was no need to let him get in trouble. Johnson and Sherrill can squarely take the blame for this loss. Trembley, on the other hand, knows that Bergesen hasn't played an entire MLB season before. It takes a toll, and Jeremy Guthrie, along with other pitchers, know this. Guthrie got tired last year, and he needed to take a few starts off because he just had a tired arm. Bergesen is one of the few bright spots on this team, and his health isn't worth risking with a (usually) dependable bullpen.

Michael- most people who know baseball know that the 100 pitch level is an arbitrary number and has as much relevance as throwing 99 pitches or 101..

Let me start by saying I love Jim Johnson. I think he has been our most consistant and effective pitcher (starter or reliever) for the last 2 years. NOW. He should be embarassed and ashamed of himself. He owes Bergesen, the rest of his teamates, management, and most of all the fans a huge apology. What he did today, was nothing if not unprofessional. There is no way in the world you can tell me that wether he last pitched a week or 5 years ago, that after warming up, as an MLB professional, that you shouldn't come out and throw strikes with a 4 run lead, and only needing 3 outs. If you want to factor in the importance of today's game given what happened yesterday and the immediate future that this team is facing, it only makes it 100 times worse. I don't care what the excuse is. (as I'm sure we'll get one) THROW STRIKES. How can you walk the leadoff man on 4 pitches and then fall behind one of the best hitters in the AL like that. It should've never come to that, and as much as I hate Trembley, I honestly can't pin this loss on anyone other than Jim Johnson.

Sure the umps sucked. Sherrill was gassed. The line-up didn't do squat the last 6 innings, but JJ had my anti "defining moment" so to speak.

I have a question.

Did you say in your mind? "Oh $%!^. It's gonna get @#$^&*-up now!", when Bergy was pulled out of the game.

If the answer is YES, you know Orioles baseball and its history well.

If the answer is NO, you are too accustomed to losing and in a delusional state of mind that somehow there is still hope for the future even after over a decade of miserable failure.

Apparently, our fearless leader and self proclaimed baseball teacher was the only person who could not see the writing on the wall. Hopefully he will see the writing on the wall when McPhail says: YOU'RE FIRED.

Pete's reply: I'm sure there were plenty of fatalists who wondered if the Orioles bullpen could hold a four-run lead, even though you lose that game about once in a hundred tries. Maybe it was your negative energy that put the Red Sox over the top.

While this is an awful and inexcusable loss, everyone needs to give DT a break. I understand that he didn't want to overwork Bergesen and our bulpen should have held the lead, that leadoff double in the 11th by Ellsfairy was clearly a foul ball (watched it in slo mo on tv it was a good 3 inches foul), and yea the O's pen blew it but the offense was completely dormant and you just knew they werent going to get us that walk off win.... another losing season for a once proud team that has more yankees and red sox fans at home games than the O's... why am i still an O's fan again?- that hope that one day soon they wont be the perennial losers

While this is an awful and inexcusable loss, everyone needs to give DT a break. I understand that he didn't want to overwork Bergesen and our bulpen should have held the lead, that leadoff double in the 11th by Ellsfairy was clearly a foul ball (watched it in slo mo on tv it was a good 3 inches foul), and yea the O's pen blew it but the offense was completely dormant and you just knew they werent going to get us that walk off win.... another losing season for a once proud team that has more yankees and red sox fans at home games than the O's... why am i still an O's fan again?- that hope that one day soon they wont be the perennial losers

While this is an awful and inexcusable loss, everyone needs to give DT a break. I understand that he didn't want to overwork Bergesen and our bulpen should have held the lead, that leadoff double in the 11th by Ellsfairy was clearly a foul ball (watched it in slo mo on tv it was a good 3 inches foul), and yea the O's pen blew it but the offense was completely dormant and you just knew they werent going to get us that walk off win.... another losing season for a once proud team that has more yankees and red sox fans at home games than the O's... why am i still an O's fan again?- that hope that one day soon they wont be the perennial losers

It's easy to get bogged down to one bad pitch, one bad inning, or even a loss. It's easy to pick on a pitcher, a coach or even a GM; however the bigger picture is that there is one reason and one reason only why the Orioles are bad and will continue to be. That is: Peter Angelos.

SI ranked him the worst owner in baseball. Do I need to say more?

"When the Baltimore lawyer took control of the team in 1993, it was a year removed from its Camden Yards debut with a stacked roster Angelos allowed former GM Pat Gillick to build. The O's went on to make the first of two consecutive ALCS appearances just three years later. Then Angelos began his notorious meddling, firing popular manager Davey Johnson, burning through another five managers, killing trades proposed by his GMs and stripping down one of baseball's proudest franchises. The O's haven't finished above .500 in 11 seasons since their last playoff appearance." (

Pete's reply: I think you've hit on something. Please make an overwhelming offer and buy the team.

Pie was safe at second, as the 2B for the Sox, had the ball in his other hand. It was a tough call for the Ump to see, but Pie looked like he beat the swipe of the glove regardless.

As far as whether Bergesen should've pitched the 9th? I think he should've started it and if he got into trouble, go to he BP. My biggest complaint is that Dave pulled JJ while George didn't appear to be ready. We all second guess and I am no different, but if anyone should've started the 9th other than Bergy, it should have been George Sherrill. This was a series the O's could have received a huge boost of confidence going forward.

I agree with Pete in that JJ and George should be able to protect a 4 run lead. I just think that if you pull Bergy and you are up by 4 in the 9th, go with your lights out closer, but if you start off with JJ, don't pull him after 9-10 pitches and put in a guy who wasn't ready.

I too taped the game and watched it in slo-mo several times.Not the whole game but three plays in general.Play number one,Pie was tagged with the glove not the ball in the glove.Blown call number one,advantage Red Sox.Number 2 Varitek swung at a pitch that had been called a strike to the prevous hitter in the same location.Not only didn't the home plate umpire call the pitch a strike,Mike Winters who is either a Red Sox fan ,or had his head up his butt,said he didn't swing,Advantage Red Sox.Play number three the double down the line was clearly foul by several inches and was ruled fair and DT never left the dugout.Advantage Red Sox.Non Play number one.DT who has proven time after time that he has no clue how to handle a pitching staff takes Bergeson out when he was cruising.Advantage Red Sox.Non play number 2,in the bottom of the 9th when Zaun and andino are coming up he leaves Adam Jones,Matt Weiters and Oscar Salazar,one of the hittest hitters on the planet,sitting on the bench.Advantage Red Sox.non play number 3,The routine flyball to center with two outs that Adam Jones would have had in his hip pocket,Felix Pie gets a bad read on,and doesn't even try to make a play for the ball.Then again when is the last time you have seen him try too?Advantage Red Sox,that wuld have and should have been the ball game.That's 4 missed calls and 3 mistakes,6 of the 7 in the 9th and 11th inning,two on the same play.And I think it was a mistake bring Baez out after he worked an inning and a third for the 11th,but like my father always says,nobody asked you,even if you're right 90 % of the time,so what does it really matter?That's why Angeloser won't get any more money out of me tahn what I have to pay Comcast for MASN which is a royal kick in the butt.Bad part number 2,there is nothing else on TV to watch for another couple of months.Depressing to say the least.Enter D for the grade I've given Trembley for the year and I'm being generous.

Sandy K and Austin,Sherrill did do it all,he gave up a routine pop up that was turned into a base hit by a non hustling Felix Pie,who at times shows as much baseball moxie as a cardboard statue,he strikes out Varitek,and doesn't get the call from either the home plate umpire or Winters,and then gives up a 20 bouncer groundball,but oh yeah our shortstop was nowhere around.Has anybody body else ever noticed that with the exception of one play our position players are often out of position on most of the plays?oh sorry that Dave's buddy Dick Jauss,sorry hate to criticize him,don't want any ruffled feathers.The other week adam Jones was standing in the outfield waving his arms like a windmill trying to find out where they wanted him to play and Stoneface and the coaches never even noticed him.We'll win when we get a veteran winning manager,oh wait,Pete ran him out of town,I almost forgot it's been so long ago.

Pete's reply: I was there and Felix could not have caught that ball. Cmon, people, there's plenty to criticize without making up facts.

J.J. has been great all year, so it wasn't that far fetched to bring him in a close game in my opinion.

my only wish is that when that O's are good in the years to come, they will be beating boston's best, and their fans will have a very bad time in B-more.

Once again folks, listen up. The PLAN (to lose) is working beautifully. Andy M deserves a lot of credit for delivering on his promise to lose. Bring on the draft choices.

Pete's reply: Yes, I can see Andy's fingerprints all over that loss. Sober up.

This is ridiculous. So many people are blaming the manager and the owner for this loss. Unbelievable.
Dave Trembley and Peter Angelos are not the ones out there walking batters and giving up home runs.
JJ and Sherrill are the ones that lost this game.
Whether Bergesen should have pitched the 9th is irrelevant. Nobody knows what would have happened. If he gave up several runs, people would be calling for Trembley's head for leaving him in too long.
JJ had a bad day. It happens. The O's lost because of him and Sherrill not performing as well as they can.
If you can't rely on your best reliever to hold a 4 run lead what can you do?

This one stung. Lots. But I would like to know at what point do you let a pitcher pitch (or attempt to pitch) a complete game?


Yes, we should blame the owner and the manager because of the product they put on the field. Teams that want to win have the likes of Rivera, Pappelbon, and K-Rod closing the game when it counts, not some scrappy, washed up, fat reliever who can't throw strikes, who they got for cents on the dollar, because Angelos was too cheap to resign BJ Ryan.

Pete's reply: Jack, I've never said this to anyone on this blog before, but you are an idiot. Pure and simple. That fat, washed up reliever was the hottest reliever in baseball when he took the mound yesterday. Get a clue. KRod and Papelbon, who are considered the two best relievers in the game, both have blown saves to the Orioles in the past two weeks. It happens.

When you consider how well Jim Johnson has pitched this year, it was surprising to me that after two batters he was pulled when the Orioles still had a two run lead. I would like to know Trembley's thinking on that one. Especially when he went to Sherrill who had to throw a lot pitches the night before to secure the final out. Johnson hadn't pitched for two days and has a super arm and a super track record on doing the job so why not let him in? Trembley showed no confidence in an all-star reliever in my opinion. Any comments Pete?

Pete's reply: I wanted him to stay in, but if he had lost the game, everybody would have wondered where the hottest closer in the game was, so who knows?

To those who on this thread supporting Trembley, know this.

It's not about what pitcher he brought in at what time. It's about his desicion making process.

Baseball is a lot like life. Two of life's lessons that Trembley should know by now are:

1. History has a tendency of repeating itself
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Pete's reply: Spoken like a guy who was probably criticizing him for leaving Bergesen in two batters too long against the Phillies.

Mothers Day massacre was pretty much all she wrote for Sam. ....Yesterday should be the same for Dave.

The "Mother's Day Massacre" in Boston was much worse. Guthrie was cruising and Perlozzo took him out after a weak pop up was botched. Its not like he was being hit hard at all. As with most of Sam Perlozzo's decision making, I knew at that moment that the O's would lose. Sam is a great guy but he had no "feel" for how a game should be played out. I don't usually question the manager but I remember questioning every single move that guy made. Trembley didn't make a bad decision yesterday, he just didn't get the right results.

Can't compare the two scenarios (mother's day vs. yesterday). As I recall, on Mother's Day Massacre, Guthrie was still pitching strong, was victimized by an error and promptly removed by SP. Yesterday, in innings 1-6 Bergenson was hitting his spots consistently. Not so in 7 and 8, especially 8. Bergenson was missing spots, at times by a lot. And, unlike 1-6, Red Sox were starting to elevate the ball. Bergenson was gassed! Trembley made the right decision. JJ and GS couldn't execute. For those of you who think Trembley mismanaged yesterday's game, you might want to actually watch the game next time and, if at all possible, KNOW what you're watching!

Of course, Don eminizer, DT should have gone out to argue the phantom tag on Pie at 2nd if he did indeed see it. That call could have been overturned if another umpire saw the ball in the barehand too. To say "whats the use" is just a bizarre statement on DT's part. Then he ranted and raved using Palmer's words from the night before, about accountability, etc.. Dave Trembley, Stepford manager.

Trembley is not the right person for the job after this year. Macphail knows it. Heck, even king peter must realize it. This team harkens me back to the old Philadelphia Phillies. I met the great play by play announcers Ashburn, Som and Campbell many years ago. They said, they've never witnessed a team that aspired to mediocrity like the Phillies. The O's have attained that status and then some.

Sometimes the little things killya. I mean, if Andino is a foot more to his left he stops that groundball up the middle that ties the game. The hits that won it for the RedSox were hardly line shots off the wall, but some well placed bouncing groundballs that just eluded the infielders. Sherrill has done so well, I guess he was due to blow one. And I also saw a replay where an Oriole was thrown out at second but the Sox infielder had made the tag with his glove when the ball was in his other hand (saw the closeup on FOX evening news last night). Sometimes you just can't catch a break...perhaps we used up all our breaks the previous night, given the incredible rally from 10-1 to 11-10. But you're right. This sort of game doth make frustrated managers of us all and ruins even the best of days. But as Wigginton said post-game, "That's baseball," designed to break your heart as the great late Bart Giamatti said. On the upside, another tremendous effort by Bergesen who now appears to be our true ace. And as the late Nancy LaMott sang, "Help is on the way"...Tillman, Arrieta, Patton, your slots in the rotation await! Keep the faith, my fellow O's fans, it's always darkest before the dawn!! And let's all have a safe and fun July 4th weekend!

Why have Johnson come pitch the ninth inning? Johnson never pitches in the ninth. That's Sherrills's job.

I haven't read everyones posts, just too many, so I hope my points aren't the same as everyone elses. We haven't had a manager in years that knows how to manage the bullpen. We oull starters when we shouldn't and use way to much of our bullpen. Do you notice that in our extra inning games we use about 5 diff pitchers while the other team might use 2, and we lose. Also, I was watching the St. Louis game last night, 9th inning man on second 2 outs and the manager left the starter, Wainwright, in the game. Do you think Trembley would have doen that? Absolutely not. They would have been pulled so fast your head would spin. We need a manager that can mange the bullpen, and Trembley is not that guy. Would it hurt to send Bergesen back out? If he gave up 2 runs then your mindset should be the same, "ok my 2 best pitchers can hold a 2 run lead in one inning." And if they can't then there is the issue.

Pete, if you didn't see the tag at 2nd base, check with ESPN, they highlighted the ball in his bare hand

Ah, Jack posts here too? wonderful.

Tell me sir, what does not signing BJ Ryan have to do with George Sherrill exactly? By all means please enlighten me.

Which guy would you rather have coming out of your pen in 09? If you don't say Sherrill, perhaps you should check the numbers again. Get a grip. Seriously, why can't you support any decisions that are made?

Are you against the Bedard trade? you really think he is worth "pennies?" That's all we gave up to get sherrill, his salary is mostly inconsequential at the moment.

Do you want people to take you seriously?

I agree totally with the poster known as Dave:

I really enjoy reading the posts on this blog; everybody critiquing the moves of Trembly, noting the "missed" calls of the umps, yada, yada, yada. Nobody touched on the the overriding problem that has plagued the O's since the mid-90's...ownership. Until Angelos relinquishes control of the O's, these posts are gonna continue. You (Us) loyal O's fans are gonna continue to vent losses like this forever until we get ownership that wants to win...not just field a team that makes a return on investment. Sure, the team has flashes of brilliance; has some talent (Roberts, Markakis, Jones, (pitching potential, but not rock solid). I'm a loyal O's fan of 45 years...born and bred and still living in the heart of Red Sox country (isn't Brooks the greatest ever...along with Frank, Palmer, the Earl, and of course Eddie). The Sox got new ownership and allowed the baseball people under them to do what has to be done to attain a chance at a World Series. I'll still read the reasons for everyday losses, but nothin's gonna change until (the) Angelos(') quit baseball and just do what they do best...suing...

Sports Illustrated has ranked him the worst owner in sports:
Also in the Ultimate standings on espn a measure how much MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises give back to the fans in exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them the Orioles ranked 81 of 122!!!
Look at all the winning teams in every sport and they have a great owner in place.

I heard today Sherrill is going to be moved to the Marlins in the next few days maybe.. Any truth to that??

Pete's reply: I've heard nothing about that. Sorry.

Here is the link to the ultimate ratings on ESPN.. Its very interesting:

This team cannot cope with success. Tuesday night's magnificent comeback victory should have ignited the momentum for a ten game winning streak, not a 9th inning meltdown. Don't these guys believe in themselves? Or are they so accustomed to losing that they envision no other alternative. They expect to lose. And they expect to have a losing season.
Well, this club is playing up to expectations. They're playing at the level expected by the press and the fans at the beginning of the season.
If only they knew how talented they really are.

I know I am going to be called crazy for this but… People are starting to realize the Bedard trade was of course better for the O’s but wasn’t the steal of the century.. Yes Bedard has been hurt the last 2 years since but when he’s healthy the guy is still a great pitcher. The O’s still really need a great pitcher and we are not going to get a Bedard caliber pitcher in Free Agency it’s just not going to happen pitchers and managers will not come here. If we can move Sherrill and get more and if one day Tillman proves to be a good pitcher then it makes the trade worthwhile. The funny thing is both the Astros and Mariners are both better teams after the trades we made…

Angelos needs to just flat out sell the O's to Cal Ripken. Cal is not short on money and is one of the most respected men in baseball. All he would do is give his inputs when needed and attract a good GM, manager, and Free Agents. Nobody wants to play for or manage in this current regime. Angelos has the worst reputation in all of baseball making totally one sided moves speaking of which do the O’s have a spring training facility yet??

Pete's reply: Do you know how much money Cal has? I'd be interested to know that information.

Tom--OK, I'll take your invitation and line up to be the first to call you crazy. You left two words out of your analysis: Adam Jones.

Barry I love Adam. Seattle though had a great guy behind Jones and its easier to find OFers than pitching.

Barry and I don’t wanna jinx the kid but he gets hurt a whole lot.

Interesting article

Mariners CF Franklin Gutierrez versus Adam Jones

They lost one they should have won, they won one they should have lost -- get back the lost W from the first game agianst Bostin in April, and the Universe will be in complete balance.

Actually, yesterday's game was lost Tuesday night -- you can't keep having starters go less than four innings and noty have it take a toll on the bullpen.

I agree Bryan. We saw how Beckett was having problems but got tough and refused to leave the game.

This was bound to happen. Every time Trembley comes out and endorses someone or says the team is ready to roll, things go south. He endorses George Sherrill for the All-Star team and the guy can't get the job done. I don't think it is wise to bring a closer in when an inning is in progress. I really feel it changes their mindset.

Why did anybody even give a name for that loss to the Sox in 2007? The Orioles are the 2nd worst team in baseball and have the worst owner in baseball. Is it a big surprise they lost a game in 2007, yesterday and will lose games against the Sox for the next decade? Don’t get cute O’s fans this team cannot take on teams like the sox. Don’t even think they can until you see positive results in the front office you’re just setting yourselves up to get let down.

Trembley needs to go, period. To think otherwise is to lazily accept mediocrity and failure as "progress".

Make no mistake, this team has not made any progress over any other season. We are in the toilet and not moving.

I am all for the progression of the Orioles but is firing Trembley the answer? Who is going to come work for AM and Angelos? NOBODY!! That’s who. Trembley is a fall guy the front office wants you to come on this blog and call him out to put their irrational moves in the clear year after year.

Yeah Trembley is just passing through on the Loser train that Angelos has created.

If Pittsburg somehow makes the playoffs this year the Orioles could possibly set a record for being under 500 in the near future.

THE SKY IS FALLING! Geez folks, we were one out from taking two of three from the Sox, and Bergesen threw a gem. Try and see the positive sometime. Trembley, Angelos, and whoever else you want to blame can't do anything about four walks.

Careful what you wish for DT haters. The only way an experienced manager is coming to Baltimore is because of the bad economy and if he does he won’t be able to bring his own staff. More than likely it will be another in house hire because a combination of not wanting to pay for experience and Angelos will not put up with managers that have winning experience because they are hotheads and will call out BS within the organization. As people pointed out being an Oriole is like being a CIA agent. You cant show much emotion, true intentions etc etc you have to just go to the field and take one for the team… Team AngelO’s

Trembley made a wimpy decision to take out Bergesen, and the Schmuckster made a wimpy decision to agree with him. My toilet bowl has more creativity then Trembley and the Schmuckster combined.

The wimpy decision is to take out Bergesen, and then if things don't go well then blame the relievers. By taking out Bergesen Trembley changed the momentum of the game and gave hope to Boston.

If you took a poll of the Boston players, I wonder who they wanted to face in the 9th inning? I am pretty sure they wanted to face anybody except Bergesen.

Bergesen was flushing the Bosox batters down the toilet one by one with only 103 pitches. Why not let him go out for the ninth and see what happens. Maybe he shuts them down and maybe he gives up a few hits, either way the young Bergesen learns how to finish a game.

Tim Lincecum has completed 9 innings 3 out of his last four starts. What baseball god said you have to bring in your closer after 8 innings?

If the starting pitcher has been struggling during the game, throwing to many pitches, or facing 3 batters that have dominated him during the game, then I agree to bring in the reliever - but this was not the case yesterday. Bergensen had cruised through the entire Boston lineup in only 103 pitches. Have some balls and let him pitch the ninth!

Trembley and the Schmuckster want to lump all situations into one easy category - starter throws 7 or 8 innings and then bring in the relievers. The problem is that every situation is different - so thus you must use your brain and think a little and be creative. This unique situation cried out for Trembly to allow Bergesen to finish the game.

Pete's reply: Yep, yesterday's game should have been treated like the seventh game of the World Series, and as soon as Trembley starts treating them like that, he'll be sitting in the Laz-E-Boy next to you.


I've read and re-read many of the posts here today and have to state for the record. AM is doing a very fine job! Great trades last year, great drafts and SIGNINGS the last two years. Failed to get 2 quality starters prior to this season, strapped us with too many out of option guys! But on the whole, we couldn't do much better (see the Natinals)!

Angelos has layed low and as a PA hater, even I think he's doing the right things but that will only be determined by his getting his wallet out THIS offseason.
DaveT is another story, he may have been the right guy to manage during the transition, he is now becoming the WRONG guy to take this team to the next level. As many bloggers have noted coming to Baltimore will be a hard choice for many knowing PA's history but AM and the prospects and a committment from PA to get a quality SP and a 3B should make most comfortable. Being able to assemble his own staff would be the biggest inhibitor in my view.

DaveT, thanks for your service, but we need to move on if we want to get ahead!

Alright I don’t really like Trembley but let’s get one thing straight. The Orioles have made it clear from the beginning of the season that contention was not a realistic option for this season. Instead the team wanted to focus on development. So with that in mind Trembley is the perfect coach for the next few years being from the minor leagues and can help get rookies and sophomores ready for the future. This could also be why the vets are mad and all the stats show the team is getting worse but this seems to be the direction that the Orioles front office are taking. Trembley cant win games with a developmental roster so don’t call for his job when he does not have the tools he needs to win games.

If he yanked him because of the pitch count I can't say I really blame him. Obviously, they're being careful with their young pitchers, especially given Bergeson's success so far. And there was no reason to think that the 'pen couldn't close this one out. So there's another one in the "L" column. At least Bergeson's healthy.

What I am curious about is if this 100 pitch count is actually Trembley’s doing or if it is an order from above.


Ragging on ownership now? Because Sherril didn't get the 3rd strike call on Varitek? So perhaps an inch or two more from that swing and the game is over - we can all agree you would never have posted the ownership issue had they won and took 2 of 3 from the Sox. Good thing you aren't steering the ship - talk about over-reacting! The ownership has taken it's lumps - but as AM gets them turning the corner, he'll deserve the credit as well - I have no issues with Angelos as of late - he has a good baseball guy in their doing the job, and he's leaving him alone.

O's fans have been ragging on ownership for 11 years man... whats new?

Both games reminded me of the Angels' loss to the Red Sox in the 1986 ALCS.

Is Trembley cast in the Gene Mauch mold?

Pete's reply: Interesting comparison. Mauch pulled Mike Witt after a dominating performance, but Witt had given up a two-run homer in the ninth to Don Baylor to make it a one-run game.

So let me get this straight....Trembley doesn't even have to answer for this BS? Well, what about leaving Baez in for 1/3rd of an inning to give up 5 runs? And what about leaving Hill in for 3 1/3rd innings to give up 7 runs? And on and on. This "manager" has utterly no sense of when to pull a pitcher and he should be managing? Sherrill and Baez trade talk? Could our dreams be coming true. Dump the deadwood once and for all. Bring in the kids. And why shouldn't the fans be ragging on management for the past 11 years. The O's have sucked for the past 11 years and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Winning season in 2010? Forget it. You have to dump the deadwood first and that includes a "no clue" manager. Man, you don't see Francona leaving guys in until they're smeared.

Pete's reply: Actually, you did see Francona leave Masterson and Okajima in to get smeared, but, hey, you're on a roll, as the guy said in Animal House. I think you're right. The minute a manager has, say, five decisions go against him, then he should be fired. Let's not take into account anything else. Let's just look at the wins and losses, because if you go back to the spring, you know that if Dave had managed better, the Orioles would be in first place right now. He's probably cost them 25 wins already with his horrible managing. This team was poised to win it all and he has single-handedly screwed it up. Oh, and while we're at it, lets dump the deadwood All-Star closer. He's a total stiff because he only saved 15 of his last 16. You're right on the money.

Personally, I think we are crazy to trade Sherill and I hope the O's brass doesn't overreact like many here just because of one bad outing. Yes, he walked a couple of guys but Varitek should have been the 3rd out and Baldelli's hit was lucky.
Sherill is still a better than average closer so who's going to close if we trade him? It's not like we have an MLB ready replacement and it would be a shame if we finally assemble a respectable starting rotation in '10 and then we end up blowing games in the late innings.
I'm as mad as anyone else here about these frustrating losses but I;m hoping somehow the O's(and Trembley) learn from them somehow and build on the positives, even in defeats.

Pete, you don't get it!

I want Bergesen to learn how to pitch in the ninth inning so that when I get to the seventh game of the world series, Bergesen knows he has done that before. When is Bergesen going to learn how to pitch in the ninth - on a video game?

If the situation comes up in the seventh game of the world series, then I leave Bergesen in for the ninth inning. You and Trembley wimp out and bring in the reliever.

Don't worry, Trembley will never make it to a seventh game of a world series.

Pete's reply: Well, maybe so, but the Orioles will never get there with the knee-jerk, cut-and-run mentality that bubbles up around here every time somebody gets an emotional owwee. I will give you credit. You're the first person who has ever told me that the way to learn how to pitch in the World Series is to pitch tired in the ninth inning of a game in early July. If you pitch young starters tired in June, they won't be around in October anyway.

Pete, are you saying that Bruce Bochy is wrong for allowing Tim Lincecum to throw nine innings in his last 3 out of 4 games? Please explain?

Pete's reply: Are you saying Brad Bergesen is a Cy Young Award winner? Explain?

Dave Trembley's formulaic response to the 9th inning should surprise no-one. To review:
1. Take out the starting pitcher at 100 pitches, unless he has a shutout, and probably even then.
2. Bring in the 8th inning guy to secure the "non-save" win.
3. Bring in the closer, even if given a recent heavy workload, once the game becomes a save situation.

The one caveat to this should be: If you have a top starter rolling along - KEEP THE FORMULA IN YOUR BACK POCKET. In all fairness though, Varitek swung and the game should have been over. The real issue in my mind is the structure of the overall pitching staff headed into next year and where the acknowledged best arm on the team Jim Johnson fits in. The most successful formula in mlb baseball is to solidify the top 3 staff positions (i.e. No. 1 & No. 2 starters and the closer) and fill in from there. We often talk about this years team being the best in the last 10 years but the Orioles were most dangerous when Erik Bedard & Jeremy Guthrie were supplying legit top of the rotation performances.

The 8th inning role seems more important than it is because we lack depth in the rotation and do not have starters who can consistently get us through that inning with the exception of Bergesen. With Johnson at the top of the rotation alongside Bergesen we potentially reach a level playing field with contending teams on those days. Look at the Cardinals who are far more formidable with Carpenter & Wainwright at the top of the rotation and a serviceable closer instead of Wainwright backing the pen.

Even the Red Sox do not have a dominant arm in the 8th inning. Okajima is a deception guy like Sherrill and someone with pinpoint control like Koji Uehara could be successful in either this role or as a closer a la Dennis Eckersley.

Is the conventional thinking that because Trembley coddles his players and doesn't stand up to them, that makes him good for the development of the young rookies? I'm just trying to figure out why everyone keeps saying that Trembley is helping Bergy, Riemold...etc and that he will be the best guy to manager Tillman, Arrietta, Snyder etc....I don't see it.
The same veteran old school manager, that would stand up to his players, demand smart baseball, know how to manage the pitchers and in game situations, and have accountability all around, would in my mind, be the best manager for all the young players. Nice guys get taken advantage of, and as the saying goes alway finish last. Young people need discipline enforced by firm leadership.
Trembley is NOT the manager for youngster or anyone else for that matter.

Pete's reply: I'm sorry, how do you know he doesn't stand up to his players...because he doesn't call them profane names in the dugout like Lou Piniella and then have to publicly apologize for it? I'm amazed by this. I know some guys are making stupid mistakes. I've written extensively about it. But I'm not in his office when he calls in a player, so I don't know how tough he gets. Maybe he just doesn't make a big show of it on camera for MASN.

In honor of Youtube.............

Leave Dave Trembley alone....NOW!!!!!
*sob* *sob* *sob*

But seriously, let the season play out and go from there. If the fundamentals don't improve, then a change may be necessary. But, this organization needs some stability. They appear to have it with Andy, so let's give DT a chance now that he has more tools to work with. It may benefit the organization more long term than firing him and having the coaching carousel we've had for years continue without success.

This argument is really about the role of a manager in modern baseball. Those who rationalize Trembley's obvious stupidity hold with the view that management should be reduced to formulas that inform decisions in various situations.

The starter tosses 100 pitches. Take him out before his arm falls off. You get the starter into the 8th innning. Take him out and replace him with the "8th inning specialist." You get to the 9th with a lead, bring in the closer.

All of this ignores the actual situation in the game. Is the pitcher who is being lifted more effective than his replacement stands to be? Don't ask. It is a subversive question that implies the job of the manager calls for actual discernment and subtlety that could not be matched by a Black Box computer algorithm.

Dave Trembley is just a chubby incarnation of the Black Box with bad skin. He manages by rote rather than by expert feel. Look at the way he insisted on inserting the unlamented Jamie Walker to face left-handed batters, notwithstanding the fact that the composite Left-handed batter facing Walker had Hall of Fame numbers against him. Everyone knew that Walker was ineffective, but Trembley continued to trot him out until he was finally cut from the team.

Getting back to Bergesen, I can almost guarantee that Earl Weaver would not have lifted him from Wednesday's game.

Earl did not coddle pitchers. Witness the O's success in 1971 with four 20 game winners. Pat Dobson, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Jim Palmer, all with 20 wins in a four-man rotation.

If the '71 O's had been managed by Trembley as he manages today's team, none of the four 20 game winners would have had more than 13 wins. Trembley would have lifted them for relievers of indifferent talent whenever they ran into a smidgen of trouble. Consequently, they would not have been around to record a win when and if it was achieved.

Trembley is a remorselessly mediocre incarnation of the modern manager, a mediocre breed who play everything by predetermined rules. This, they hope, relieves them of responsibility for judging the actual circumstances of the game and managing those to full advantage.

Judging by the large number of fans who are prepared to give Trembley a pass because his role players, Johnson and Sherrill did not fulfill their designated assignments, I suspect it will be many years before the Orioles perform up the standard that some of us grew up knowing as the "Oriole Way."

Trembley should be fired.

Pete's reply: I suspect with Don Stanhouse out there, Earl would not have pulled Bergesen, but that's totally irrelevant in this case.

I know that he doesn't stand up to his players because (Felix Pie rant aside) no one is ever made an example of. He will just lament in his Q&A the next day about how his players are being aggressive but maybe need to reign it in a bit and make smarter decisions,(well yeah) but there's no accountability, and therefore no change.
I think the fundamental difference is that you view Trembly as does an older man. For you it's like a wife that your not thrilled with, but after a long marriage, you're getting up there in age and think that you really can't do much better on the open market anyway and the alamony is gonna be a pain in the ass, so you just except it. Where as I look at it like a young single guy, if she isn't exactly what I'm looking for and doesn't have that certain it, then I'm content to go take my chances and go on looking in sea of fish. We're watching the same thing but our brains lead us to different conclusions.
You've got reverse fear of commitment.

djph. Your post re: Trembley/mediocre wife was hilarious and I almost choked on my morning coffee!
So what you're saying is that McPhail should head down to Fell's Point on Friday night to find another manager?

Post a comment

Please enter the letter "a" in the field below:
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.

Schmuck column archive

Upload a photo of yourself or a friend wearing the new Peter Schmuck T-shirt, which is on sale at

Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected