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August 5, 2009

Guthrie delivers...but

Don't know that you could ask much more of Jeremy Guthrie, who worked into the eigthth inning and gave up just one run while he was on the mound. He was charged with three because Placido Polanco threw his bat at a tough pitch by reliever Cla Meredith with two outs and drove in the runs that made the difference in the game, but Guthrie gave up only a solo homer to Magglio Ordonez and five other hits on the way to his 11th loss -- this one largely undeserved.

The Orioles couldn't do anything against Detroit starter Edwin Jackson until Adam Jones launched a two-run homer off him in the ninth. The O's kept it interesting again by putting two more runners on against closer Fernando Rodney before he struck out Gregg Zaun looking to record his 22nd save.

Just another loss, but compared to some of the other losses in this post-All-Star tailspin, it can best be described as non-descript.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:57 PM | | Comments (61)
Categories: Just baseball


The Orioles have revolutionized losing this season. Last season *** this season ***** mmmmmmmmm magnifique!!!


So why did we send down Mickolio again?? Also I heard an ugly rumor that Berken will start tomorrow.

Pete's reply: You got me. I guess the whole Chris Waters to Detroit thing was just a clever ruse.

of course you wouldn't pinch hit for Mora in the 9th...he might feel disrespected.
we should start him the next 5 games so he will feel good and maybe even smile even if he makes an out every least he will have his self respect.

of course you wouldn't bat weiters for zaun because of the following reasons
1. the "plan" was for zaun to play and weiters to "rest" tonight. if weiters comes up to bat, then DT can't stick to the plan. If he gets a home run he has to run all the way around the bases and that would not be resting....even if he hits a double he would have to run all the way to second and that is not resting either.
so one must stick with ones plan even if you would have a much better chance to tie or win a game.
so please enough of the second guessing, you just don't know the plan

ESPN says Hernandez is pitching tomorrow

TED, if you're referring to my comment on the prior blog, I meant to say Friday for Berken. I read that on the Chris Ray article that was posted a few hours ago.

Apologies, and please feel free to watch tomorrow's game and make other plans for Friday instead...


That was some scary stuff man!

Good game Guth's.
No offense, oh well...

Cla has pitched really well since joining the team. What was the knock against him?

Tell me about it. I would rather we just forfeit Friday's game rather than give Toronto's hitters a chance to pad their stats.

Regarding Mickolio, I can only assume the answer has to do with the Orioles' new focus on ensuring the players feel "respected." Keeping a reliever on staff who isn't allowing any runs, while probably yielding an additional W or two, would probably hurt the feelings of many of the other guys in the bullpen, who seem to confuse live game situations with batting practice. And we can't have anyone on this team feeling disrespected.

Hey Andrew,

When you say, "3) Wow that Salazar trade is sure looking like a beauty! The relief pitcher we added comes into a 1-run game and gives up 3 runs (albeit only one run charged to him). Then we don't have our .400 pinch hitting specialist to win the game an inning later, and Trembley sticks with the two worst-hitting players in the line-up for outs 2 and 3 with the winning run at the plate." are you talking about the same Salazar who is hitting .235 for the Padres since moving over to the NL West? Yeah, he was guaranteed to win the game for us.

Those runs wouldn't have scored if Wigginton wasn't at SS. And the pitch Palanco hit wasn't a bad pitch at all. So yeah, blame the FO if you want to, but you're very, very wrong.

What’s the worst record ever for a rookie starter?

Chris, I agree. I just thought it was funny that the pitcher we picked up coughed up the three runs that lost us the game, AND at the same time Trembley failed to pinch hit for two of our worst hitters in the 9th, with Mora and Zaun eventually recording outs two and three with the winning run at the plate. Would Trembley have pinch-hit with Salazar still on the team? I think so. So it just struck me that the trade got us on both ends tonight.

My other three criticisms- not pinch hitting for Mora or Zaun, sending Mickilio down again, and sending out Berken again on Friday, stand.

Anyone ever notice Peter Anglos looks a lot like Baron harkonnen? I could picture him in that flying suit around his office vetoing trades.

Not to mix sports here, but as my man Sugar Ray says, they get paid to play too. The pitch Polonco singled on was down and away, not even in the zone. You can't blame Meredith for that or the next batter that hits a baltimore chop and gets on. Sometimes the hitters just make plays. Tip your cap and move on.

Took my 7 year old to the game tonight. He's a huge O's fan. Great memories despite the loss. Watching Nick (right in front of us) throw that Tiger out at 2nd was great. Adam's homer after we put on our rally caps was nice, too.

I just wish we had a real shortstop in the game in the 8th. 2 of those hits got under Wiggenton's glove that a decent shortstop would have made. I just looked. Andino is still on the team. What else is he good for, if not for a late inning defensive replacement?! That one is on Trembley.

Why on earth does DT continue to start Zaun??? I don't care whose nephew he is, or how much better Guthrie pitches when he catches... FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LEAVE WIETERS IN THE FREAKING LINEUP!!! They teach you in little league that with two strikes, you have to protect the plate. How do let that fastball go by without even swinging??? Nice job in the ninth Zaun... Just disgraceful...

I think DT’s pal Charlie Weis gave him the advice on the 8th inning shortstop strategy and taking out Guthrie.


On this Orioles team it’s not how good you are it’s who you are related to on the MASN staff

So sad.
It seems like a conspiracy to keep us losers. FO,Manager, Pitchers, Just losers who trult expect to lose. Just the opposite of the proud teams of the past. So damn sad.

Pete can you explain to me why Trembley inserted Wiggenton at shortstop late in the game instead of Andino? After Andino played solid for about six weeks, you will never convince me that Wiggenton is a better defensive replacement than Andino and this is not the first time he has done this. It is these kind of things which makes me wonder about Trembley.

There's no question that DT messed up by leaving Wiggy in at short and not bringing Andino in to play in the 8th.

But to all the people yelling about "Why does Zaun play?"....Catchers don't start every game, first of all. They need rest days. Any baseball fan knows this.

Second of all, Guthrie's ERA this season w/ Zaun behind the plate is a full 2 (count them: 2) points lower than with anyone else. Going in his record was 6-1 with Zaun and 1-9 with everyone else. Need any more reasons?

This was a good game to lose. no complaints really except I wish we won!

Can someone please tell me why Berken is starting again this friday?

Another loss pinned on DT in my opinion,but hey at this point let's just go for the high draft pick and lose 100+ games.The only good thing about going into the slide this early is that it puts Trembley's often questionable managing miscues and management style at risk for next year.Thank You Jesus.Okay the guy fought off a tough pitch,but you keep Berkens on the team and send down a guy who hasn't been scored on,and you have Wigginton at SS,never his best position.Also I heard that he and Luke Scott both swung at first pitches late in the game with Jackson's pitch count mounting.Then you don't pitch hit for either Mora or Zaun,and Zaun takes a called third strike on a fastball right down the middle of the plate.Winning teams don't do that,the Orioles do it often.That's why they lose.Secondly with the trade of both Oscar Salazar for a poor man's Chad Bradford,Cla Meredith,so you can send Kam Mikolio down once again,and the trade of George Sherrill for one player at best who has a 50/50 chance to make the team in three years,and another who has virtually no chance of making the team,in Dave Johnson's son,outside of the Bedard trade,which is now weakened,don't see where Andy has done much of a job the last year in any of his moves.Still think he's just biding his time for the commissioners job when Bud"Never heard of Steroids Before"Selig retires or is declared mentally incompetent,whichever comes first.Can't see us competing before at least 2011 at best because we have glaring offensive holes at SS,3B,1B,and DH.We have one of the Best young outfields in the game,Roberts is still a top 5 or 6 2B,Weiters is going to be a terror,you can see it coming if his manger takes the governor off of him,but man so many holes every where else and only Brandon Snyder to maybe fill them.His numbers over his last 12-15 games have been very impressive.Still think we lose 4 or 5 games every week for the rest of the year.Then we'll hear the mantra about how Peter is going to open the pocketbook once again,like we've heard for the last 5 years,and voila,we'll sign another Walker,Baez,Brdford,whom we gave away for nothing,and Kline,etc.etc.So sad to be an Orioles fan,it really is.

I'm not saying that we would've definitely won the game if we pinch hit for Mora or Zaun. Or that Andino would've made the plays on the two balls in the 8th, but I think you can blame DT for not giving anyone a chance to find out.

It just doesn't make sense, the way Trembley does anything.(or doesn't do anything I should say) Hell, I can't believe I'm saying this but I would have much rather seen Pie up there in the 9th over Zaun. Not to mention Wieters. Felix does know how to hit the fastball and Rodney is only a two pitch pitcher so he was bound to get one.
I'm sure that Schmuck will come out with a piece tomorrow about how Andino has pink eye and Pie sprained his thumb trying to open a jar of pickles or that Wieters was too depressed to play cuz he broke up with his girlfriend. Then he'll tell us that we're stupid for second guessing the manager because we don't have access to all the information that Dave does.

Pete's reply: Yes, I was thinking pink eye would be a nice excuse, though I also like hangnails. I'm sorry, did I miss something here? Oh, yeah, the Orioles blew there chance to go to the World Series again last night. I understand how upset you must be.

djph -

i realize you're exaggerating with most of that, but just so you know, wieters is married.


Thanks Steve. That's my bad. You know we should be able to spot our own. I thought that defeated look on his face was because he hasn't gotten off to as hot a start as he would've liked, but now it all makes sense. LOL

What happened to Robert Andino? I thought after filling in for Izturis he had "earned the right to play more often."

Haven't seen him at all since Izturis got back and I was very confused after seeing Wiggington at SS when Andino is clearly the better defensive replacement.

Peter, these ballplayers are in an arrested state of development. They're playing a children's game at an age when the average person is thinking about the safety of their next paycheck. So, let's see if we can help them on the road to adulthood and in so doing, perhaps, assist their pitching. The first step will be to stop calling a 30 year old man (Guthrie) a "KID" as you are inclined to do upon occasion. The next step will be to have the manager tell Melvin Mora to "grow up".

Pete's reply: Well, he's a kid to me.

Good game by Guth and a BOMB by Adam Jones. I never want to see another post debating the Bedard trade. I would trade a good pitcher in Bedard who only plays every 5 days (when healthy) for Jones straight-up.
I have been a strong DT advocate, I still like him, but when we have no bopper we need to play small ball and manufacture runs. We need to pinch hit Mora and Zaun and sit Mora for Wiggy. Can nobody on this team bunt instead of hitting into double plays?
No need to fire him until we get good but I'm questioning if DT is the guy who can lead us with sound game management when we start to contend and compete.

You can't pinpoint the game on one thing. It wasn't the manager. The fact of the matter is our hitters are at best mediocre as a unit against pitchers who throw 93+ mph fastballs.

You can't blame DT when you have hitters like Scott, Mora and Zaun that are terrible. Zaun has been in ML long enough to know that you don't look at a 3-2 count to make the last out. You swing. I know Mora and Zaun will be gone at the end of this year, but Luke Scott has gotta go as well. I have never seen a hitter with such a horrible and inconsistent swing. I have no reason to believe he will ever come around to be a good hitter. He'll give us a hitting streak a season, and that's about it. I'd rather see Felix Pie play out there.

A lot of the timely hitting struggles I put on Crowley. The approach they take at the plate is horrible. Markakis comes at the plate on the 9th with nobody on, and he swings for the fences when we need base runners. That was a perfect situation where he should shorten his swing and look to slap the ball the opposite way.

reading these post make me confused. First you complain that DT is using veterns and they are getting hammered so you beg for the youngsters to be brought up to pitch at least they can learn on the job. Now when they do that and the kid struggles you complain the DT doesn't use someone else. Just who might that be when you already have to fill in for bergesen on sunday. I do believe 21 yrs ago a rookie pitcher for atlanta went through this kind of losing, finishing his year at 7 - 17. BTW Tom Glavine went on to win 305 games, let the kid take his lumps maybe he just might figure it out. you can't have it both ways

The lack of criticism that this team receives, especially Trembley, from the Baltimore Sun is appalling. Are you guys afraid Angelos is going to ban you from covering the team again if you question anything they do?

Pete's reply: Well, since Peter Angelos does not have the power to ban anyone from the press box, I guess that's not the reason. It might be that, since I've been watching this team for 20 years and writing all manner of criticism over the years, I thought it would be boring to spend another year saying they need a new owner and they're a bad team. I give the fans a little credit. They don't need me to tell them the team is playing abysmally. So I'm trying to look ahead and see if there's any reason to keep paying attention. If you really feel like you say you do, I would suggest a new hobby. If you think the O's are hopeless, and you have every right to think that because they have given you little reason the past 11 years to think otherwise, go to town, but why would you bother with them. Just doesn't make sense. They finally have some decent young talent and you want me to rip them apart. What's the point of that?

I am just going to watch the Tides and popular MLB team matchups like yanks and sox this weekend until the Orioles turn the corner. These Oriole games are not MLB quality and a waste of time. I love baseball and just want to see good games. The Orioles don’t seem to offer that anymore.

For the Orioles to be good in the future, Guthrie needs to get ttough and realize his potential. In that sense, last night's game was encouraging.

MASN and the local Baltimore media have done a gem this season sugarcoating one of the worst teams in baseball. Lets be honest guys this team is on track to be the worst up there with SD, DC, Pitt and KC.

Pete's reply: Yeah, Wayne, I know I picked them to win the World Series at the start of the season. Sugarcoating? Is there a place in the standings below last? (Which is where every local media member picked them during the preseason)

o.k. bird fans. who thinks trembley makes it through the year? who would you want to see as the next manager?

The one thing that I don't understand is the Wiggy move. Ty batting for Izzy? Sure! Give it a shot.

Ty staying in (at Shortstop?!?) with Andino available on the the bench for defense?

I quit smoking that wacky stuff years ago so that I could get a job. Trembly needs to stop smoking it to keep his.

Pete's reply: I really don't have an explanation for that. It seemed strange to me, too, but I'm not there so I couldn't ask.

This team will never be a winner with Trembley and his staff. They don't have a clue. The season was lost in spring training with the obvious lack of work on fundamentals and the fact that everyone from the players to the fans was told it would be a losing season and that it was okay. By the way, Wiggington couldn't replace anyone as a defensive replacement, including Marv Throneberry. He has the range of a catcher. Nice call Trembley. Your clueless.

PETE, can you please tell me WHY, WHY, WHY the O's, no matter who's on the roster, take such a horrendous dive after the All-Star game year after year after year? Why is O's baseball so unbelievably ugly and such a loser proposition EVERY August and September? The combined record of the O's during the months of August and September for the past 5 years must be somewhere near the .250 mark or less. Why? Do they simply throw in the towel (which, by the way would be understandable after being beaten down by the AL East for most of the season, or are there other reasons?

Pete's reply: Because they lack depth and talent, though they usually take the dive later than this. You can always hope that they are getting it out of the way and will be better in late August and September, though the schedule never gets any easier in this division.

Guthrie just seems to be a different pitcher with Zaun behind the plate, good move on DT's part to start him. I'd still like to see Wiggy playing 3rd instead of Mora, his range at short is somewhat limited, and Andino has earned a chance to get more time. Another tough loss last night, but in the end just another loss. So, just when do we get the right to A) see some actual improvement as far as winning games. or B) admit that the usual second half collapse has indeed started?
If we lose 7 of the next 10, 15 of the next 20? If the O's win their last 2 or 3 games of the season does that count as finishing on an high note?
Substituting Wiggy for Mora at third, and having Andino at short may not have made any difference in the outcome last night, but it sure seemed like the best bet, and little things make a big difference over the long haul. Trembley's assingment was to prevent the sort of hope crushing second half meltdown we've become so accustomed to, and so far he is failing miserably. One way or another he needs to get these guys playing better. I don't know if he needs to scold them, sweet talk them, change the lineup more, add more drills, give more guys time off, or what, but he's making pretty decent money to get them to play at a high level, and so far our team full of talented rookies is being pounded on a nightly basis as badly as the teams full of old broken down vets did. Individually, guys like Reimold, Weiters, Bergesen etc. look very very promising for the future, but as a team, the O's still just can't seem to find a way to win, and fair or not, that eventually comes back to the manager.

Burt from Essex. Although your latest post was depressing, it's basically true...we are spinning our wheels. It's easy to say just ignore/write off this season but is next year going to be much different?
Outside of the Bedard trade, many of MacPhail's moves are pretty mediocre. We still lack corner IFs, a decent bench and a well-defined pen.
Yes, we have some solid pieces like Jones, Markakis, Weiters and hopefully Riemold and Roberts can likely stay productive for a couple of more years. I like the potential of our starting staff but when you compare us to the real solid teams, we are far short.
Yes, it is tough to be an O's fan these days when you have to think positive by saying we only lost by 1-2 runs and it's only Aug.We still ahve 50 more games to go and I thought rebuilding meant that we would eventually get better not worse. I fully expected a 90 loss season but felt that the wins would increase. We stand a pretty good chance of even losing 100 which to me, is unacceptablt, no matter how MacPail/Trembley want to spin it.


You have to look deep to find that answer but I am sure that it will not take you too long. Matt Keough is one I remember that in his rookie year he lost 15, but he also made the all star team, and that is the only reason I can remember that.

Trembley has to go. He may not have a ton to work with, but he's making egregious decisions with the players he does have. It's time for the O's to move on. Firing him now wouldn't serve much purpose, of course, because it's not like the O's are going to turn things around this season. But they can't bring him back next year. They just can't.

Good to see that Ty Wigginton had enough patience not to swing at the first pitch last night - oh wait he did. This guy is considered a major league hitter? They talk about having to hit your way off the island. He must be trying to hit his way off the continent. See you in Japan Wiggy!

Add me to the list of Trembley detractors. I used to think folks gave him too much of the blame when it was more lack of talent. Last night was the clincher for me. Baseball has its complexities, but it is not that complicated. Having WIggy at short in the 8th and allowing both Mora and Zaun to bat in the ninth is just unacceptable coaching. This team cannot improve if the manager is unable to make the necessary moves to put them in a better position to win.

Yikes. All smiles and praise yesterday, then this place goes to hell because of a 4-2 loss. Chill out.

Guthrie deserved the opportunity to finish that 8th inning!

My name for the O's is "The team that doesn't know how to win." With the current mistakes being made by both the players and the manager, I think a 100 loss season is a possibility.

After 11 years of losing shouldn't Peter stop saying that that a loss was undeserved. all the Oriole losses are deserved because they don't hav e good baseball players

Pete's reply: I was speaking specifically about Guthrie's decision in the game. Not the overall loss. Frankly, almost all losses and wins are deserved.

Burt, ever heard of a paragraph?

why not pitch hit for either Mora or Zaun?? then Zaun strikes out looking on a fastball right down the middle of the plate. not that i'm expecting a hit but in that AB he's hacking at just about every other pitch thrown and looks at the last one right down the middle in a full count. what exactly was he expecting?

are we trying to win a game or just keep the veterans feeling good by not pulling them with the game on the line? maybe we should add a column in the sports page for moral victories. W-L-MV. We'd be leading the league.

People need to cool it. No catcher catches 162 games a season, especially a young one.

And as was previously mentioned, Guthrie is hands down better with Zaun catching, as was seen last night when he gave up 1 run through seven.

And I see why Trembley kept Wigginton case he needed his bat again. No one could have foreseen him becoming that instrumental in the field.

My only beef is Trembley sending Zaun up there in the ninth. I had no confidence, and would much rather have seen Wieters get a taste of hitting with the game on the line (where he has produced once or twice already).

Ending the game by watching strike three is absolutely inexcusable.

Pete - Kudos for your reply to Wayne. People have asked you that question a 1,000 times on these blogs and that was a great rebuttal.

Please copy & paste it in a notebook for future use. :)

There's been a few shots taken at Zaun here lately. Hey, he's one of the few veterans brought in that actually made sense. He's clearly just a bridge until Weiters is ready to carry the load. In the meantime, he's a servicable backup/mentor and he did get a few key hits for us before. He's also a player who hustles, knows the game and someone who is probably good to have around as he knows the oppostion and is a good example to the younger guys.
I don't think Greg Zaun has been a major factor in the O's annual 2nd half demise. There are far more worthy targets...

It's always a tough, tough decision to switch out a catcher. If Zaun was hitting .200, I'd consider it more, but he's been very solid lately. And of course once you do that, if the game goes extras, you're down to one catcher, unless Zaun can play first.

I meant the reply to Randy, not Wayne.

Trembley should have stuck to the plan and took Guthrie out after 7 innings. We were only down by a run. A new pitcher might have held the tigers, giving the orioles a chance to win. Give Zaun a break the guy is only hitting .244. He is doing the best that his hitting ability allows him to do. Mora, Scott, Huff and Roberts get paid to hit.


If a new pitcher had come in and held the Tigers, Leland wouldn't have left Rodney in for the 9th (he was all set to leave before the insurance runs were tacked on) so it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway.

I read the criticism of Trembley's management and wonder first, who would pinch hit for Mora and Zaun? Think, if Weiters hits for Zaun, you have no backup catcher in the dugout. Who was left to pinch hit who was better? Andino?

Berken starting again. Club management must think he has potential. I'm sure Trembley would prefer another.

Passionate fans, I love it! Repeated blunders by the manager, a declining record, year after year, and the media baited to say nothing but nicities about the home team. I personally enjoy reading each blog entry, while some I totally agree with others are quite honestly way out there! Fact is, this team is in the process of turning the corner, but waivering on making key decisions. Namely, start looking for a new manager, DT costs us too many bad decisions, Melvin Mora should have been cut, apparently Bergesen and many of the other young starters should have been here from the beginning of the year along with Reimhold and Wieters. There hasn't been a good personnel move in over a year (Tejada and Bedard trades) and PA hasn't opened his pocketbook in what seems like a decade, so what exactly is it that we should be joyous about!

To the fans and MEDIA of the O's KEEP THE HEAT ON the Front Office!

Pete's reply: I'm trying to figure out why the owner won't take my calls when I've been so nice to him and the team all this time.

Do you who the Orioles 'spokesman' is that Guthrie used to relay comments to the media?


I love the young talent, it's the Mora's and the Trembley's of the world I'm tired of. Trembley does at least one moronic thing a night and his excuses are tiresome. Perhaps someone should talk about how the lack of fundamentals and discipline that exists in the Trembley run ballclub may negatively effect our young talent coming up. The O's are losers and expect to lose. They have a losers attitude. Sometimes teams keep this attitude even when they are infused with new talent because ti becomes the culture of the team. This needs to be changed before our young players are poisoned by it.

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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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