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April 7, 2011

Nobody's perfect

No one should be surprised the Tigers ace Justin Verlander dominated the Orioles on Wednesday night, but it wasn't quite as simple as that. O's starter Brad Bergesen might have made a better account of himself if not for a pop fly into right field that glanced off the glove of Brian Roberts for a two-base error that extended the second inning and led to the first two Detroit runs.

Not saying Bergesen would have pitched deep into the game, but a short inning there might have kept him viable longer and would have kept the game closer.

No matter. Verlander gave up just four hits and struck out nine over eight innings on the way to his first victory of the young season. He did give up a home run to Derrek Lee and an RBI single to Vladimir Guerrero, but he was never in serious jeopardy. He's now 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles and 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA at Camden Yards.

The Orioles offense still hasn't really opened up, but it would have been unrealistic to expect much on Wednesday night. Still, it's fair to point out that the O's were batting .230 with 15 extra-base hits after five games last year, and are batting .217 with 11 extra-base hits over the same period this April.

If I were looking for someone in particular to worry about -- and I'm not -- it would be Adam Jones, who has been persistently behind in the count and has just two singles in his first 19 at-bats.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:22 AM | | Comments (49)
Categories: Just baseball


Jones looked absolutely terrible at the plate last night, as if he had no idea what he wanted to do or what Verlander was doing.

Same story with Jones every year at the plate. You know that slider is coming and he just can't lay off of it. It is amazing how much better his at-bats would be if he could find a way to see that pitch better and take it. Take it for a strike on occasion even, its a tough pitch to hit, so just let it go and get ready for the next one.

B-robs error was tough for Bergy and the team. It was a really tough play for him though. I'm not so sure about this bunching the out fielders thing. I mean Jones has awesome range, why crowd the guy? There were a few times that some outfield plays looked awkward because of that positioning.
Pete or anyone else, can you tell me what they hope to gain from that formation? I believe in Buck, so I am sure there is a reason, I just dont see it.

How many years has BRob and Nick been playing together at them positions? Too long for a communication problem to pop up. The play was in front of Nick, he should of called off BRob. Brain-Freeze!

The thing about last night I didn't like was Rupe's two fastballs. He's 1-2 against Cabrera and throws a low fastball. Then he throws the same pitch to Martinez. Was this Wieters' call or does Rupe not have a decent slider or changeup?

@PeteyPablo, Both Bergeson and Rupe missed their spots horribly on the all three homers, so I don't think we can fault Weiters for that reason.


You could hear BRob call off Nick when it was Nicks ball.

You could Palmer saying what he wished he could say, but couldn't - while in the booth.

You could hear a scout say to the other 'how dumb are Oriole fans? They want Pie to replace Scott in the line-up'.

You could hear a scout behind him say 'possibly the dumbest fans in the AL'.

You could hear Buck say 'what an idiot' when Jones whiffed at another low-outside pitch.

Yes..... You can hear much more than you think when there's only 12,000 at he Yard.

The Oriole Way. Attracting continued small crowds - AM style

Schmuck, do you see Jones ever developing into a power hitter? Or just staying the way he is?

Pete's reply: Yes, I do see that, but he's got to figure out how to lay off that ball down and out of the strike zone. Clearly, he still is vulnerable to that.

Adam Jones is a pretender who had one fair year,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

He should be the one in the minors...............

Adam will continue to disappoint until he learns the strike zone. It's hard to succeed when you take pitches right down the middle, then when you get two strikes, you swing at just about anything. Opposing pitchers know what to do when Adam gets two strikes on him, and it isn't pretty. So much potential, which will never be realized unless he learns better plate discipline and gets a feel for the strike zone.

Errors happen. The dropped popup did not cause Bergesen to walk the following hitter and then groove one to Avila. And it didn't cause him to throw almost the same pitch in the same place next time Avila came to the plate. The riddle of Bergesen is that, when he has his control, we is very very good (works quickly, wastes few pitches) but when he's off, it's painful. Meanwhile, the Orioles scored three runs off Verlander, which was enough to have won each of the first four games.

Verlander was dealing yesterday, so it's no surprise that the Tigers won. He showed why he's their ace. I just wish the O's would have realized that the guy was throwing strikes, and went up there hacking. Too many times, I saw an O's batter take one or two pitches, right down the middle and with 2 strikes on you, you're in trouble, especially with someone like Verlander. I realize that being patient at the plate is good, and working the count is good, but when a pitcher is throwing strikes and you look at the best pitch you're going to see in that at bat, it just becomes all that more difficult to beat a guy like Verlander.

You could see Wayne wearing a Yankees Mussina jersey.

Palmer wasn't commentating by the way.

I personally blame NM for the lack of fans. He did turn the franchise around and all...

Hey Wayne - -while you have your ears pricked up -- Can you here the people on this blog say: Hey Wayne - get a life! We are sick on the johny one note always blamining AM for everything. So Wayne can you hear us??

I dont know how the previous comment was posted by Wayne, when it was actually posted by me. Maybe the Schmuck blog now has some level of recognizing wayne's style of commentating?

Well, the O's we know and love (cough) are back. Infielders and outfielders staring at each other like idiots while a sure out drops in for a double. O's pitchers throwing a pick-off try into center field. O's pitchers giving up homerun balls and the bullpen throwing BP for the opposing team .. etc, etc. An O's team whose young players wouldn't make it on another teams major league roster and veterans past their prime. Thanks mcfail and pa. Another long summer of losing and no football .. can it get any worse. PA sell this damn team and maybe someday we will have a major league caliber team in Baltimore.

I was at the game and you could see the error coming from the way Brian approached the ball with a hint of trepidation. It was a tough play, the ball was placed perectly in the Bermuda triangle, but obviously, when a ball is hit that high in the major leagues it must be caught. The crowd was somewhat less than the announced paid attendance and the number 12,000 is about what the team draws at fanfest every year. But it is April, this is a different year so we will see how many Oriole fans are left in this town if they keep winning, which I expect them to do. The hangover from the previous 13 seasons may take a while to wear off as many people who used to attend the games have obviously found other things to do.

As I have said all Spring, Adam Jones is an enigma. He does not appear to have a plan when he steps in the batters box. In my opinion, he needs to spread out a little more, move closer to the plate, shorten his stride and try to keep his hands back. Not that I am a major league hitting coach. But I did sleep in a Holiday Inn express last night

Hey Gil, you are on the money with Adam Jones. All the Oriole hitters can make any other teams 4th and 5th Starters look like CY Young award winners. Even I can get through the O's line-up and look good doing it. I don't even need to be any where near the strike zone and they will swing at it. Hell, I could throw the ball in the dirt and they will swing at it. aka, Adam Jones. Maybe we can trade him for a case of towels or water.

While you all are trading Adam Jones for a case of towels maybe you can get a couple decent ball girls for Bergesen. He wouldn't even make the Yankees double A team. The O's are the .. Triple A team of the American League East ... our Yanks can practice against the O's again this year .. yuk, yuk

Another vote for Gil's assessment of Adam Jones.

This is the same hitter that we had three years ago. He hasn't made a single adjustment and, at 25, he's still swinging at the garbage he was swinging at when he was 22. I don't even know why pitchers throw him anything on the inside half of the plate. Start him with an outside fastball and then give him a steady diet of low and away junk and he'll whiff every time.

And the reason this is so maddening is because of the potential this player has. If Jones could figure out how to lay off that low and away junk, he could easily trim off a third of his strikeouts while boosting his walks. And laying off that junk would force pitchers to throw him hittable pitches. Making that one adjustment would make him one of the better, if not the best, center fielders in the game.

Anyway, here's hoping for another solid start from Tillman today. These Tigers will be a much tougher test than the 1-run Rays.

Hey Yankee Fan!

It looks like you have a bad case of swamp ass. Go take care of it. You will feel better.

To my O's peeps,

I don't think Verlander had great stuff last night. He left a lot of breaking balls over the plate that our boys missed. I think they gave him more credit than he deserves and didn't execute their game plan. It's OK though we're still at the top of the AL East.


You could hear Gil say to himself 'this is trouble' as BRob was measuring....

You could hear the lady two rows behind me say 'boy that breeze feels good' as Reynolds swung and missed.

You could hear the person next to her laughing.

You could hear..... well actually NOTHING, coming from The Angelos seats down by the dugout. Why? Because 90% of the time, the Angelos boys seats are empty.

You could hear the usher tell one patron 'you'd think the owners would at least give those seats away to those who can't afford them once in a while'.

You then heard the patron tell the usher 'yeah, like that'll ever happen'.

You hear allot when there's only 12,000 at the Yard.

To be continued after tonights contest..... Lots of green seats everyone... you should catch a game from time to time.

Here's to wayne paying the salaries of people he believes are worth nothing.

PA needs your money to continue to disappoint you.

Enjoy the game wayne.

C'mon Gil and not brooks,

You guys are being too harsh on Jonesy. It's obvious he is trying too hard. They went and got a bunch of hitters, so he feels like he has to live up to something. He will get hot and you all will love him again.

Jones is good and will get better. Mark my words. They didn't personalize his Nike shoes for nothing:

Oh well, you can't win them all. I can't believe Andy McPhail called off Nicky Mark, the leaver in Franchise Saves, and then let that ball glance off his glove.

If McPhail makes that catch, tonight's game is a sellout for sure! Right?

Wait...what?...Oh. Nevermind. Apparently Andy wasn't playing last night.


Yes my man....... because...

....It's baseball.

You could hear me say last night 'they'll most certainly come. They won't know why, but they'll come from miles away. Oh, they'll definately come... because it's baseball'.

Of course you could hear my friend next to me laugh and say 'yeah, well I guess the rest of them all got lost. Either that or they're dressed as green seats'.

It is baseball, wayne. But that doesn't negate the fact that all of your talk amounts to nothing because you still support the wallets of those who you so vehemently oppose.

If you only go because it's baseball, go to a game in Philly or DC. While you continue to support the O's where it helps Angelos the most, all of your rhetoric is meaningless.

Someone said Verlander had bad stuff last night??!? Uhhh... I was at the game, sitting behind the plate, and his stuff - especially his curve ball - was devastating. Lee and Guerrero were the only guys to have good at-bats against him.

I thought the error should have been Markakis's ball.

Jones definitely has his weaknesses, but I am not sure last night's struggles were due to that. He actually laid off an off-the-plate slider, the kind of pitch he would have swung at last year, with 2 strikes. The only problem is that Verlander's next pitch was a fastball on the outside black. Sometimes you just got to tip your hat.

"You could hear a scout say to the other 'how dumb are Oriole fans? They want Pie to replace Scott in the line-up'."


Calling a fan base dumb.


Re: Adam Jones.

A steady diet of low and away, and high fastballs. It's been the same for 4 years. Yes, he stayed off one slider last night....but swung at 4 of them. His strike zone recognition is Horrendous.

Let's hope Derrek Lee puts his arm around Adam's shoulder and explains the strike zone to Adam.

Who's a betting man? Will Adam Jones or Mark Reynolds have more K's by seasons end? Coin flip.

Reimold promoted, Pie in Center and Adam at Norfolk by May...June??


I didn't say Verlander had bad stuff. I said, he left a few breaking balls hanging smack down the middle that our hitters just flat out missed. I've watched the game twice (MLB TV), I'm not making crap up.

Granted, the changing of speed and location is what makes even cookies over the plate unhittable, I'll give you that.

I would give Verlander all the credit in the World if our hitters were on fire and he just silenced their bats. Howerver, our hitters are pretty cold right now.

If you don't think Verlander was on last night, you don't know what you are talking about, I am sorry.

He was spotting a 95-98 fastball all night, tossing in a pinpoint 84-89 change up that he struck out Lee with two times after his HR, a slider that was very effective, and a sharp-breaking curve ball that nobody on the team could touch.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Yes, one loss and this team is now horrible after it has won 4 in a row and was destined for a WS. Some fans....

Jones has some work to do and we've seen this from him before. He gets hot and cold like Luke does, though not quite as bad and for not quite as long. At least he has been looking pretty good in CF save for one drop step misread.

Posted by: not brooks | April 7, 2011 12:09 PM

To quote Gil, I've been saying that since...

He says it's all about baseball. Like you said, why not go to see the Nats or Phillies? Since as he has stated before, he doesn't even care if the Orioles win. Why line the pockets of Angelos? Even though in his distorted little Wayne's World, Angelos hired Buck and Vlad, it's still the same man that has presided over this team for the last 13 seasons. The same man that hired the twin GMs, Syd Thrift and sh!tcanned Pat Gillick in 10 minutes. Oh yeah, I almost forgot...he hired Andy MacPhail.

So keep on supporting Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail, wayne. As you like to say, spin away. In the end though, you can never change the FACT that you are giving your money to Peter Angelos and that you're paying a portion of Andy MacPhail's salary.


Here is one for you: The one common denominator with O's sucking for 13 years has been Terry Crowley (besides PA of course). How do you think that affects the progression of a young hitter like Adam Jones?

Terry Crowley was a hitting coach who stressed being aggressive at the plate, even to the point of expanding the strike zone on 2-0 (reported by Buck Martinez on a MASN broadcast a few years ago - Luke Scott did that often.) Meanwhile, our division opponents in Boston and New York (and even Tampa Bay the past couple of years) stress plate discipline, making pitchers work for puts, and the value of high OBP (which correlates ranking highly in runs scored.)

Jones has absolutely no plate discipline, which results in him not being nearly as good as he could be. He should be drawing at least 50 walks a season - if he did that, he'd also have a higher verage and more home runs, because he'd be swinging at fewer balls and more strikes.

Brad Penny got absolutely bombed in his start last weekend vs the Yankees. Here's hoping the Orioles finally break out the lumber tonight.

Everybody knows the book on Adam Jones. He can't hit the breaking-ball low and away and he also can't stop swinging at it. That's been the case for a season and a half and he has been unable (or unwilling) to make the adjustment. It is frustrating to watch. Until he learns to recognize and take that pitch as a ball, he will never realize his offensive potential.

Hey Mike in Columbia ... Not a chance, the O's line-up will make Brad Penny look like a CY Young award nominee. All he has to do is throw the ball anywhere but over the plate and the O's hitters will swing at 'em. The O's will not see double digit wins (that 10 for you B'moreans) until mid to late May .. if then.

I wasn't as close as Osrulakfan but the way the hitters were reacting to Verlander, it appeared that they were having a difficult time guaging the speed of the pitches, as his arm action belies the velocity at which he throws. He is not a grunter and the ball seems to jump out of his hand with minimal effort. He doesn't fall off the mound when he throws, and stays under control. From the stands you might guess he is throwing low 90's, then you look up and see he is throwing 96 to 98.

Yankee Fan, your talk is a snore, your team is old and you know that the Yankees fan base is very, very nervous about this team. I know because I live outside Manhattan surrounded by Yankees fans. I hear them and Michael Kay say the same thing. Confident in that pitching staff? I didn't think so.

Chances are you own a hat and that's about it, never go to any games, live in Carroll County or somewhere else as far away from Yankee Stadium as Wayne is from actually being a fan, take the contrarian position to justify a lack of human contact (see Wayne, supra) and still think Paul O'Neill is in the OF. And Yankee Fan, it's Balti-moron. If you're to insult a city's intelligence, please at least get the joke right. That's nice unintentional irony, but completely predictable.

And look at how self-satisfied Wayne is after an O's loss. At least losses still upset Meso. Wayne roots for losses. Maybe I'm just a Balti-moron (Yankee Fan thinks so) but that doesn't really sound like an O's fan to me. Sounds more like a Wayne fan.

And look at how self-satisfied Wayne is after an O's loss. At least losses still upset Meso. Wayne roots for losses. Maybe I'm just a Balti-moron (Yankee Fan thinks so) but that doesn't really sound like an O's fan to me. Sounds more like a Wayne fan.

Interesting how many of you allow wayne to get to you. I didn't see him call the fan base dumb. It was saying what he heard one scout say to the other - hahaha.

wayne, you are entertaining. I don't make it to as many games as you, but I hear what you're saying. So you're not allowed to go the OPACY if you hate the way the team has been run? That's as backwards a thought process as many of the posters on this Blog.

For years fans haven't been going to the games to root for the Orioles. Instead, it's been about being at the park to see a big league game. So wayne and others are suppose to stop going because Angelos and MacPhail have continued to mismanage the team?

Can't wait for your report from the game wayne. The likelihood is that you'll be able to hear the players breath tonight.

@Dirk Diggler,

Wayne supports PA and MacPhail with his money. Yes, that is correct. But I bet you knowingly or unknowingly support a lot of other causes you don't agree with either. Things like wars, Gov't spending, people in jails and prisons, gas company profits, Goldman Sachs, genetically engineered foods, pollution of our waterways exploitation of young people in third world countries, today's freedom fighters and tomorrow's terrorists. Unless you do know and like supporting all of the above.

-- Mes,

On Adam Jones, we dis-agree. I can tell someone to stop hitting themselves in the face, but it's their decision. Terry could have told Adam a thousand times for all we know...but the student must listen and execute. Adam swings at bad pitches and that's on Adam. No excuses. Still love him though...but watching his AB's have all O's fans looking for the slider and high fastball but not Adam...the only one that should be....

As per ur response to Dirk, it's an apples and oranges comparison. Wayne willing/consciously attends games. Taxes, gasoline, and food are kinda basic requirements. Orioles baseball is entertainment. Just saying...and I really don't care what wayne does with his money. Personally, if could go to every game I would, so I'm jealous.

"Nobody's Perfect"?

Erroneous headline. The Orioles are no longer perfect, but perfection is coming to town. See you tomorrow.


I guess the egos are also big in Texas. It's still chilly in Baltimore. Those Ranger bats might just cool off. Zach Britton, also from Texas, may be what the doctor ordered to deflate that ego of yours

sixandzero is right about the Rangers being perfect: a perfect 0'fer in World Championships.


No disrespect to the O's or their fans was intended. I like the O's, and I like Buck. I'll be pulling for you guys to win the East this year.

No one thinks the O's or Rangers are perfect. I'd be happy if the Rangers go better than .500 on this nine game road trip. I just thought it was poor timing for Schmuck to title a piece "Nobody's Perfect" when you have a 6 and 0 team coming into your house with a day's rest.

Should be a good game tonight!

Adam Jones = Alfonso Soriano part 2

I guess that can be good and bad.

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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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