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June 14, 2011

O's: Northern exposure

The Orioles again find themselves in a difficult spot as they open a three-game series in Toronto tonight at Rogers Centre. They let some opportunities slip through their fingers over the weekend to fall three games under .500, and the distance between last place and first place in the American League East is widening quickly.

Tonight's game will be a particular challenge for the sporatic Orioles offense. They'll face a pitcher in Carlos Villanueva who has worked his way into the Jays rotation and is 3-0 in his four starts, including a very solid 5 1/3 innings against the Orioles at Camden Yards on June 3. He is stretched out now, so he could be around a lot longer than that it the O's don't force him to work.

Orioles starter Chris Jakubauskas is coming off a strong performance in his first Orioles start, giving up just three hits over five innings against a soft Oakland A's lineup. He'll need to be better than that against the Jays, who rank third in the American League in runs scored and tied for second in home runs.

The ensuing matchups appear a bit more favorable, with Jake Arrieta going for his ninth victory against Ricky Romera -- who allowed 14 baserunners against the O's on June 4 -- and Jeremy Guthrie facing Jo-Jo Reyes (2-5), but I think the Orioles will be very fortunate to get back across the border with more than one victory.

The best news for the pitching staff is the return of first baseman Derrek Lee from the bereavement list. He has not been the major offensive force the Orioles had hoped for when they signed him, but his defensive acumen has been a major positive for the club so far.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:27 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

i was thinking that 8-10 million would have bought more than a good glove, but what do i know? If i did know that, I would have campaigned for Keith Hernandez for half the money. Or the latest Oriole killer Kotchman. If someone can figure out his 340, call me.

I'm resigned to the fact that this club will continue to fade, and do so with a bunch of players that won't be here next year(probably after August this year), and what may be the most disappointing part of the deal- that there are no identifiable replacement parts for those that are leaving, (and believe me, it's not that they should not be leaving).

Their losing won't be for lack of trying but the usual lack of talent. Which is apparent and appaling at times.It's not difficult to point to a bunch of games that could have gone in their favor if they had simply played major league caliber baseball. Not All-Star caliber, major league caliber.

They are what they are. I could be all wrong, and they surprise, but I wouldn't be the only one surprised. At this point, it might even surprise the manager.

Pete, did I miss something...where is Britton during this series?

...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Buck decided over the weekend to move him back a couple of days to face the Nats. I believe he's going to do that once in awhile to keep him fresh and to slow down the march to his innings limit for the year -- which I believe to be 180.

peter i think you called it right. if the orioles win one game up north they most definately will be lucky. one major factor is keeping jose bautesta from killing them. he sure didn't have a bat when he played for the orioles. i wonder why buck keeps playing luke scott in left fiels with his bad shouldier. why is nolan reimold riding the pine, when pie h;aivng his problems with concentrating on instincts.

Wld be great if Jak ...cld win one more tonite.... A big boost. I know there's alot of frustration, but to me A Jones and M Weiters are showing their potential, as are Jake A, and Zach B... so the nucleus is not bad. Just need to fill in around them.

The Orioles got swept out of Rogers Centre last year. This series is The Ultimate Test. I will only be happy if they win AT LEAST ONE GAME. Two victories or a sweep would obviously be much better, but AT LEAST ONE WIN. If not, I will seriously doubt if any real progress has been made by the ballclub.

Pathetic play against Toronto says more about this franchise than its inability to beat the Yankees or Boston does. I'd be surprised if the Orioles don't get swept in this series and I'm basing that on recent history and nothing else.

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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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