Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Keys To The Season Revisited: Final

1. The O's lower their ERA by a full run this season

The team ERA last year was 5.35 so the target was 4.35. While that looked attainable for most of the year, the team finished at 5.19 and Leo Mazzone got fired. The pitching staff still has a long, long way to go and improvement was going to be the biggest key to a winning 2007. Instead, it imploded and the Baltimore Orioles lost nearly 100 games.

2. Markakis hits 25

Markakis only hit 23 but 25 was only a quick reference to imporved slugging for the young rightfielder. Markakis hit 43 doubles in addition to leading the team in homers and slugged near .500 (.485). Mission accomplished, Nick has arrived as the best all-around hitter on the team.

3. Increased production from LF

Orioles leftfielders OPS'ed .631 in 2007...down from the historically bad number of .681 set in 2006. Centerfield (mainly Corey Patterson) production regressed as well. Bad stuff in the outfield if you're not named Markakis. Putrid.

4. Melvin Mora circa 2004....or at least 2005

OK, 2004 was right out the window. And so was 2005. Although he wasn't as bad as as he was in 2006, he wasn't much better in 2007. Outside of much improved glovework at the hot corner, Melvin brought little to the table in 2007. Failed.

5. Health

Ramon Hernandez was played injured most of the year. Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora went down for awhile. Bedard and Gutherie missed significant time and Kris Benson, Adam Loewen and Jaret Wright never got started. No dice.

1 out of 5 equals 69 wins.

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