Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stunned Silent

Maybe this blog thing wasn't such a good's way too depressing sometimes.

It's been over 72 hours now and I think I'm finally in a good place to write about the Orioles again.

I was plugging away at a post Sunday afternoon that was going to be all about the positive steps the O's were making. It was going to be about how the O's have won 7 out of 10, taken two straight series against division rivals. It was going to be about using this last 10 game stretch to springboard into a stretch of games against the woeful Blue Jays, Royals and Nationals to finish the month. It was going to be a hopeful entry that the O's were righting the ship and on their way to respectability. Baltimore was up 5-0 with one out in the ninth and Jeremy Guthrie was leaving the game.

Then the wheels fell off. I won't detail it again, it's been done plenty in the last four days.

Whose fault is it? Nobody's really. (Yes, I mean it...) The only man who you can lay some blame on is Mr. Perlozzo and that's only for his mismanagement of the bullpen. Mr. Reluctant couldn't hold the lead, couldn't muster two outs. (But to be fair, he may have a tired arm. All the major components of the bullpen are on record paces for appearance and innings. At some point Sam, you have to leave a starter in who doesn't have it to take one for the team.) Ray didn't have it and that will happen. If Melvin Mora would have been at third instead of nursing a jammed finger in the 9th, the O's probably survive. If Ray holds on to the ball, the O's survive. It sucks but it happens. I should take my own advice obviously but you can't have an NFL mentality when watching baseball.

There was nothing wrong with Perlozzo taking out Guthrie. They're trying to stretch him out and I'm sure next time he'll get the chance to finish. You don't want to get the guy hurt by having him do too much, too soon. I'm sure Mazzone had some input on that and I'll defer to him on that decision. If your bullpen can't hold a five run lead and get two outs, there's not much to be thrilled about in tighter situations.

Then to add insult to injury, Baltimore lost two nip and tuck games to Toronto the last two nights.

To highlight the good, the loss on Sunday doesn't diminish Guthrie's accomplishment. That was a beautiful game he pitched on Sunday. And Brian Burres pitched a great game to win on Friday. These were two guys thrust into the rotation due to injury and they have performed admirably. Both of these guys were claimed off of waivers when other teams didn't want them. The front office got them for nothing. If only one of them develops into a serviceable starter this year, the Duquette/Flanagan duo have a nice feather to put in their cap. (I have watched Burres pitch tonight and he did a nice job again.)

The bats need to wake up. Only the Royals and the Angels have hit fewer homeruns in the AL this season. If you have pitching like the Angels, you can win like that for awhile but we don't have that kind of pitching. Right now the two major issues are the overworked bullpen and the lack of power in the lineup. Even with the injuries to the starting rotation, the starters are pitching well enough to win.

No comments: