• Mar
    13

    Maybe It's Me?

    Funny, as soon as I take a few days off from writing my blog the Orioles win two straight. Hmm, maybe the O’s should pay me not to write. I’m sure there are plenty of others who would pitch in even if it had nothing to do with the O’s winning, but that’s beside the point. Now if they lose tomorrow I might be onto something.

     

    Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop
    There’s a lot of people who seem to be waiting for the clock to strike twelve on Bruce Chen. However, what even his naysayers (chaired mostly by the sabermetric crowd) have to admit that all he keeps doing is pitching well. The 28-year old lefty led the team with a 3.83 ERA last year and although his fastball only approaches and average major league fastball at times, he’s mastered the great equalizer, the changeup. Add in his big loopy breaking pitch and you have a guy who most hitters don’t really like to face.

     

    Sure, he’s going to give up some home runs because when he misses with his 85 MPH fastball or leaves his curveball up, he becomes very hittable, but what he’s been able to do so far with the Orioles is minimize the damage. One of things I always look for when scouting college or the minors is the hurler who can master that changeup.

     

    Chen is a prime example of the amount of success a pitcher can have with good control and an outstanding changeup. The show might not drop afterall.

     

    Adam Loewen Detailed

    I just got an e-mail from Hangout JustD who had just returned after watching the USA-Canada WBC game in Arizona. Thought I’d share her thoughts through her pitch by pitch report of Adam Loewen’s WBC appearance.


    JUST D’s Report

    In the first, he faced 5 batters. The first was Michael Young, to whom he threw a strike and then a ball, and then induced a grounder to second, 4-3. Threw a ball to Jeter, who then hit a bloop single to right. Ken Griffey Jr. then had a great at-bat, taking him full, then fouling one off, then ultimately drawing a walk. I noted Adam throwing a 91-mph fastball for a swinging strike, according to their gun, at this point. Derrek Lee only took 5 pitches to draw another walk. At this point then, the bases are loaded. Chipper Jones comes up and on the first pitch grounds into a 6-4-3 DP to end the inning.

    We saw a lot of this in the AFL from Adam, didn't we?

    1st: 18 pitches, 7 strikes

    Second inning, Mark Teixeira took a strike and then hit a 6-3 ball to the shortstop for the first out. Vernon Wells took a ball and then hit a ground out to 3B. Jason Varitek took 2 balls and then smacked a line drive to left for a single. Matt Holliday then came up, swung at two and took two balls (not in that order; I didn't write down order :( ), then went down on another grounder to short.

    2nd: 12 pitches, 6 strikes

    It was in the third, I think, that I saw Adam showing his emotions again. I remember this from the AFL (from what I saw), and was watching for it. He's back up at the top of the order, throws a strike to Young who hits a ground out to first. Okay, next up, Jeter takes a ball and then hits a ground-out to short. Griffey makes him work again, and this where Adam started to show the emotion. He'd like swear every time he threw one out of the zone. And this time, Griffey hits a 3-1 double to CF. Derrek Lee up now, man in scoring position. I didn't write down the order, but he took 2 balls and swung on some kind of breaking ball that was clocked at 81....then once again hit a ground-out to short.

    3rd: 13 pitches, 6 strikes

    In Adam's last inning, CJones hits a 1-1 fly ball to center. Teixeira took one ball and then got on base on an error by the shortstop. He later stole second without much trouble. Vernon Wells was batting at the time, and here too you could see Adam getting upset with himself, or the calls. Wells went to a full count before walking. Varitek hit a 2-1 deep sac fly to center field to move Teixeira over. They took Adam out at that point, right about 60-some pitches.

    4th: 15 pitches, 7 strikes

    So the first inning was two walks and a double play. The second was all ground outs, with the shot down the line for a single. The third was also groundouts, but one up and over for that double to center. The fourth was balls more up and out - two fly balls to center, an error, and a full-count walk. Fastest pitch noted by me was 91 - my friend said she saw 93. Slowest down to 81, though I may just not have been paying attention to any slower breaking ball he may have thrown.

    3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K

     

    Great job D.!!

     

    Garabito versus Relaford

    In the monumental struggle to avoid obscurity this year, Desi Relaford got the start at third base when Melvin Mora apparently missed the team bus. Relaford went one for four, but made an error at third base. Garabito continues his impressive hitless streak since I wondered why he wasn’t getting more playing time by going 0-for-1 after replacing Relaford but moving over to second base. Maybe Garabito will pay me not to mention him any more as well?

     

    New Orioles second baseman?

    Fernando Tatis got the start at second base in today’s game. Tatis has played mostly third base and first base in his professional career so most likely this is just to see if he doesn’t look completely out of place. Considering Brian Roberts had a minor setback (although the Orioles won’t call it that), it probably makes sense to see who can play the position. Tatis received no chances, but he turn a doubleplay according to Roch’s Sun blog.

     

    Got a comment? You can always start a thread here and talk about it.

     

     


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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.

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