The Orioles opening series in Tampa was not ideal, but the club heads home hoping to build on the 2010 season first winning streak. The Toronto Blue Jays are in town for the Orioles home opener in what is supposed to be the first series in the battle for 4th place in the division. The Jays have a leg up on the Orioles right now having won 2 of 3 in Texas to start the season. In their opening series the Jays were led by Vernon Wells who homered 4 times in 3 games, which puts him on pace for 216 homeruns. Barry Bonds is rolling over in his BALCO lab.
The Orioles, meanwhile, have to hope that some home cooking helps get the bats going. The O’s have struggled to score runs despite slugging 12 extra base hits(8 doubles, 4 homers) in their first 3 games. The problem is that the O’s hit just .188 with runner in scoring position in Tampa. The Orioles either need to get some runners on base in front of the power bats, or string their hits together more consistently. Fortunately, the Orioles will face the back-end of the Blue Jays rotation in the first two games of the series, which could mean a few eruptions from the Birds.
The question is, can the starting rotation deliver some more solid outings. Orioles starters were not spectacular in Tampa, and they need to work deeper in games, but they gave the O’s the chance to win every game of the opening series. The Blue Jays have a few top notch bats like, the aforementioned, Wells, Aaron Hill and Adam Lind, but there are holes in the Jays lineup. The Blue Jays should struggle to score runs consistently this year and should present fewer problems to Orioles hurlers than the Rays did.
I expect the O’s to grab at least 2 of 3 this weekend. To do so the Orioles will have to settle a volatile back end of the bullpen. Mike Gonzalez has been shaky at best in his first 2 appearances and Jim Johnson struggled in his last outing. Couple that with some concern over a muscle strain in Johnson’s right arm and there is already case to be concerned about the 8th and 9th innings.
Here are your probable starters:
Brandon Morrow v. Brad Bergesen, 3:05 pm
Dana Eveland v. David Hernandez, 7:05 pm
Shaum Marcum (0-0,3.86) v. Kevin Millwood (0-0, 3.60), 1:35 pm
So siked to see Bergesen take the hill today against Morrow. This is a big series for the Orioles, time to get on the right track after taking 1 of 3 against the Rays.
On a side note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. PILSON!
Certainly not the start that Bergy would have hoped for, but he has settled in some since the first. His command seems off. He is an excitable guy. Maybe too much juice for opening day.
Yeah I think we saw the same issue Matusz had last night. LOTS of pressure on these guys for their first starts of the season. No worries though, it's still close.
First let me say this before I run my mouth…. I do not feel 4 games is enough to tell how good someone will be or not…
With that, how about that great pickup Gonzalez??? Guess he was lying in spring training when he couldn't hit 90mph and said don't worry he'll be readty for Opening Day…. Look, I said it before the season even started and no, this isn't a "see, I told you so" comment but I did say he is nothing but another one of the O's bandaid approaches. A 30 something guy on the downside of his career but the O's sign him anyway. Look when the guy had Tommy John surgery and the Braves let him go then a flag should have gone up, not just on the surgery but when the Braves let a pitcher go then something must be wrong with him.
Now for that dumb!@# manager Trembley…. Let Gonzo give up the tying and winning runs, lets him get the next guy out for two outs then decides to take him out with no one on base. WTF??? You left him in to give up the runs you might as well let him pitch to hopefully that last guy and if he can't get him out for the 3rd one then pull him. And wow, didn't Meredith look good?
Tonight was my first night seeing Gonzo pitch. He looked horrible! As 2488 stated, four games isn't enough time to evaluate someone but my god he looked bad. Hopefully he can turn things around but I can't see how. He looked like an amateur without a clue on how to pitch. Maybe one or two more chances, if he looks the same, put someone else in the closer spot.
Pole, you taken on the personna of your mentor…hadn't heard from you in a week, but you call me today 3 times, knowing I'm at the game and can't hear you (as I invited you to go) to bust on me about a guy I hoped would be a key piece to the bullpen. You have become 2488's Toadie…
I see Scut Farkus (2488) and his Toadie (Pole) have conspired to bully the masses…
Pole, It was awesome when you jumped from behind that dumpster!
Hey STD, was it really that loud and bad when the fans were booing Gonzo? Cause it sound bad as anything. I don't think I ever heard booing that loud.
Also, why did Bob run onto the field? Didn't you try to stop him?
Seriously, somebody should've watered down his drinks.
2488 – I don’t have any problem with booing when the lead is coughed up, the problem I had was booing the guy in the pre-game introductions just three games into the season.
When Bob bolted onto the field and did his “Cal Ripken” around the stands, we knew he was in for a rough night.
Scott Farkus is a rotten name. Almost as bad as Grover Dill. Maybe Farkus can get Gonzo to say uncle. Thanks for the birthday wishes.
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