It is the beginning of May and the Orioles have finally given us a reason to think that 2010 will not be a historically bad season. While the Red Sox are struggling, and clearly not as good as recent versions, a sweep of the hated Sox (players and fans) in Baltimore was very uplifting. For one weekend the O’s were no longer the whipping boy of the AL East. For one weekend the Orioles were the club making the big defensive plays, the big pitches when needed and getting the clutch hits. Did that one weekend re-invigorrate the fans to take an interest in this team? More importantly did the sweep of the Sox give the O’s the momentum and confidence to turn this season around?
Now comes a trip to face the slightly more hated and much more potent Yankees. The Yanks are off to a hot start, reversing the trend of the last few season. The Yanks have a dynamic and powerful line-up, led right now by the remarkable start of 2B Robinson Cano. The Yanks do have some holes in their line-up right now. Mark Teixeira is off to his usual slow start. A-Rod can be pitched to right now. Curtis Granderson is hurt and not hitting well and as long as you can keep Nick Johnson from walking, he is not much of a threat. Unfortunately, the Yankees starters are throwing the ball very well and the three starters the Orioles will face in New York is 46-9 against the Orioles. Will all the momentum come to a screeching halt?
The Orioles continue to get good enough starting pitching to win games. The starters are not dominant, although Millwood was outstanding on Sunday, but they are generally keeping the club in games. The bullpen had some hiccups over the weekend, but closer Alfredo Simon is improving in his role and the club has jettisoned a few arms that have been really struggling. Most importantly the Orioles bats have begun to stir, especially the run producing ones. Nick Markakis was 7-12 with 5 rbi’s and 5 runs scored against the Red Sox. Ty Wiggington is acting like a big bat in the middle of the line-up . Miguel Tejada and Matt Wieters are driving in runs with more regularity and Rhyne Hughes has injected some life and clutch hitting into the line-up, hitting .571 with RISP since his arrival. The tide is turning but for how long can it continue?
All three games will air on MASN in HD. Monday and Tuesday’s games start at 7:05, Wednesday at 1:05. Here are the pitching match-ups:
Jeremy Guthrie (0-3, 4.70) vs. CC Sabathia (3-1, 3.12)
Brian Matusz (2-1, 4.40) vs. AJ Burnett (3-0, 2.43)
David Hernandez (0-3, 4.55) vs. Andy Pettitte (3-0, 2.12)
JP – After the brutal start to the season, this was a nice reprieve for a few days. As my good friend Ol' Bruz has pointed out, after this next little road trip, life could get a little easier. We all knew the opening of this season was going to be tough, no one knew it would go this bad. I think the Red Sox are not as good as I thought they were, especially with a few of their key guys on the shelf. That's not to take away from anything the Orioles accomplished this weekend, they are hurting too. As Ray-Ray would say…Bottom Line, the Orioles are not as bad as they looked to start this season, nor are they as good as they looked in this 3 game sweep.
2nd and 3rd with no outs and the top of the lineup coming up.
Jones, Markakis, and Wieters all proceed to strike out.
After a weekend reprieve, the Orioles appear to have retired their bats, once again. If you hold these guys to 3-4 runs, you oughta be able to win the game.
Especially in Yankee Stadium against CC and AJ
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