Thursday, April 12, 2007


If you've been following this team for the last few years, then you'll know that the Orioles usually sleepwalk through games in which they face a good pitcher. They'll go to the plate, swing at pretty much everything, and then shake their head on the way back to the dugout after striking out, popping out or grounding out weakly.

So it should come as no surprise that the Orioles scored 1 run in 12 innings last in a loss to the Detroit Tigers, who took the series 2-1. That now puts the Orioles run total in the last 2 games at 2 runs in 21 innings.

But what makes these losses so disappointing is that the pitching has been pretty much lights out. Jared Wright and the bullpen did an excellent job on Tuesday, holding the Tigers to 1 earned run. Then Adam Loewen pitched out of a few jams, and the bullpen did their jobs until the 8th man in the bullpen, Kurt Birkins, came into the game, and promptly gave up a grand slam to lose the game. Welcome to Baltimore, Kurt! Glad you're here!

That brings us to Birkins, who is the most redundant player on the team. He's the 8th man in the bullpen, and other than an extra-innings game, there was almost no chance that he would get into a 9 inning game. Hell, he didn't even deserve to pitch in last night's game, being the most recent call-up with the game on the line in the 12th inning. The relievers all did an excellent job, but were yanked for some reason after pitching only one inning each. I don't know what Perlozzo is thinking sometimes, and last night was no different. Relievers can go more than 1 inning, Sam.

So chalk up another WTF moment for Perlozzo, who is quickly becoming the weakest member of the Orioles. He'll never be fired because he's Angelos' meat puppet, so if the Orioles are going to make any progress this season, it's going to have to be in spite of Perlozzo's damaging moves, roster management and otherwise idiocy.

The Orioles face the Royals for a 4 game series, and then travel to Tampa for 3 against the Devil Rays, so one could say that the break in the tough schedule couldn't have come at a better time. But think again. The Royals and Rays are much better than they have been in the past, both teams filled with some good young talent. Their pitching may still be suspect, but at the rate the O's are swinging their bats, you don't know what to expect from them. God forbid any of the pitching they face in the next 7 games are left-handed.

The good thing is that the O's have faired well against bad pitching so far this season, but who knows now. The Orioles are 3-6, swinging the bats like they're riddled with holes, and their defense is always ready to make a mistake to blow the game.

Orioles magic. Can you feel it?

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