Friday, April 4, 2008

Power Surge

Is the Orioles fax machine on the fritz again? Maybe they haven't gotten the fax that tells them they are supposed to be a 100-loss rebuilding-mode team yet.

Yeah, it's only 3 games into the season. And I'm not foolish enough to think that a 2-game winning streak is going to change this team's outlook this year.

But I will take the wins where I can get them, and tonight's game was another unexpected gem as the Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners 7-4 for their second win of the season.

Steve Trachsel (yeah, that guy) got the first win of the year from the starting rotation, going 5.2 IP with 2 ER. As usual, he walked 2 and struck out only 1. If he's going to walk this tightrope again, get the man a friggin' net. Maybe the O's signed him for a reason after all.

Offensively, the Orioles broke out the bats for the second game in a row, collecting 10 hits and crossing the plate 7 times. But, the surprise of the night was the power display, which saw Kevin Millar, Ramon Hernandez and Melvin Mora each collect their first home runs of the year.

Is it too early to start talking trades?

Apparently Luis Hernandez didn't get a "you must suck" fax either, driving in 2 runs with 2 sacrifice flies. Hernandez did, however, go hitless in the game. But we were reminded why he is here (if you can say that with a straight face), as he flashed the leather pretty well this game, along with Melvin Mora.

And again, the bullpen was impressive. Man it's weird saying that.

Fireballer Dennis Sarfate made Mariners 3B Adrian Beltre look foolish, striking him out to end the 6th. Sarfate went on to pitch in the 7th inning, but looked a little shaky, walking Brad Wilkerson before benefiting from a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play. Why the Mariners were sending sloth-like Wilkerson, I don't know. It's like giving Kevin Millar the green-light to steal a base.

Bradford and Walker were their usual reliable selves, going a combined 1.1 IP with no hits or runs allowed.

Manager Dave Trembley wisely brought in Greg Aquino to close out the game in the top of the 9th, as Aquino was the only member of the bullpen not to have seen action thus far. The game was also seemingly out of hand at 7-2. But Aquino struggled, going only 0.1 IP with 3 hits, including giving up a 2 run shot from Rob Deer, I mean Richie Sexson, which closed the gap to 7-4.

After Aquino gave up another hit, Trembley acted swiftly, bringing in flat-brimmed George Sherrill to close out the game, and that he did, earning his second save in as many games.

Aside from Aquino's struggles, there was nothing to complain about. Markakis had a rare bad night, going 0-5 with 2 K's. But it happens to the best of them.

Aubrey Huff missed another home run by mere feet, collecting a double instead. He could easily have 3-4 home runs by now.

The positivity even made it's way out to my neck of the woods, as Orioles star prospect Matt Wieters homered twice for the Frederick Keys. If that is any indication of the kind of year he's going to have, he'll be in Baltimore by season's end.

I know it's early. And I'm not going to get ahead of myself. Not this year. I was fooled by the Orioles' decent April play for the last, oh... 6 years. So it's not going to happen again.

But I will admit, it is nice to see the O's winning games. It doesn't happen all that often.

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