Saturday, July 26, 2008

Son of a Pitch

The Orioles pitching problems continued last night in a big way, with Brian Burres unable to get out of the second inning after allowing 7 hits, including 2 HR and 5 ER. More importantly, he only threw 51 pitches.

The Orioles went on to lose 6-5, their fourth loss in a row.

With the bullpen being abused like a red-headed step child, Manager Dave Trembley should have walked out to the mound when he took Burres out with 2 outs in the second inning and said, "Sorry Blade, this is your bed. You made it. You've gotta lie in it some more."

At some point, the starting pitchers have to at least do their job and get through 6 innings regardless of whether they are up by 5 or down by 10. At the current rate they're on, the bullpen pitchers will have to learn to throw with their non-throwing arms in order to complete the season.

Keep Burres (and Olson or Liz) in the game until he throws around 110 pitches, which has been his season high. Take one for the team.

In a related note, the Dodgers released former Oriole Matt Riley after he used an escape clause in his contract that said he had to be in the majors at a certain date.

Riley had an ugly career in Baltimore, complete with attitude problems, injuries and control problems, but had a wicked curve ball and a fastball that topped out in the high-90's. Oh and he's a LHP, too. In the Dodger's AAA system Riley had a 2.88 ERA as a reliever, throwing 40.2 innings and compiling 55 strikeouts to 24 walks.

With the bullpen wearing down fast, bringing Riley back might not be a bad idea. He couldn't be any worse than Brian Burres, Alberto Castillo or Jamie Walker who was recently shelled in a rehab stint in AA-Bowie.

The bottom line is that the Orioles have to find a way to finish the season. And adding someone with some potential like Matt Riley could get them a little closer to September 30th.

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