Blog Entry

Even the schedule working against Orioles

Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:29 am

Baltimore's epically horrible start (2-14 following Wednesday's loss in Seattle) is the perfect storm of a whole lot of things going wrong, from bullpen meltdowns to miserable situational hitting, but the Orioles aren't getting any breaks from the schedule-maker, either.

That the Orioles knew this spring that they would start off with as rugged a schedule as anybody in baseball is no consolation as they plow through their worst start since the 0-21 beginning in 1988.

The O's are in the midst of playing 18 of their first 28 games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Tampa Bay. And of those other 10 games, seven consist of a West Coast trip to Oakland and Seattle (which ended Wednesday night against the Mariners' Felix Hernandez).

That finished, the Orioles open a series in Boston on Friday, entering a stretch in which they'll face the Red Sox and Yankees 12 consecutive times. After that, it's off to contending Minnesota for four games before finally hitting the first "soft" part of their schedule: And eight-game homestand against Seattle, Cleveland and Kansas City beginning May 11.

Meantime, Baltimore's struggling AL East rival, Boston, is in as friendly a part of the schedule as a team could want: The Red Sox are in the midst of playing 20 of 26 games in Fenway Park, where Boston went 56-25 last season.

The Sox opened a 10-game homestand Friday against Tampa Bay, and following a trip to Toronto and Baltimore, they open another 10-game homestand May 3 against the Angels.

At 6-9 and fourth in the AL East, the Red Sox will not have a better time to turn things around.

A couple of other early scheduling observations:

-- The Angels will make a whopping six different cross-country trips this summer to the East Coast. They were in New York to face the Yankees in April, they'll be in Boston in May, New York again in July, Baltimore in August and Tampa Bay in September. June is the only month in which the Angels do not head for the East Coast. Hmmm, think manager Mike Scioscia made someone angry when he complained about the playoff schedule last October? The Angels will fly 50,509 air miles this season, a major-league high.

-- When San Francisco started 7-2, the thought was that we would find out whether the Giants were for real very soon (though getting swept in San Diego this week didn't figure to be one of the crucial test cases): Beginning in Los Angeles against the Dodgers last Friday, the Giants were to face five contenders in six series': The Dodgers, St. Louis (which arrives in San Francisco on Friday to open a weekend series), Philadelphia, Colorado and Florida.

-- The Twins, who hosted the Red Sox for three games last week, play just twice in Boston this season. Minnesota and Boston are finished with each other for 2010 on May 20.

-- Detroit plays the Mets in New York (June 22-24) before facing the Yankees in New York (Aug. 16-19).

Likes: Austin Jackson, Detroit's good-looking rookie center fielder. ... How about Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes in Oakland on Wednesday night, no-hitting the A's until Eric Chavez's sharp single that bounced off of Hughes to start the inning. ... Never a dull moment talking baseball in Detroit manager Jim Leyland's office. ... I applaud Carlos Zambrano's willingness to do anything to help the Cubs, but a temp job as a set-up man? Yikes.

Dislikes: The plight of the independent record stores, which are shrinking as badly as the independent bookstores and, sadly, are probably headed the way of the independent grocery stores and pharmacies. I applauded Independent Record Store Day last Saturday, but when I visited one of my favorites, Lou's Records in Encinitas, Calif., the other day, it was discouraging. They didn't have the Drive-By Truckers' newest CD (The Big To-Do), which makes about the fourth consecutive trip where they were out of what I was looking for. Worse, they're consolidating inventory into one building (it's a funky little place that currently consists of two small buildings, with used CDs in one and new in the other). Which obviously means less stuff. A clerk told me sales have been down 80 percent.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"People get ready, there's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

-- Curtis Mayfield, People Get Ready


Since: Apr 20, 2010
Posted on: April 23, 2010 3:56 am

Even the schedule working against Orioles

Baltimore is in the AL East isn't it.  They know every year they will be playing Boston, New York, and Tampa Bay.  The schedule makers for the most part are trying to get the least travel in the early part of the season to avoid delays in traveling.  It made sense for them to come out west where the weather in the first part of the year is usually fine to play baseball games.  Baltimore is going to be towards the bottom of the standings until their young players develop some.  This year a rookie catcher learning a pitching staff.  These things are going to make any team have hiccups.  You take the early woes of Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, the team isn't going to perform.  Young Nolan Reimold could be in for a sophmore slump, who knows.  Batting .167 isn't going to get many runners home.  The pitching staff for the most part has been ok, but the bullpen has been the sore spot so far in this young season.  So far Baltimore doesn't have any momentum.  I think that game that Brian Matusz vs Tampa Bay, could have given this team some momentum.  Why does a manager start getting someone ready for his rookie pitcher in the 7th inning.  He gives up two soft singles, and he doesn't get taken out.  Another infield single and the bases are loaded.  One more hit, a run scores.  Then he gets removed.  The bullpen then lets all those runs score.  He was on the hook for the loss.  Now what would have been better is after those two hits, he gets taken out.  He feels good, the team feels good.  Who knows what could have happened.  Baltimore has a long way to go with the other teams in the East.  Good luck the rest of the season, as there will be bright spots, but a lot more agony.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 4:08 pm

Even the schedule working against Orioles

Well said. Your mother must be very proud of you.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 3:16 pm

Even the schedule working against Orioles

It's too bad the O's are off to such as lousy start. I think Mac Phail had some good moves over the past couple of years, Adam Jones the young pitching, Wieters....I hope the owner stays patient and gives it the year before passing judgement. Where are thay going in that division anyway? They should look to move Tejada, Roberts, and Millwood at the deadline and keep piling up prospects. I know the O's have sucked for a long time, but I'd hate to see Angelos get antsy and blow everything up.

Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: April 22, 2010 3:00 pm

Even the schedule working against Orioles

fuck the nationals and fuck the blue gays

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 2:18 pm

Even the schedule working against Orioles

The Orioles are just awful, stop making excuses for them. They played Toronto, Oakland and Seattle (without Cliff Lee or Bedard starting). Those three alone should get you more than 2 wins so far. This is the worst team in baseball and will be all year. The Nationals are rejoicing.

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