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Tag:Orioles
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:17 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Bloomquist kills Giants' hopes

Willie Bloomquist

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Willie Bloomquist, Diamondbacks: Bloomquist's two-run triple in the eighth inning may have been the final nail in the defending champions' 2011 coffin. Ryan Vogelsong held the Diamondbacks scoreless into the eighth inning before Ryan Roberts homered and then after Gerardo Parra singled and Geoff Blum walked, Bloomquist fired Ramon Ramirez's first pitch into the corner in right, scoring the eventual winning runs. With the 4-1 victory, Arizona leaves San Francisco up seven games in the division with 22 games remaining for each team.

Shaun Marcum, Brewers: Marcum again showed why the Brewers could be a team to be reckoned with in the postseason. Although Zack Greinke was the team's most high-profile pickup in the offseason, Marcum's been just as good, if not better. Marcum, acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays, improved to 12-5 with a 3.11 ERA after allowing just one hit and a walk in seven innings in a 4-0 victory over the Astros. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning when Jordan Schafer singled up the middle with one out. No Astro made it to second base until the eighth when Francisco Rodriguez walked J.B. Shuck and then a single to Jason Bourgeois. However, Rodriguez recovered to retire the next two batters he faced to quell the scare. With the win and the Cardinals' loss to the Reds, Milwaukee now leads the NL Central by 9 1/2 games.

Derek Jeter, Yankees: Many of us said Jeter was too old and should just be sent out back and shot (or, you know, out to stud or whatever Derek Jeter will do after he's done with baseball), but those of us who said that (with me raising my hand right here) were wrong. The Captain didn't just go 2 for 5, tying a career-high five RBI in Sunday's 9-3 rout of Toronto, but since the All-Star break he's hitting .343/.397/.448. The one thing he hasn't done much of in that span is hit homers, but he had his second of the second half on Sunday and first since July 25. However, on a team with Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, the Yankees don't need Jeter to hit homers, just be on base when the others do.


John Lackey, Red Sox: A favorite whipping boy of Red Sox fans, Lackey looked as if he were getting it together -- going five straight starts without giving up more than four earned runs (baby steps, people, baby steps). That streak ended on Sunday. Lackey allowed six runs on eight hits in five-plus innings of work. He didn't retire a batter in the Rangers' seven-run sixth inning, leaving after allowing three straight singles, threw a wild pitch and then walked a batter before being lifted. Lefty Felix Doubront gave up Lackey's final three runs and then three of his own in a 11-4 Rangers victory.

Mark Reynolds, Orioles: The Orioles third baseman committed two errors in the Orioles' 8-1 loss to the Rays, taking over the lead in the majors for errors, leapfrogging shortstops Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Starlin Castro of the Cubs, who both have 25 errors. Reynolds hadn't started a game at third base since Aug. 14, but was moved back to third on Sunday to give Robert Andino a day off. Reynolds booted a two-out grounder with bases loaded in the third inning and led to four unearned runs in the inning. Reynolds' fielding percentage is down to .897 at third base. He's dead last in pretty much any fielding stat you want to name, UZR, UZR/150 and fielding percentage among them -- and it's not really close. Among qualified third basemen, none have a fielding percentage less than .940.

David Herndon, Phillies: His 2-1 pitch to Mike Cameron with bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th was close -- but his 3-1 pitch wasn't, as Herndon walked in Emilio Bonifacio to give Florida a 5-4 victory. Herndon loaded the bases in the 13th inning, but got out of it. He couldn't repeat the feat in the 14th, despite not allowing a ball out of the infield. In 3 2/3 innings, he walked seven batters -- so really blaming one call on one pitch doesn't carry much weight.

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 9:42 am
 

Pepper: Plenty of good seats available

Dodger Stadium

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke went to Wednesday afternoon's Dodgers-Padres game and talked to all six fans in section 314. Six. The announced crowd was 27,767 -- but there were actually fewer than 8,000, Plaschke estimated and may have been the smallest crowd in Dodger Stadium history. 

Every time I've been to Dodger Stadium it's been full and rocking -- this tells you as much as you need to know about how LA fans feel about Frank McCourt.

On the market: But the McCourts did sell one of their two homes near the Playboy Mansion, so there's that. It was the smaller of the two houses in Holmby Hills going for "just" $6.14 million. [Los Angeles Times]

Click here: Really nice work by the Detroit News illustrating just how quickly a Justin Verlander fastball gets on a batter. Check it out.

No sympathy: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is one of his closest friends in the game, but he's not exactly feeling sorry for him -- "No, because I've seen him celebrating a lot with a lot of champagne over his body when I've watch him [over the years]," he told reporters (MLB.com). "Get them next year, Gardy."

Jays scouting Darvish: Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos was in Japan on Wednesday scouting right-hander Yu Darvish. The Rangers and Yankees have also scouted him in person, while the Nationals, Orioles, Red Sox and Rays also have reportedly been interested in Darvish. [Toronto Sun]

Theo happy in Boston: Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein made his first remarks about his name being thrown around in talks about the open Cubs job -- he said he's "really happy to be with the Red Sox." He didn't elaborate much or deny any interest in the Cubs job, but why should he? Leverage is a good thing and there's no reason for Epstein to give that up. [WEEI.com]

Beane leading Cubs' wish list: Cubs owner Tom Ricketts was in San Francisco on Wednesday, while A's general manager Billy Beane was at home in the Bay Area and his team was in Cleveland -- coincidence? [Chicago Sun-Times

Rooftops expected: For the first time in a decade, all the Wrigley rooftops around the Cubs' home park have been inspected by city health officials. [Chicago Tribune]

Measuring power: An interesting article on FanGraphs.com asking the best way to measure power -- because what exactly are we talking about when we talk about power? It's more than just homers, but shouldn't homers count more? Anyway, the result is a stat called wXB -- or weighted extra bases. However, the problem with this is that are triples really a measure of power? You're not going to find anyone who says Dexter Fowler has more power than David Ortiz, but you wouldn't be surprised to learn Fowler has more triples than Ortiz.

Strasmas returns: Not that it's any surprise, but ticket prices have gone through the roof for the Stephen Strasburg's "Strasurrection" start on Sept. 6. [Washington Post]

Cards want to extend Berkman: The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice told a St. Louis radio station that the Cardinals approached Lance Berkman about a contract extension in July and the 35-year-old "very much wants to stay" in St. Louis. However, the fact he didn't sign an extension implies Berkman will at least test the free agent waters. [NBC Sports]

Phillies doomed: The Phillies are a favorite for the World Series this season, but enjoy it now, Phillies fans. Grantland.com's Rany Jazayerli writes that the team isn't built for the long haul, as the team is saddled with bloated contracts and aging players. A really interesting read.

Moose is loose: Royals rookie Mike Moustakas has found his groove. After starting his career hitting .182, he's raised his average to .232 with a 14-game hitting streak. [MLB.com]

Movie time for A's: Several A's say they're curious to see Moneyball when it premiers later this month. [Baseball Prospectus]

Bay to center? Could the Mets move Jason Bay to center field in 2012? That's one of the things the team is considering, even though it seems like it would certainly weaken the team's outfield defense. But hey, the guy is owed a ton of money, so he'd have to be put somewhere. The move would also allow Daniel Murphy's bat to get in the lineup in left, with Lucas Duda in right. Of course, Murphy wasn't able to play left in 2009, so I'm not exactly sure why he would be able to now. [New York Daily News]

Pujols teases fan: A good friend of mine can't stand Albert Pujols -- when 60 Minutes did the feature about all his charitable work, my friend wasn't impressed. He once had a to do a story on Pujols, who blew him off. He went back the next day, and Pujols was a jerk to him again. So I'm guessing he'll like this story about Pujols taunting a Brewer fan. [Big League Stew]

Quentin's return uncertain: White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but he said he's unsure if he'll be ready to play by then. He went on the disabled list for a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder Saturday, but hadn't played since Aug. 20. [Chicago Tribune]

Uehara's option vests: When Rangers reliever Koji Uehara appeared in his 55th game of the season on Wednesday, his $4 million option for 2012 vested. [MLBTradeRumors.com]

More Garfoose: Not to overload you with Dirk Hayhurst stuff, but some might find this interesting -- the recently released pitcher is auctioning off some of his game-used gear for charity. [DirkHayhurst.com]

40th anniversary: On Sept. 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team in Major League history to field an all-minority lineup, with Dock Ellis taking the mound. [The Hardball Times]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:18 am
Edited on: September 1, 2011 1:22 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pitchers muscle up



By Matt Snyder

Derek Lowe, Braves/Jake Westbrook, Cardinals. Lowe worked six innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out six in the Braves' 3-1 win. He even helped set up rookie sensation Craig Kimbrel for his record-setting 41st save. But none of that is why Lowe is here. We don't put run-of-the-mill quality starts in the "up" section. Pitchers hitting bombs does get our attention, though, and Lowe hit his first career home run. Westbrook decided to outdo Lowe, however, as he also hit his first career homer -- it's just that Westbrook's was a grand slam, helping to propel his Cardinals to an 8-3 win over the division-leading Brewers.

Jack Hannahan, Indians. Hannahan hit two solo home runs to help get the Indians to extra innings knotted at 3-3 with the A's. He then came through with an RBI single to end the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 16th inning. The win moved the Indians back into second place and kept them within 5 1/2 games of the Tigers -- who came through with a win after an eighth-inning rally.

Madison Bumgarner, Giants. The Giants badly needed someone to step up. They had lost four of six games to the two worst teams in the National League and had fallen to six games behind the upstart Diamondbacks in the NL West. Bumgarner stepped up. His performance shouldn't be all that surprising, because when he's good, he's as good as anyone in the game. Still, he's been inconsistent this season, so you never know. But Wednesday's effort was a beauty. He tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in eight shutout innings as the Giants won 4-0 to keep pace with the D-Backs -- who won their ninth straight.



Alexi Ogando, Rangers. In July, Ogando's first-half performance got him to the All-Star Game in Phoenix. Come September, he may be out of the Rangers' rotation. Ogando couldn't even get through the third inning during Texas' 4-1 loss to the Rays Wednesday. He allowed five hits, two walks and three earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings, pushing his August ERA to over 7.00. And Scott Feldman is waiting in the wings in case manager Ron Washington wants to bump Ogando.

Jake Peavy's 1st inning, White Sox. The White Sox are trying to chase down the Tigers in the AL Central and have a decent-sized gap, so every game is of vast importance at this point. Wednesday, Peavy coughed up six runs in the top of the first inning to the Twins and the White Sox lost 7-6. Meanwhile, the White Sox fell to third place and are six games out.

The Orioles. Maybe the "Man in White" traveled to Baltimore? The Blue Jays thoroughly dominated the Orioles in every facet of the game Wednesday in a 13-0 victory. The Jays pounded 20 hits -- 10 of which were of the extra-base variety -- including Jose Bautista's major-league leading 39th bomb. The Orioles didn't just limit their ineptitude to the mound, though, as they were equally futile in the batter's box. Henderson Alvarez threw eight shutout innings for the Blue Jays and Rommie Lewis closed the Orioles down in the ninth. They only managed five baserunners all game.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 31, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Rangers acquire Gonzalez, Treanor

By Matt Snyder

The Rangers have added another bullpen arm from the Orioles. Just about a month after getting Koji Uehara to bolster the back-end of the bullpen, the Rangers have dipped into the Baltimore 'pen again, this time grabbing left-hander Mike Gonzalez. The Orioles get a player to be named later in return, the club announced Wednesday. The Baltimore Sun reports that the player will be Pedro Strop.

Also, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Rangers have acquired catcher Matt Treanor from the Royals for cash.

Uehara, 36, has been pretty bad since the trade. He has a 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings, after posting a 1.72 ERA in 47 innings pre-trade. Though he's a right-hander, it's possible his shortcomings since the deal pushed the Rangers to pursue another option to help provide a better bridge to Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz. If nothing else, adding Gonzalez just provides more depth.

Gonzalez, 33, has a 4.27 ERA and 1.38 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings this season. He's never been to the playoffs and finishing five games out with the 2007 Braves was the closest he's ever been. Now Gonzalez is a member of a first place team on August 31 and -- by virtue of being added before September -- is eligible to be on the postseason roster.

Treanor, 35, is hitting .226/.351/.306 in the bigs this season, but he has been on the disabled list since late July with a concussion.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Orioles president MacPhail expected to resign

MacPhailBy Evan Brunell

Orioles president of baseball operations and de facto GM Andy MacPhail is expected to resign at the end of the year, two high-ranking team officials told USA Today.

MacPhail, who has been in his position since 2007, took the team over with more autonomous control of the team than any other GM had under owner Peter Angelos, but despite early progress, was unable to turn the team around, which is a major reason for the parting. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler says that MacPhail had been expected to resign or be fired all season, with Angelos and MacPhail fed up with each other.

"Let's just get to the end of the year," MacPhail said when asked about his future, "and see what unfolds. We'll see. We'll see. I know there's a lot of speculation, but that comes with the territory."

Manager Buck Showalter, who is believed to have a significant say in who takes over, is not interested in the job for himself.

"You hear all kinds of things,'' Showalter said. "I just hope for the best for Andy. This is not one person's fault. You can't be this bad, for this long, without multiple reasons.''

Baltimore will register its 14th straight losing season by season's end, not what MacPhail envisioned when he took over the job. Building around young pitching, the Orioles were a team to watch over the last few years but their most heralded pitching prospects -- as well as hitting -- have stalled out as of late. Brian Matusz and Nick Markakis, just to name two, have regressed.

MacPhail won two World Series as the GM of the Twins (1987, 1991) and oversaw the Cubs from 1994 to 2006. Chicago replaced MacPhail with Jim Hendry, who was fired earlier this month. The son of former AL president (and Orioles GM) Lee MacPhail has been considered a potential replacement for Bud Selig whenever the commissioner chooses to step down.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 11:35 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: White Sox youth movement



By Matt Snyder


Dayan Viciedo/Tyler Flowers, White Sox. The White Sox moved one game over .500 and to within six of the AL Central-leading Tigers with a 9-3 win over the Mariners Sunday, and the young guys were front and center. White Sox fans have clamored for Viciedo's promotion from the minors all summer and he finally made it to the show Sunday. In his first start of the 2011 season, Viciedo hit a three-run home run to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. Later, 25-year-old catcher Flowers must have felt a bit left out, because he clubbed a grand slam in the sixth inning, as part of a six-run rally that would put the game away.

Zack Greinke, Brewers. Greinke worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits and one run while striking out seven in the Brewers 3-2 win over the Cubs, but that's not why he's here. No, Greinke's getting the nod as an "up" for stealing a base. It was a straight steal, too. Meanwhile, the Brewers are actually only five games behind the Phillies for the best record in baseball. It's been quite the amazing run (27-5 in last 32 games).

Zach Britton, Orioles. Britton has shown flashes of brilliance this year as a rookie, giving the Orioles hope their future ace is soon to emerge, and Sunday he put forth one of his strongest efforts of the season. The young left-hander threw seven shutout innings against the powerful Yankees, allowing only four hits and a walk in a 2-0 Orioles victory. It marked the sixth straight win for the Orioles, though that streak would stop with the nightcap. Still, a very solid effort for Britton.



Jered Weaver, Angels. The Angels went all in during a three-game visit to Texas this weekend, as they brought Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver to the hill on short rest. Santana fared well enough to get the Angels a win Saturday -- along with some offensive help -- but Sunday Weaver did not. The Rangers' offense pegged him for eight hits and seven earned runs in six-plus innings. Weaver even walked four guys, so his command may have been affected by the short rest. Also, a lot of damage was done in the seventh, when Weaver was pulled before recording an out and was charged with his last three earned runs. So it's possible his stamina was also affected by the short rest. Whatever the reason, the Angels lost 9-5 and fell to three games out in the AL West.

Brad Penny, Tigers.
Maybe all the cussing is getting him off his game? Penny was roughed up by a Twins lineup that was missing Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Plus, they just traded Jim Thome. Still, in five innings Penny gave up eight hits and seven runs en route to an 11-4 loss.

Eli Whiteside, Giants. How much do the Giants continue to miss Buster Posey? The offense has been an issue all season, as the Giants rank dead last in the NL in runs scored. Sunday, catcher Whiteside went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. To make matters worse, Whiteside could have made it to first base on a wild pitch on his fourth strikeout but didn't run (Extra Baggs). When you lose 4-3 in extra innings to the hapless Astros, that's a tough pill to swallow.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2011 11:43 pm
 

Showalter, Yankees at odds again

By Matt Snyder

With Hurricane Irene doing her part in ruining some plans from the past several days, baseball scheduling on the East Coast has been mangled a bit. Included is the Orioles-Yankees series in Baltimore. It was initially scheduled to be a five-game series from Friday through Monday -- the latter of which due to a previous rainout. With the torrential rains expected Saturday and possibly Sunday, the Yankees wanted to play a doubleheader Friday to make sure there wouldn't be need for any makeup games. The Orioles refused, citing shock over Mike Flanagan's recent death as one of the reasons.

Because of this, the Yankees will now have to travel to Baltimore for a single makeup game on September 8, which was their only scheduled off-day between now and September 15. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi and player representative Curtis Granderson were all frustrated that there wouldn't be a doubleheader on Friday and let their feelings known in the media -- though, in fairness, none of them specifically mentioned Flanagan's death. Cashman reportedly might complain to the office of the commissioner.

This doesn't sit well with Showalter, who managed the Yankees from 1992-1995 before being fired.

“First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny quite frankly,” Showalter said (Britt's Bird Watch). “That didn’t sit with me very well. I can tell you that. We didn’t say much -- I think we had an April rainout there -- and they just told us when we were playing. We were Ok with that. Like I told you the other day, you tell us when we’re playing, we’ll play. The whole scheme of life, the things that really consume you. We understand that sometimes our opinions on things are not relevant. They come to me when there is two options and talk about it from a baseball standpoint. Every club does that. But some of it kind of has a feeling of [hypocrisy]. I don’t know. I don’t dwell on it. Their opinion on what the Baltimore Orioles should do for their fans and for their organization isn’t really that relevant to me personally. I can tell you that. We’ll do what’s best for our fans and for our organization and we expect it back that they’re going to do the same on their side.”

This isn't the first time Showalter has been critical of the Yankees and it likely won't be the last.

The Orioles and Yankees play a doubleheader Sunday.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 2:15 am
 

Verlander's win total depends on number of starts

Justin VerlanderBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Justin Verlander's most impressive stat on Sunday was his 20th victory, a mark no other pitcher has reached this season and just three pitchers reached a season ago.

The Tigers' right-hander now has his first 20-win season in his career, after finishing with 19 in 2009, tied for the most in baseball. As Danny Knobler pointed out, he's the first to reach the 20-win barrier before August since Curt Schilling did it in 2002. Schilling finished that season with 23 wins -- one behind teammate Randy Johnson for the most in baseball that year.

How wins will Verlander have when the 2011 season is done?

At this point -- when he's won 16 of his last 18 starts and eight straight -- it seems like he'll win either 25 or 26 games, depending on how many more starts he makes. The Tigers have 30 more games and two days off in the regular season, so they have the option of giving him either five or six more starts in the season. 

Verlander will get an extra day of rest this week, pitching Friday against the White Sox instead of in five days in a makeup game against the Royals on Thursday. He will then start at Cleveland in the day game on Sept. 7. After that, the Tigers have options because of their first off day of the month, Sept. 8. 

If the Tigers go with pitching Verlander every five days from there, he would make six starts in the last month, his final start in the next-to-last day of the season, Sept. 27 against the Indians. But that option would mean Verlander wouldn't be ready to pitch in the playoffs until Game 3 of the ALDS on Oct. 3 with an extra day's rest because of the off day on Oct. 2. The team could move him up to pitch on short rest in Game 2 on Oct. 1, but it's not something he's ever done.

What makes more sense is keeping the rotation intact through the first off day, pitching Verlander on Sept. 13 at the White Sox and Sept. 18 at Oakland, before the team's second off day on Sept. 19. From there, they would be able to take stock of the AL Central race and whether they would want Verlander to make one more start or two more starts. After Verlander's victory and the Indians' victory over the Royals and Chicago's win in Seattle, the Tigers led the Indians by 6 1/2 games and the White Sox by 7.

If on the 19th the Tigers think the race will be close, they can pitch Verlander on five days rest and get him a start Sept. 23 against the Orioles and then the last day of the season, on Sept. 28 against Cleveland. If the team does go that route, they will have until the last day to decide if Verlander is needed. If he isn't, he can rest on the last day of the season and let Verlander start Game 1 of the ALDS. If he pitches on Sept. 28, he would be ready for Game 3. That's similar to what the Tigers did in 2009, when they lost three games in a row leading into the last day of the season, needing a Verlander victory to advance to a tie-breaker game with the Twins for the final playoff spot. Verlander got that win, but the Tigers lost the play-in game to Minnesota.

However, if on the 19th it appears the Tigers have it wrapped up, they can keep the rotation intact and have him pitch Sept. 24 against the Orioles and then start Game 1 with an extra day of rest, which is probably the scenario that everyone in Detroit would prefer, even if it means Verlander wins just 25 games instead of 26.

Whatever the choice is, he'll face the same teams -- the White Sox, Indians, A's and Orioles, the difference is if he faces the Indians once or twice. Against those four teams, Verlander is 6-2 with a 3.36 ERA. The White Sox have done most of the damage to him, scoring 13 earned runs in 29 innings over four starts, although Verlander was 3-1 against Chicago. The A's beat Verlander on April 16, getting four runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings in Oakland. He is 2-0 against the Indians in two starts this season and also defeatd the Orioles in his lone start against Baltimore.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com