Laying one down and sitting down

I'd be in a miserable mood this morning if the weather wasn't so nice.

Oh wait...

So, to make sure I've got this straight: Garrett Atkins should bunt with runners on first and second. Corey Patterson shouldn't bunt with runners on first and second.

Here's my take: The second inning may seem too early to give up an out, but with Atkins scuffling and the Orioles desperately needing to manufacture runs, I'd have him bunting.

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The same goes for Patterson. Not because you want to take the bat out of his hands, but because every single manager in baseball has one of his best bunters lay one down in the ninth with runners on first and second, no outs and his team trailing by a run.

Are we really debating this point?

You know Nick Markakis will be walked intentionally with first base open. Fine. You've got Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada coming up. Bring it.

A fly ball ties the game. A single could win it. Wigginton's batting .315 with 12 homers and 26 RBIs. Tejada's driven in 19 runs and is clutch in these situations. He lives for them.

My problem is Wigginton swings through a 91 mph fastball for the second out and Tejada hits a one-hopper to second base. Game over.

You can't lose to Kyle Davies. You can't go 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. You can't get swept by the Royals at home, now a distinct possibility with Zack Greinke on the mound tonight.

Any chance the rain picks up?

I hate to keep going back to Saturday's meltdown, but the stain's still there. The Orioles should have won that series. Instead, they haven't won since Friday.

Did I mention that they get Zack Greinke tonight?

At least with Kevin Millwood on the mound, you know the Orioles will score plenty of runs.

Oh wait...

I'm assuming that Lou Montanez will take it all in from the bench, as he does every night.

Montanez hasn't played since May 5. He's 0-for-18 in his last nine games and 1-for-23 in his last 10.

"I don't know what's the most games in a row I've ever played here. I think it's a week," he said. "I've always thought if I was able to play a lot, two weeks in a row, so I could really feel comfortable...

"It's always taken me a longer time to get adjusted to being up here. I've been up and down, and when you come back up, it takes a while for you to get adjusted. For some guys, all it takes is a game or two and they start playing like they were in the minor leagues, but for me, it's taken a longer time to get comfortable and to play like I was in Triple-A.

"I wish I had more games in a row, but now my situation is a little different. I'm the fourth outfielder. But I haven't seen the field in, like, 12 days and it's a little tough. It's an adjustment period for me because I've always been an everyday player throughout the minor leagues and I'm trying to learn this role, which is difficult coming off the bench. Usually, you see a lot of veterans do it because they've been around so long. It's an adjustment period for me - finding a routine, being able to stay sharp. It's something I haven't done before and it's taking me a little bit to learn it.

"I try to do extra hitting. I try to hit off the machine game-time speed. The key is hitting game-time speed, hitting off something that's coming with velocity. You can hit batting practice all day, but when you get to a game-time situation, it's full-speed and I try to simulate that as much as I can."

Montanez said he wasn't on edge as the Orioles deliberated a roster move that eventually sent Nolan Reimold to Triple-A Norfolk.

"Not at all," he said. "I haven't been here much, I haven't done much. I knew I was a perfect candidate to go down, so I wasn't on edge at all. I would be completely understanding if, for some reason, in the next week they call Nolan back up and I go down, because I kind of know the way the situation is."

Montanez no longer feels like the third monkey on Noah's gangplank.

"It's a little bit different now because usually I have to feel like I've really earned it, and this time around I haven't played much and really haven't done anything for me to feel like I'm being screwed," he said. "It's not that way."

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