Playing second-guessing games

Maybe it was a good sign for Orioles manager Dave Trembley that I passed president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail at the bottom of the stairs on my way back up to the press box after the post-game media gathering.

MacPhail wasn't waiting for Trembley in the manager's office.

Reporters are at the point where they're looking for any clues into the organization's thought process regarding Trembley. And we still have how many games left?

Talk about the grind of the season. I didn't think you were supposed to hit a wall until maybe August. I ran face-first into it after the home opener.

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I'll be staying close to the phone today and blah, blah, blah. I'll take my laptop with me if I run errands and blah, blah, blah.

Sorry that this blog is a repeat. You should have checked your local listings.

I don't think the Orioles would make a change after the club flew into Toronto last night, but I'm done submitting my guesses.

For the record, I'm fine with Brad Bergesen starting the eighth inning last night with his pitch count at 80 and 14 consecutive batters going down. I know a few readers questioned that decision.

I'm also fine with Bergesen coming out after the first two batters singled. He had a long wait in the dugout during the bottom of the seventh and the game might have been slipping away. I know a few readers questioned that decision.

How can you bring him back out? How can you take him out? I guess there isn't a universal opinion on that topic.

The key decision, of course, was removing Jason Berken after one batter - though, if he got crushed by the two lefties coming up, some fans would have questioned why a lefty reliever wasn't brought into the game.

Berken's success against lefties made him a fairly logical choice. And there's that whole passing-the-baton thing. Maybe I'll have T-shirts made up.

The Orioles have to decide whether to keep Cla Meredith on the roster. He's 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA - which actually decreased from 5.79 because he let three inherited runners score after replacing Mark Hendrickson. His line stays pretty clean.

(The league average for relievers is 4.16, if you're interested.)

Meredith has allowed 18 hits in 15 innings. He's given up hits in eight straight appearances. He's also surrendered four home runs this season, not good for a ground ball pitcher.

Trembley wouldn't bite when asked if the club needed to reevaluate Meredith, saying only that the ball isn't coming out of the reliever's hand with a lot of sink.

That usually sinks the Orioles in key situations.

Meredith was brought into a tough one Sunday in D.C., rushing to get ready after Alfredo Simon's injury. Josh Willingham launched his fourth pitch for a walk-off home run. And he wasn't warming immediately after Hendrickson entered the game, which I thought was odd if we're playing the matchup game. Hendrickson didn't retire the second lefty and the inning continued.

It wasn't a good night for bullpens. Triple-A Norfolk's Kam Mickolio surrendered a three-run, walk-off home run to Pawtucket's Dusty Brown in a 5-4 loss. Mickolio's ERA ballooned to 8.78.

I bet the Norfolk beat writers aren't staying close to their phones today.

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