RIP if you're a RISP (plus minor league note)

I'm staring at my laptop screen right now and wondering if I should just slam it shut and go back to bed.

The Orioles are making me want to pull the covers over my head. Maybe I'll bring a blanket to the press box.

They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position last night and are 9-for-61 in their last seven games. They couldn't score after loading the bases with no outs. They stranded eight more runners. The rotation has turned in one quality start in the last 12 games.

I'm not a big fan of parades, especially when they start in the bullpen.

The Orioles are a season-worst seven games below .500, and they have another game against the Cardinals tonight and road series coming up against Atlanta, Texas and Boston.

Is everybody happy?

As The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec wrote yesterday, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail contacted J.J. Hardy's agent this week to begin talks on a contract extension.

Better sign Hardy quick before he changes his mind.

(Shameless promo alert: The first 10,000 fans 15 and older attending tonight's game will receive a J.J. Hardy T-Shirt.)

Brad Bergesen retired all nine batters he faced last night in relief of starter Chris Jakubauskas. Should the Orioles give him another shot in the rotation?

Brian Matusz is making his sixth start since coming off the disabled list. He's 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA at home this year. He's 0-4 with a 5.93 ERA in five interleague starts.

Alfredo Simon is available in long relief if Matusz makes an early exit. The Orioles really need the young left-hander to quiet the concerns that have built around him.

For all you Nolan Reimold fans, look for him in tonight's lineup against Cardinals southpaw Jaime Garcia. Luke Scott could probably use another day to recover from his run-in with the left field fence - his right knee and right shoulder, and the right side of his face were sore yesterday - and it's the perfect opportunity to pry Reimold off the bench.

At last, the Orioles are being opposed by a left-handed starter. Who knew that it would be a welcomed sight?

I wouldn't celebrate it, no matter how much you've missed Reimold. Garcia is 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA, 26 walks and 88 strikeouts in 100 innings. He's allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 of his 16 starts. He's thrown two-hit and four-hit shutouts.

He must have been playing a practical joke in that May 28 start in Colorado, when he gave up 11 earned runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings. What a cutup.

"We're going to see a better guy (tonight) - as good if not better," Showalter said.

Showalter made this statement after watching Chris Carpenter go the distance. He wasn't joking.

The Orioles haven't seen much of Garcia. Mark Reynolds is 0-for-2 with a walk. Derrek Lee is 0-for-1. Hardy has walked his only plate appearance.

That's it.

The Orioles have one more game at Camden Yards before heading out of town and not returning until July 14. They'll go on a 10-game road trip and take off three days for the All-Star break.

It would be nice if they could leave on a high note.

It would be nice if they could stop leaving runners in scoring position.

Down on the farm, Ryan Adams delivered the game-winning double last night in Triple-A Norfolk's 2-1 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Adams had been 4-for-31 since rejoining the Tides on June 21, but he collected three hits last night - the last one scoring Josh Bell from first base.

Steve Johnson allowed one run and eight hits in six innings, with one walk and four strikeouts. Jeremy Accardo picked up the win after holding Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to one hit over three scoreless innings.

blog comments powered by Disqus




Rocket Fuel