This, that and the other

The Orioles played 27 consecutive games before finding an open date on their schedule today that hadn't been filled because of a previous postponement.

Not that anybody's counting.

Well, manager Buck Showalter recited the number a few times yesterday and shook his head. His players need a break.

If you play long enough, everyone will get on some sort of a roll. Or so it seems.

Vladimir Guerrero is 17-for-38 with four doubles, a home run and six multi-hit games in his last 10 games. Matt Wieters has homered in three straight games and has RBIs in his last four. Jeremy Guthrie has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last five starts. The bullpen has surrendered three earned runs in its last 31 1/3 innings, with 13 hits, 11 walks and 25 strikeouts.

Remember when Guerrero was an automatic out, Wieters didn't hit for power, Guthrie couldn't get on any sort of a roll and the bullpen couldn't be trusted?

Showalter sat in his office Tuesday afternoon and mentioned how nice it would be if Wieters could hit 20 home runs this season. Wieters hit one Tuesday night and another one last night to reach 20.

Is Wieters going to make me reconsider my MVO ballot?

Guthrie didn't go to a three-ball count to any batter over the first three innings last night, then walked two of the first three Rays he faced in the fourth. Both runners scored on Matt Joyce's double.

Then he retired the next seven batters.

More teams will be interested in Guthrie this winter than during the non-waiver trade deadline, which is why president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail held onto him. It will be a larger pool, not just a few contenders. That doesn't mean Guthrie will be dealt, but the possibility exists.

The Orioles will hire a new bullpen coach over the winter. They don't intend on joining the bullpen-coach-of-the-month club again in 2012.

One possible candidate is former reliever Jeff Nelson, who grew up in Catonsville and currently lives in Sykesville. He's expressed interest in the job.

Do the Red Sox really have every member of their 40-man roster on their expanded September roster? Are they stacked in the dugout like firewood?

Mark Reynolds is in an 0-for-20 slump.

It was good to see Chris Davis go to the opposite field on that three-run homer in the fourth inning that gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead. Nobody doubts his raw power, but his hitting mechanics have come into question.

Driving the ball over the left field fence also was an indication that his right shoulder is feeling better.

Former Orioles reliever Koji Uehara has been a major disappointment in Texas. He's 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in 13 appearances with the Rangers and has allowed five home runs in 13 2/3 innings. His splitter lacks the bite it had in Baltimore.

Uehara, who is under contract for next season, is performing mop-up duty, and there are whispers that he might be left off the playoff roster if the Rangers make it.

Teams are batting .329 with runners in scoring position against Tommy Hunter, who starts tomorrow night. He's 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA in two games against the Angels this season - one start, one relief appearance totaling seven innings. He's allowed eight earned runs and 13 hits, walked one and struck out none.

The Angels are starting Dan Haren, who's 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA this month. He's 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in five career starts at Camden Yards.

After arriving at Camden Yards yesterday, I rode the elevator to the press box with one of Tampa Bay's players. He was headed for the basement level, but didn't mind going up two floors. As the doors opened and I stepped out, I wished him luck and told him that a lot of fans here were rooting for the Rays. He thanked me and said he really appreciated it.

I had absolutely no idea who I was talking to, but nice guy.

blog comments powered by Disqus




Rocket Fuel