No problem with Wiggy as an All-Star

No problem with Wiggy as an All-Star
Ty Wigginton is headed to the All-Star game and I have absolutely no problem with that. To me, it came to three or four O's with a chance to make it. Jason Berken, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Wigginton. Berken may have been most deserving of all, but they just don't pick relievers that are not closers, so that just about eliminated him. For all the good stats Markakis has, the four homers and 27 RBI at the halfway point was just not enough production for him to make it. I know he is...
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Millwood's trade value is dropping

Millwood's trade value is dropping
When Kevin Millwood got off to a solid start this year pitching for the Orioles, that was good to see. It meant he was helping the club, but also boosting his trade value for the trade deadline. A lot has changed since then. Millwood is now struggling badly in the first inning of his starts and that's not the only inning that has been an issue for him. All the key numbers for him are very poor over his last seven starts, capped by his outing today when he gave up five runs in the first...
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Minor league notes on Welty, Mahoney, Hobgood, Mummey and more

Minor league notes on Welty, Mahoney, Hobgood, Mummey and more
One of the hottest bats right now in the O's minors belongs to Frederick Keys right fielder Ronnie Welty. He is batting .429-0-10 during an 11-game batting streak which has featured nine games of two hits or more. Welty has raised his average on the year from .247 to .279 with the hot streak. On the season, the O's 20th-round pick from 2008 is batting .279-9-46. The one stat that is glaring on his record is a whopping 95 strikeouts in 73 games and he leads the Carolina League in that...
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The kid is all right

The kid is all right
Some fans were critical when I wrote last week that Brian Matusz was doing just fine this year and that he was making progress. I wrote that he was holding up well as a young pitcher on the team with the worst record in baseball, especially given his lack of run support and his winless streak dating to April. Don't worry, I won't gloat after Matusz's outing on Sunday at Boston, but I do think I was correct in what I wrote after his last start before Sunday's game. The seven-inning outing...
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Matusz with a gem as O's top Boston, 6-1

Matusz with a gem as O's top Boston, 6-1
Brian Matusz continued his stellar pitching vs. the AL East today and provided the Orioles with a big lift as he pitched the Birds past Boston 6-1 in the series finale at Fenway Park. Matusz also ended a 13-start winless drought and won for the first time since April 18 vs. Oakland. Matusz allowed just two hits over seven innings. He walked three and tied his career-high with eight strikeouts as he threw 111 pitches. Matusz stranded two runners on base in the third and fourth innings. John...
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Encouraging Matusz stat

Encouraging Matusz stat
Watching Brian Matusz pitch out of that second and third, one-out jam in the fourth reminded me that Matusz has held his own this year when pitching versus AL East opponents. He has better numbers within the division than he has overall. Those are the teams he will need to pitch well against moving forward - those Beasts of the East. Coming into this start, Matusz is 1-3, 3.38 in seven starts in 2010 versus the East. He has an ERA of 3.86 in two earlier starts versus Boston. That's a...
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Samuel gets hot

Samuel gets hot
If there is one thing the O's fans like to see out of their team, manager, and players - besides say, wins - it's fire and passion. They got it last night from manager Juan Samuel, during and after the game. Samuel was ejected by home plate ump Mike Everitt in the last of the eighth of Boston's 9-3 win on Saturday. He seemed to tire of his pitchers not getting some strikes called, while Jon Lester was the benefactor of several close strikes. To me, it's part of a bigger picture where...
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Lester better again as Sox top O's

Lester better again as Sox top O's
For the Orioles, spotting Jon Lester a 4-0 lead in the first inning on Saturday made it look like it would be a long night. This time, looks were not deceiving. They got whipped 9-3 by Boston which has taken the first two games in this series and now leads the season series, 6 to 5. Lester gave up just five hits and one run over seven innings. He beat the Orioles again. He is 2-0 in three starts on the season vs. Baltimore and has given up just one run over 19 innings. Lester improved to...
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Down four early vs. Lester (Aberdeen note)

Down four early vs. Lester (Aberdeen note)
Maybe the Orioles have taken this come-from-behind to win thing too far. They spotted Jon Lester a 4-0 lead after one inning and now trail by that margin in the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Even the most loyal fan must be feeling like this one is lost already. The O's have not beaten Lester, who is 11-0, 2.06 in 14 career starts against them and came into this start having pitched 12 scoreless vs. Baltimore already this year. In six starts vs. the Birds since the start of last season,...
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Random takes on Jones, Britton and more

Random takes on Jones, Britton and more
*I am pretty sure this is not necessarily true, but the impression out there seems to be that Adam Jones is running the show and not the other way around. We read and hear things like "the O's met with Adam and asked him to play deeper in the field. They asked him to charge the ball more often." First of all you would hope Jones is taking these "suggestions" to heart, because he doesn't want to become known as the first Gold Glove winner to be considered completely mediocre on defense...
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Close to another minor league no-hitter

Close to another minor league no-hitter
The Orioles have had minor league no-hitters pitched this year by Norfolk's Chris Tillman in April and on Wednesday night by Nate Moreau in his Frederick Keys debut. Friday night, the Aberdeen IronBirds took a no-hitter into the last of the eighth of their game at Hudson Valley, but settled for a one-hitter and 5-0 win over the Renegades. Aberdeen starter Justin Moore, a 20-year-old right-hander, pitched six no-hit innings to get it started. He walked three and fanned two. Then Jason Gurka...
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Tough break for Bergesen as O's lose 3-2 at Fenway

Tough break for Bergesen as O's lose 3-2 at Fenway
What was it Brad Bergesen said in that article I posted earlier today. Something about Rick Kranitz saying he really liked his arm angle during his last start. Tonight Bergesen had a good arm angle and good results. But moments after he left the game he and the O's suffered a tough break. Bergesen gave up a two-out double to Marco Scutaro in a 2-2 tie game in the last of the eighth. The O's then went to the bullpen for Will Ohman and he faced pinch-hitter Daniel Nava. He lifted a high...
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Boston's version of Jeffrey Maier (Markakis goes deep)

Boston's version of Jeffrey Maier (Markakis goes deep)
I hate to even invoke that name in any discussion, ever. But what happened in Boston in the bottom of the second tonight did remind one of that kid who played almost as big a role as Derek Jeter or any Yankee in helping New York beat the O's in the ALCS in 1996. When J.D. Drew homered to left center in the second, a fan seemed to reach over the top of the Green Monster and deflect the ball off the very top of the wall. The umpires ruled home run and Boston leads the game 1-0. Unlike Maier,...
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O's now face tough ten-game road trip

O's now face tough ten-game road trip
Despite last night's dismal O's performance and blowout loss, the club has won five of its last seven games. But that was against the Marlins, Nats and A's. Tonight they begin a ten-game road trip vs. Boston (47-32), Detroit (41-36) and Texas (47-31). Let's see how the O's fare vs. these winning teams. Play anything like they did last night and they will get smoked on this trip. The Orioles are 8-25 vs. the AL East this year. That includes a 5-4 record vs. tonight's opponent, the...
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Bergesen battles to regain form from last season

Bergesen battles to regain form from last season
This time last year, O's pitcher Brad Bergesen was 5-2 with an ERA of 3.53. He was a rookie pitcher on a roll. Now he is 3-4, 6.83 and struggling to find consistent mechanics and solid results. Twice this year he has been sent back to Triple-A to try to find his sinker and iron out his mechanics. Riding the Norfolk-to-Baltimore-and-back shuttle is not what he had in mind for this season. "It's been very tough," Bergesen said. "It's something that I've had to deal with for the first...
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Bell talks about his first Major League game (plus Arrieta and Patterson quotes)

Bell talks about his first Major League game (plus Arrieta and Patterson quotes)
The game was without too much drama, but it was an eventful night for Josh Bell. The 23-year-old third baseman made his Major League debut which included his first hit and his first error in the field during Oakland's 8-1 win over the Orioles on Thursday night. "Amped up a little bit. I didn't think I put that much on it. But, just getting out there was a good thing," Bell said about his fifth-inning throwing error. After ground outs in the second and fifth, Bell singled to left on a...
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A's romp 8-1 over O's in series finale

A's romp 8-1 over O's in series finale
The O's wanted to cap off a good homestand with a win and they also had a chance to win back-to-back series for the first time all year. But Trevor Cahill had other thoughts. He shut down the Birds over seven innings as Oakland beat the Orioles 8-1, in front of 15,712 at Camden Yards on Thursday night. The O's went 5-4 on the homestand and now head to Boston. Cahill, now 8-2, 2.74 gave up just one run on four hits over seven innings, throwing 95 pitches. He shut down an Orioles club that...
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Will the O's get to Cahill?

Will the O's get to Cahill?
The O's offense, one night after scoring nine runs, has a tall order tonight in taking on Trevor Cahill. The A's right-hander is 7-2, 2.88 on the season and over his last eight starts is 6-0, 2.24. So it's a hot pitcher vs. a team that has scored 48 runs during the eight games on this homestand. Cahill's winning percentage of .778 is 4th best in the AL and he is 2-1, 2.84 in three career starts vs. the Orioles. They did do something vs. Cahill that no team had done all year - score a run...
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Minor league notes on Hobgood, Snyder & Moreau

Minor league notes on Hobgood, Snyder & Moreau
Last year's Orioles first-round draft pick, right-hander Matt Hobgood, will make his next start this coming Monday for the Delmarva Shorebirds. Hobgood has been out since June 11 with shoulder soreness. The injury is not serious but since he has missed some time, Hobgood will be on a pitch count and his innings will be limited in that first start back. The 19-year-old is 3-6, 4.48 in 12 starts for Delmarva. Over 64 1/3 innings, he has allowed 63 hits with 30 walks, 42 strikeouts and a .261...
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Pie back in Baltimore for a day at least (MacPhail on Bell's progress)

Pie back in Baltimore for a day at least (MacPhail on Bell's progress)
One reason Josh Bell did join the Orioles today is because the club feels Felix Pie, out since April 15 with a back injury, is just not ready to return yet. Pie has played seven games in the minors with Bowie, Frederick and the Gulf Coast League O's. Pie was in the O's clubhouse today, but not to be activated as he will play at least a few more games in the minors. Pie said today that he will fly to Detroit on Sunday to join the O's for the second leg of their upcoming road trip although...
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