The dropped popup and Bergy quotes

The dropped popup and Bergy quotes
Any Orioles' mistake seems to be costly these days. In the first inning Wednesday, Tampa's Carl Crawford, batting second with one out, hit a popup on the infield. It was right near Cesar Izturis at short. But he never saw the ball. Miguel Tejada, playing third base, thought he heard Izturis calling to make the play. Tejada came over at the last moment and the ball popped out of his glove for an error. Of course, a few batters later Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer and all three runs...
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So it ends

So it ends
For the Orioles a winless first homestand. At least today there was no late-inning, gut-wrenching loss. The drama ended early. It was 6-0 after three and 8-0 after Tampa batted in the fourth. The final was 9-1, Rays. Brad Bergesen got rocked for eight runs in three innings plus. Mike Gonzalez went on the disabled list. The Orioles went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position. They weren't exactly all over the bases today. They were outscored 37 to 15 during the 0-6 homestand and...
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T-Shirt Tuesdays: Who should be featured?

T-Shirt Tuesdays: Who should be featured?
The Orioles honored catcher Matt Wieters last night with the first T-Shirt Tuesday of the 2010 season. I have a feeling most O's fans were pleased with the choice in Wieters for the first round of T-Shirt Tuesdays, and more than 13,000 fans turned out to pick up their Wieters tees. But if you take a look at the O's Promotions schedule, you'll see that there are five more T-Shirt Tuesdays coming up this season. You'll also notice that none of the remaining names have been...
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Bergy getting rocked (updated w-stats)

Bergy getting rocked (updated w-stats)
Brad Bergesen is getting hit hard early today by the Rays, who already lead 6-0 in the third. He has allowed a pair of 400-foot, three-run homers, one to Carlos Pena and one to B.J. Upton. Pena has hit two three-run homers in his last two at bats here in less than 24 hours. Pena's first-inning three-run homer produced three unearned runs after Miguel Tejada dropped a pop up. Through three frames, Bergesen has allowed six runs on five hits. The Rays are 5 for 15 against him with four...
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But on the farm

But on the farm
Since today's game has started so well here today, let's check the minors where two O's affiliates have day games. Delmarva has already beaten Greensboro 9-4 in a game that began at 10:35. The Shorebirds are now 5-2 and had 11 hits. They've had ten or more hits in six games. Towson University product Gary Helmick hit two homers with 5 RBI today and Tyler Kolodny added a two-run shot. Jake Cowan, last year's 10th-round pick, pitched six innings of shuout ball to go to 1 and 0. He...
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Do the O's take enough pitches?

Do the O's take enough pitches?
If you think the Orioles are not taking enough pitches and working the count well right now, you are probably right. As of yesterday, the Orioles as a team saw 3.63 pitches per plate appearance and that ranked next to last in the Majors. They were ahead of only San Francisco at 3.56. Dave Trembley felt the stat gets played up more because the club is losing. He said today he felt the team was doing a better job working the count earlier in games, but was more aggressive at the bat later...
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From bad to worse

From bad to worse
Here is the problem with Orioles baseball right now. You have to play the eighth inning. The Orioles have allowed 11 runs in the 8th this year and from that inning on have been outscored 21 to 5 on the season. That's terrible, right? Who is to blame? Just about everyone. Take a few starters out of the mix, maybe Matt Wieters, but just about everyone else in the clubhouse has had a hand in a 1 and 7 start. The fans are lashing out. Some of the comments we've gotten have never been...
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Post-game notes: O's fall to 1 and 7

Post-game notes:  O's fall to 1 and 7
Going the wrong way: With their latest loss, 8-6 in 10 innings to Tampa, the Orioles fall to 1-7 with five losses in a row. They are off to the worst start since the 0 and 21 season of 1988. The Orioles are winless, 0 and 5, on this opening homestand which ends this afternoon. The O's allowed a season-high eight runs tonight. They allowed five runs in the 8th and three in the 10th. They have been scored on in the 8th or later of every game this year. That's one poor stat: From the...
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In the quiet of the Orioles clubhouse...(with Matusz video)

In the quiet of the Orioles clubhouse...(with Matusz video)
A few players talked about the O's latest loss, 8-6 to Tampa in 10 innings. Matt Albers on what happened in the 10th inning: "I think my mechanics are a little bit off. I walked the first two guys and put myself in a hole. I knew I had to throw a strike 2-1 and 2-2 to Pena. I need to work on a few things to get my sinkerball down. "All the losses sting, but this one, we were up 3-0. Come back and lose it is tough. The game's over so I have to come back and be ready...
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O's lose lead and game vs. Tampa

O's lose lead and game vs. Tampa
The Orioles have lost twice this year when leading after eight innings. Tonight they led 3-0 after seven and lost 8-6 to Tampa in ten innings to fall to 1-7 with five losses in a row. They have lost four games this year when leading after seven innings. Last year the Orioles went 52-5 when leading after seven. Brian Matusz was dominant with a two-hitter and 3-0 lead after seven. But Tampa took the lead with a five-run 8th only to see Luke Scott's pinch, two-run homer in the last of the...
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Different pitcher, similar result (Luke tied it)

Different pitcher, similar result (Luke tied it)
It is not Mike Gonzalez's fault this time. Amazing. Unbelievable, Incredible. Are these guys just cursed? The O's took a 3-0 lead behind a dominant Brian Matusz to the 8th tonight only to give up five runs and fall behind 5-3. This unraveled quickly and a small but boisterous crowd at the Yard dropped the boos on the home team's bullpen. With one out in the 8th, the next two batters reached vs. Matusz on a ground single and bloop. Two hard-hit singles followed as Matusz tried to get...
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Matusz on the mound (with updates)

Matusz on the mound (with updates)
It sure is a joy to watch Brian Matusz pitch. He is making just his 10th Major League start tonight but has the look of someone with much more experience. He works fast, changes speeds and throws strikes. Somewhere, Ray Miller is smiling. He has held the Rays scoreless with just one baserunner (a walk) through three innings. He threw 10 pitches in the first, 19 in the second and just eight, getting three pop ups, in the third. He struck out Evan Longoria on a great changeup in the second....
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Because You Asked - The Wrath of Khan

Because You Asked - The Wrath of Khan
Everybody loves a good sequel. If only there was more than a small handful. The Godfather Part II. Rocky II. Kill Bill Vol. 2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Empire Strikes Back. Aliens. And every single "Because You Asked..." They should have done Cast Away II, where the plane's going down and Tom Hanks is thinking, "Really? Again? Oh come on!" And how could they resist squeezing out one more Police Academy? There were still so many unanswered questions. Speaking of...
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Quick non-AFL check

Quick non-AFL check
Players from the Orioles' organization are spread out beyond Arizona. Lou Montanez has played two games in Puerto Rico, going 3-for-7 with a double, home run, RBI and walk. He's also been hit by a pitch. Busy man. Luis Lebron, added to the 40-man roster yesterday, has pitched in four games in the Dominican. He's tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Radhames Liz has made two starts in the Dominican, allowing one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings....
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Lincecum goes back-to-back

Lincecum goes back-to-back
San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum won another NL Cy Young today, but he also became only the second pitcher to receive fewer first-place votes than another candidate. Lincecum received 11 first-place votes, 12 second-place and nine third. Runner-up Chris Carpenter received nine votes for first, 14 for second and seven for third. St. Louis teammate Adam Wainwright received 12 votes for first, five for second and 15 for third. Javier Vazquez finished fourth, and Dan Haren...
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Revisiting the Steve Johnson roster decision (plus AFL update)

Revisiting the Steve Johnson roster decision (plus AFL update)
Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, said it's "understandable" that so many fans are obsessing over Steve Johnson's exclusion from the 40-man roster. But he also noted during our brief conversation earlier today that Johnson spent the majority of the 2009 season pitching at the Single-A level. The Orioles are counting on other teams passing on the chance to select him in the Rule 5 draft. It might be a different story if Johnson had finished the season at Triple-A Norfolk and...
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Yo, Adrian

Yo, Adrian
If you woke up feeling a little different today, perhaps a little more energized, it's because free agency has officially started. It's not too late to rush out and buy a cake. You should have gone to sleep earlier so today would arrive faster. Sort of like Christmas. I'm not quite as pumped about it. The rumor mill spins out of control and the Orioles will be linked to just about every player on the market. I find it more annoying than anything else, and I'm not alone. The Orioles'...
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No runs, no hits...one Erik?

No runs, no hits...one Erik?
ESPN's Keith Law posted his top 50 free agents, which you can read by clicking here (you need to be an insider). The top three shouldn't surprise you: Matt Holiday, Jason Bay and John Lackey. Law ranks third baseman Adrian Beltre at No. 27, with the following comment: The last time Beltre entered his walk year, he had a career season, with 48 home runs and a .388 OBP in 2004, levels he had never seen before and wouldn't see during the course of his five-year contract with Seattle. This...
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Roster move

Roster move
The Orioles have claimed catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds and designated pitcher Chris Waters for assignment. Tatum, 26, batted .239 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 64 games at Triple-A Louisville. He appeared in 26 games with the Reds and went 11-for-68 (.162) with one homer and six RBIs. Tatum is a former third-round pick who will compete for a backup spot in spring training. Baseball America rated him as the best defensive catcher in the Reds' system in...
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Born to blog, and to update Bergy

Born to blog, and to update Bergy
My ears are still ringing from the Springsteen concert last night, so I'm having trouble hearing this blog. At least I still have my voice, though I tried my hardest to destroy it during Thunder Road. There's nothing like a 3 ½-hour show from The Boss to leave you exhilarated and drained at the same time. I could have sprinted all the way back to my car, but I would have collapsed on the hood and slept for days. (And the only redemption I can offer is beneath this dirty...
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