Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great Scott (Or, Walk This Way)

I didn't have access to a computer during the Orioles-Mariners game so here are some random thoughts:

-Adam Loewen didn't pitch to well. His stuff looked good (there was good movement on the fastball and breaking ball) but his control (walked 3) and command (threw two pitches right down the middle on the two HR) were lacking. The 83 pitches in 4 2/3 innings isn't a great sign, but for his first major league start in 11 months, it could have been worse.

-The offense was very patient (9 walks) and added 9 hits to score 6 runs. They didn't hit much all that hard, but they did what they needed to do to get the comeback win. The team now has 18 walks in 4 games (4.5 BB/G) which is a big improvement over last year (3 BB/G). Let's hope they keep it up, as the hits won't keep dropping in.

-Nick Markakis picked up a hit and a walk at the plate, but still seems a little off his game. He has started slowly in the past two years, so it's not a big concern, but it would be nice if he got into a groove with the rest of the offense.

-I don't know why Juan Samuel sent Brain Roberts home on the errant pick-off throw to second base from Sean Green. With the middle of the order coming up and only one out, Roberts should have stayed at third.

-Matt Albers looked good once again. He's a guy that could be very important to the team if the starters continue not being able to get to the sixth inning. As a starter pitching in the pen, Albers can pick up 100+ innings in middle relief that would ease a lot of pressure off of the other relievers.

-The Walker-Bradford-Sherrill back end of the pen looks like it could be solid. You can't say that the O's can "make it a 6 inning game", but I feel confident when the team has a lead going into the later innings.

-Seeing Brandon Fahey in there makes me long for the days of the Pelican. Fahey looked really bad at the plate, but made an OK play on that grounder where Beltre over-slid the bag at second base. Nice job by Roberts to keep the tag applied all the way through the play.

-Richie Sexson's (or, as Gary Thorne called him, Sexton) short reprieve from his steep decline ended as he went 0-4 with three K's.

-With Erik Bedard being scratched from his Sunday start with a hip inflammation (Felix Hernandez will move up a spot to take his place) and Adam Jones driving in a couple runs and George Sherrill picking up two saves, the O's are showing the M's who won that off-season trade. I was hoping to see Bedard pitch, but I also wanted an O's win so I'm a little torn about how it feel about the situation.

-The Mariners are 2-3 and the Orioles are 3-1. It's early, but I'm feeling pretty good about my predictions for the two teams. A four game sweep by the Birds would really have me excited.

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