Friday, July 11, 2008

O's-Blue Jays, Tied For Last

The O's of the last ten years are back - poor starting pitching; good starting pitching and the bullpen imploding; defensive miscues; lack of timely hitting; giving away leads; poor baserunning.

July 8th: O's - 6, Jays - 7

The Good: Aubrey Huff homered in helping the team build a 6-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.

The Bad: Daniel Cabrera walked 4 and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits to give back part of the lead; Dennis Sarfate walked a pair and gave up 2 runs while only getting one out to erase the remainder of the lead; with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ramon made a throwing error on a steal attempt by Alex Rios and Freddie Bynum (in at short after Fahey was pinch hit for) let a ball go through his legs allowing Rios to score the winning run - JJ was charged with the loss, despite not pitching terribly (he did walk two though).

July 9th: O's - 8, Jays - 9

The Good: After falling behind 8-1, the offense stormed all the way back to make it 8-7 with a six run sixth capped by an Adam Jones three-run homer (just his fifth of the year); down 9-7 in the ninth, Nick Markakis hit a two-out 3-2 pitch out to deep center off of BJ Ryan - the O's didn't complete the comeback, but it was a nice hit.

The Bad: Garrett Olson got lit up for 7 in the fourth after pitching three scoreless innings; more bad baserunning as Roberts got picked off and later, with the O's down two, Aubrey Huff got "thrown out" at the plate when he didn't slide (replays appeared to show that Huff was never actually tagged, but he should have slid anyway).

July 10th: O's - 5, Jays - 6

The Good: Jeremy Guthrie was the stopper the O's needed, going seven innings and giving up just two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk, with three K's; 5 runs on 9 hits isn't bad either - Nick extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

The Bad: Jim Johnson is seeing his luck even out - he gave up two runs to raise his ERA over 2 for the first time in a while; George Sherrill's mini-collapse continued as he couldn't hold the 5-4 lead in the ninth, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk; Roberts and Markakis got caught stealing / picked-off for the second and third outs of the fifth.

The Blue Jays sweep of the O's drops them to 44-46 and into a tie for last place in the AL East. I think it's entirely possible that they won't be over .500 again this year and, frankly, it may be a good things. This may encourage Andy to trade some players that he might have held on to if the team wasn't too far out of contention. If Huff, Millar, Sherrill, Roberts, and Payton are all traded for prospects and the O's only win 25 more games this year, then I'll actually be pretty happy. That doesn't make it any easier to watch the melt-downs though.

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