In a way you have to tip your cap to the Baltimore Orioles’ pitching staff. They held Washington to two runs on Wednesday night, and Washington proceeded to put up 13 in Atlanta last night. But I digress. Speaking of divisional series’, the Boston Red Sox come into Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight for a three-game set.
On paper this series has the potential to be ugly for the home standing Birds. However we’ve seen what they’re capable of doing if their pitching shows up. Not to mention if their hitting isn’t streaky. Series’ against Boston are always tough and challenging. But they also serve as a measuring stick. If the O’s can measure up well over the course of the series, it’ll tell us something.
And by measure up well, I don’t necessarily mean winning games. One would hope that it might include a win or two, however in effect I’m saying that measure up well means not getting bludgeoned. Such is the life of a rebuilding franchise.
The Baltimore Orioles will host the Washington Nationals starting tonight for two games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. That’s right, the Baltimore installment of The Battle of the Beltways is upon us! The teams will play another two-game series next month at Nationals Park. in DC.
Obviously Washington is in contention, and the Orioles are rebuilding. However that aside, is there truly a “rivalry” between these two teams? I would argue no. Between the fan bases and on the business side of things, there certainly is. The MASN dispute is far from over, and the fans all work among one another on a daily basis.
So maybe you have local bragging rights at stake in a sense. However there’s never really been anything that’s created a rivalry on the field. There was the beaning of Manny Machado a few years ago, but that was quickly swept under the rug. Any tension that existed died off quickly.
In order to create an on-field rivalry you need more than just proximity. You need a catalyst. One team winning a game which prevents the other from going to the post season, or something like that. Something that truly creates bad blood. These games are fun, and they allow fans of both teams to take in a game in another park without going to far from home. But that’s about it.
The series opens tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Asher Wojciechowsi gets the start for the Orioles, and Washington is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
The Baltimore Orioles will welcome in the Tampa Rays this evening for the first of what’s now a four-game series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Thus, the second half of the season begins. It’s been said across numerous outlets, however the official midpoint of the season occurred a few weeks ago. So needless to say, teams actually have fewer games left to play than they do already played.
Originally this was a three-game set, but the teams had a rainout at Camden Yards back in May. That game was scheduled to be made up as part of a day/night (split) doubleheader, which will occur tomorrow. If you had tickets to the rained out game on May 6th, they will be honored tomorrow at the 1 PM game. You’ll need a separate ticket to get into the previously scheduled 7 PM night cap. Both teams will also get an additional player that they can add to the roster for the second game.
The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB remain on the all-star break – for today. With the exception of Texas and Houston, who play tonight. But I digress. The second half opens in earnest tomorrow.
I would still question why John Means didn’t get into the All-Star game Tuesday night. It’s not just Means who deserves an explanations to why he didn’t get into the game. Orioles’ fans deserve to know why not one of their players appeared in the game. Yes, they have the worst record in baseball. But Means deserved to be on the roster, and has better numbers than some of the guys who did pitch.
That aside, Tampa comes to town tomorrow to open the unofficial second half of the season. What should the Orioles’ goal be for that second half? It’s too simplistic to say win as many games as they can. That should go without saying. It what goals should they have?
I’ll throw out a few. First off, they need to figure out what they’re doing at the trade deadline at the end of the month. If one or more guys end up getting traded, then the organization needs to figure out who takes their place on the roster. Basically, which prospects will get to come up. If that happens, the organization needs to ensure that they get it right.
Another goal should be to button up defensive miscues. Over the course of the first half several miscues haunted the Orioles in games. In some instances these miscues did cost the Orioles games. In others they piled onto a score that ended up getting out of control. Either way, it needs to stop.
And I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season. The goal is to win more than 47 games (last year’s total). They’re currently at 27; if they can win more than 20 games for the remainder of the season, it’ll have been a success on some level.
Anything on top of that is gravy, folks. Enjoy the last day of the break!
The Baltimore Orioles had one all-star in John Means. And in last night’s All-Star game in Cleveland, he didn’t get into the game. The American League defeated the National League 4-3 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of this. Especially now that there’s nothing at stake in the game – as in it’s an exhibition again – I think that every player on the roster should somehow get into the game. That isn’t a rule, however it’s just how I see things.
As I’ve said before, I think that fans of all teams should have the right to watch the All-Star game and have a member of their team in the game. That means he should play in the game. But ultimately, Means didn’t play. However he was still an all-star. Nothing can take that away from him.
The Baltimore Orioles will be represented by pitcher John Means at tonight’s MLB All-Star game. Means was selected last week as the Orioles’ representative, and will be eligible to pitch in the game. He’ll be out in the bullpen, at least for the beginning.
There are some who decry the rule, however I support the idea that every team has to have a representative on the All-Star team. MLB and the NFL both have this rule, however the NBA and NHL do not. I’ve always believed that fans in every town should have the right to sit down and watch the All-Star game, and have a member of his or her home team on the roster.
Not only that, but each team should be represented in the game. It’s not enough to just have someone on the roster as a token representative. Managers and coaches should find a way to get that guy into the game as well. If that means using a starting pitcher as a match-up reliever, do it. If it means using someone merely as a pinch-runner late in the game, go for it. Fans want to see their players in the game. Find a way to get them in.
Again, there are plenty of folks who disagree with me. Many prefer how the NBA and NHL do things. If you like watching 13-12 hockey games and 180-170 basketball games, be my guest. Furthermore you have to give people a reason to tune in. Sure people want to see the stars, and for sure the stars are there. But the quickest way to get people not to tune in is to not have a member of their team in the game.
The good news is that the game is once again an exhibition. The era of the game deciding home field advantage in the World Series is over. So enjoy the game tonight, Birdland, and riot on John Means!
Today is the first full day of the all-star break for the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of Major League Baseball. Some players and coaches are off at the beach, some the mountains, and some of course are in Cleveland for the all-star game. But needless to say, everyone is dispersed for the next few days. The season resumes on Friday.
The Orioles of course struggled in the first half this year. Nothing that wasn’t expected of course, but it was a constant struggle. However that’s not to say that there weren’t a few bright spots. So…what was the highlight of the first half?
I’ll submit two. First off I’d throw out game two of the season, which was the team’s first victory of 2019. It was also manager Brandon Hyde‘s first win as a major league manager. And the team didn’t forget that, as they gave Hyde a “beer bath” in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse after the game.
That sounds like more of an individual achievement as opposed to a team moment. However the team went out and won the game that day – so in that sense it was a team moment or achievement. But either way it was a big highlight for a young team in the first half of the season.
The second highlight I’d submit the past nine games. In essence the final week-and-a-half or so. The Birds took two-of-three at home from Cleveland, one-of-three from Tampa, and two-of-three from Toronto. That’s 5-4 over that stretch.
That won’t win you any titles. However if you compare it to other stretches during the first half, it’s pretty darned good. Can we say that the 2019 Orioles made a move toward semi-respectability during that stretch? No. The answer to that will come in the second half. But needless to say, it was a nice stretch of games for the O’s.
Any other highlights I’m missing, O’s fans?
As the rest of the league settles in for a healthy slate of afternoon games, the Baltimore Orioles are idle. It’s the first time in my lifetime that I remember them being off on the Fourth of July. But they aren’t the only team who isn’t playing today. There are others.
I suppose that since this year it falls on a Thursday it shouldn’t totally come as a surprise that some teams are idle. However the Orioles are currently in Canada where they’ll open a three-game series tomorrow night at Toronto. Incidentally, Toronto got the luxury of playing a home game today – on the Fourth of July, in Canada. How does that work out?!
However the day off hopefully gives the Orioles, and Orioles fans, the opportunity to reflect on why we celebrate today as a holiday. It’s not just a day off to watch baseball, eat hot dogs, and watch fireworks. It means something.
Americans are some of the folks who fought back against tyranny. The likes of the colonists said no, not on our watch to tyranny. And every generation of Americans since then has reaffirmed that premise. We stand for our country, and against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Well over 200 years after 1776, here we are celebrating yet another Fourth of July. This experiment called America is still going strong. It’s still kind of a thing. And baseball’s just another personification of that, as it.’a our national pastime. May that always be the case.
The Baltimore Orioles open a three-game set against Cleveland this evening. It’s been going on all season long, however of late we’ve seen more and more balls flying out of the park. Unfortunately the majority of them are off of Oriole pitchers.
I’m a rational thinker, so naturally I want to understand why. I suspect that to some degree Oriole pitchers are somewhat predictable. They throw fastballs in fastball counts, and off speed pitches in counts which call for that. However as Buck Showalter said on numerous occasions, there’s no such thing as a fastball count anymore.
But this goes beyond that. Opposing teams are adept at anticipating what Oriole pitchers are going to throw. But they’re also able to anticipate where and when pitchers are going to miss in a fairly adroit manner. If the game situation calls for a slider, they’re fairly confident that the Orioles will dish out a slider. But the scouting report on that specific pitcher indicates that he often misses low on his sliders. So hitters are thinking low, and are ready for the pitch.
And thus far it’s been the opposing team scouting which has been spot on. And it’s killing the Orioles – the home runs, that is. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what they need to do to keep more balls in the park. That’s well above my pay grade. But what I can say is that they need to either try to keep the ball in the park, or figure out how to score more runs. Preferably both, for their sake.
While the Baltimore Orioles have never seemed to do this, yesterday I wrote about how many teams are able to talk umpires into extra replay challenges. And I think this is a bad trend. I always have. Some teams do it more so than do others, however the practice and the allowance thereof cost the Orioles a run yesterday.
This is a practice that’s gone on in Major League Baseball since they instituted instant replay. And I feel it needs to change. And it will – at some point. Once a big market team is on the losing end of it, that is. Once someone goads an umpire into reviewing a call against New York, Boston, Los Angeles, etc and it’s reversed, you might see some changes.
This or once it occurs in the playoffs and costs someone a series and/or shot at a title, you might see some movement. In short, nobody’s losing any sleep over the Orioles surrendering an extra run because something like this occurred, But if it ever happened on a more grandiose level, things could potentially change.