Cleat Geeks

Orioles Bird Feed May 4-12

There are some signs of life, finally!

May 4 Lost to A’s 6-4

May 5 Lost to A’s 2-0

May 6 Lost to A’s 2-1

May 7 Off

May 8 Lost to Royals 15-7

May 9 Beat Royals 5-3

May 10 Beat Royals 11-6

May 11 Beat Rays 9-4

May 12 Beat Rays 6-3 Game 1

May 12 Lost to Rays 10-3 Game 2

There are some good signs. Manny is out of his mind at present including average .351; Home Runs 13; RBI 36; .676 Slugging and 52 Hits.

Schoop and Trumbo are back and hitting the ball well. Mancini is getting hits in bunches too.

Pitching continues to be a problem and Orioles are getting crushed in giving up first inning runs. This has to improve soon!

Again, some signs of hope so let’s see what the next week brings.

Go O’s

 

TK

Orioles Bird Feed

I wish I had better news to report-not the case thus far in 2018 season!

April 26 Lost to Rays 9-5

April 27 Beat Tigers 6-0

April 28 Lost to Tigers 9-5

April 29 Beat Tigers 5-3

April 30 Off

May 1 Lost to Angels 3-2

May 2 Lost to Angels 10-7

May 3 Lost to Angels 12-3

Not good, not much to say. Pitching still spotty, team continues to be at or near the bottom of all major offensive statistical categories. Something has to change-soon. Machado Trade Alert has been activated!

 

Orioles Bird Feed (Week Ending 4/25/18)

Well O’s fans, not much has changed! Another rough week causing many more questions and a bit of panic in the first full month of the season.

Here’s the damage:

April 18; Lost to Tigers 6-5

April 19; Lost to Tigers 13-8

April 20; Beat The Indians 3-1

April 21; Lost to Indians 4-0

April 22; Lost to Indians 7-3

April 23; Lost to Indians 2-1

April 24; Rained Out

April 25; Lost to Rays 8-4

So, on April 25, 2018 the team sits at 6-18, 12.5 games out of 1st Place. 1-9 in last 10 games. Yuck!!

Not much to say here! A confluence of poor offense and spotty pitching.

Let’s hope for good things to come (they can’t get much worse).

 

Go O’s

TK

Orioles Bird Feed; Week in Review

Well, let’s get the nasty stuff out of the way, for the week 4/12 to 4/19, 2018

April 12 Off Day

April 13 Lost to Boston 7-3

April 14 Lost to Boston 10-3

April 15 Lost to Boston 3-1

April 16 Postponed for weather

April 17 Lost to Detroit 4-2

April 18 Lost to Detroit 6-5

April 19 Lost to Detroit 13-8

 

 

So, what to say? Sporadic and often missing hitting, spotty and inconsistent pitching, questionable line-ups, primarily leaving Chris Davis in when he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat and bullpen giving up runs by the bunches. I will use the old (and often desperate cliché) “it’s a long season.” At 5-14, it seems a lot longer and more painful.

Until next week, Go O’s ….PLEASE!

 

TK

Orioles Bird Feed; Yanks, Jays & Pitching

The Orioles went into New York (expecting, I believe to be swept) and won 3 of 4. A lot of drama in the series and really, a pleasant and unexpected outcome.

This Week’s Games

April 5th, they beat The Yankees 5-2

April 6th, they won a thriller in 14 innings, thanks to a Pedro Alvarez Grand Slam!

April 7th, they lost 8-3

April 8th, they won another extra inning thriller (in 12) 8-7

3 out of 4 ain’t bad!

They came home to face the Blue Jays, in some rather chilly weather and before very small crowds!

April 9th, The O’s lost 7-1, rough game all around in front of less than 8,000 fans

April 10th, they lost 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel

April 11th, The O’s won 5-3

Injury Updates

Mancini is hitting lasers right at people, his luck will change. Chris Davis is showing some signs of life as is Schoop, Machado and Jones. Trumbo’s rehab assignment was halted due to a flare up of leg issue. We should know more about that next week.

Weekly Updates

The starting pitching has been on and off, as has the bullpen. Both need to improve and offer a more consistent effort for this team will compete.

Now an off day then a four game series starts in Boston. Perhaps Boston is weary after their bench clearing disagreement with The Yankees earlier in the week. Couldn’t happen to two better teams!

Until next week…Go O’s!

 

TK

Orioles Bird Feed-Starving After Opening Day!

All the drama and passion of a late inning Opening Day extra-inning victory in Baltimore has turned to gloom, albeit week 1 of a LONG season!

As the Oriole’s now look at a 5 game losing streak after being swept in Houston, the serious questions have started. They are including, but not limited to, the following:

Is Chris Davis still a MLB hitter, much less a leadoff hitter?

Is the pitching staff really improved (still waiting on Cobb arrival)?

How can we account for the “slow start”?

Image result for schoop orioles

Photo by; NBC Sports

There are a few (very few) early bright spots:

Schoop has 8 hits and is seeing the ball well although just 1 HR and 1 RBI

Machado and Jones have had their moments but are still chasing wild pitches

Those are a few and we will add Bundy on Opening Day!

 

Now, we have Rasmus and Davis at a combined 2 for 35! No need to elaborate on that stat. UGLY!

In the interest of clichés like “a long season” and “there’s still plenty of time”, I won’t continue the onslaught. However, week 1 has caused us to really think! Is this truly a “slow start” or, is this The 2018 Baltimore Orioles?

Until next week! Go O’s (please)!

 

TK

Orioles Bird Feed-Opening Day Drama!

After a long and “extended” Winter, baseball is back in Baltimore!

I was able to attend the game with the fine folks in Section 228.

Image result for dylan bundy 2018

Photo by; Boston Herald

Excellent outing by Dylan Bundy. His pitches were “popping” and he seemed to have pretty good control, over all. The Orioles, however, chased one bad curve ball after another in the early innings. The leadoff experiment with Chris Davis goes against all baseball logic and I hope it is short-lived. He still looks at strikes and wildly swings at balls from time to time.

Case in point, he led off game with an out. Machado doubled. That’s a wasted run.

Defensively, Gentry’s catch early in the game basically stole a home run. Beautiful to watch.

Bundy threw 7 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 7.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited and some to still be anxious about. The bullpen made things interesting, but, when all was said and done, Adam Jones walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 11th gave The Orioles the win, and a 1-0 start.

Until next week, Go O’s!

TK

Baltimore Bird Feed; Contend Or Frustration in 2018?

For many Orioles fans, this has been a painful year plus. With a fizzle to the end of 2017 to a relatively dormant off-season from Front Office, many were left to wonder what the future would hold?

In the last few weeks and months, there have been some signs of “improvement.” The recent addition of Alex Cobb was a pivotal move in a rotation that desperately needs help. If he can muster 12-13 wins, that could be the difference between contention and frustration.

Image result for alex cobb

Photo by; MLB.com

There are many bright spots on this team, some short term and some potentially long term. The addition of Andrew Cashner certainly bolsters the rotation, though contrarians question his true value. Gausman and Bundy need to keep progressing and Tillman simply needs to return to form. If all that happens, this staff will keep the team competitive!

On the offensive side, Beckham gave the team a spark last season and is a dynamic talent, when in prime form. Schoop is one of the best at his position, Machado is obviously a marquee talent and will likely end his tenure this season in Baltimore. Mancini, Jones, Trumbo, Davis, the addition of Rasmus (although Walker would have been my choice) and others make for a solid line-up.

We are in a division that added both Stanton (NYY) and Martinez (Red Sox) and those teams continue with solid pitching. So, factoring in the changes these teams made, can The Orioles compete?

I will say this. I have doubted the Orioles for three straight seasons. I will not do that in 2018.

 

We’ll talk next week. Until then, Go O’s!

TK

Buck and the Big One

We talk alot in every sport about players and coaches and managers who just can’t seem to win, or even get to “The Big One.” Football has the Bengals and Marvin Lewis, college basketball has Bob Huggins when he was with both the Bearcats and now the Mountainers. Baseball has a guy I would have never expected. A man that when I watch him on television I think; smart, prepared, disciplined not “can’t win the big one.” But the numbers say Buck Showalter can’t.

When looking at these stats, I honestly had to do a double take to make sure what I was reading was correct. Showalter ranks second all time in managerial wins without a World Series appearance. Number one belongs to Gene Mauch who over 28 seasons from 1960-1987 amassed 1,902 victories to Showalter’s current mark of 1,429. Buck passed Jimmy Dikes this past season to own sole possession of second place in a category no manager of any sport wants.

Not only is Showalter smart, prepared and disciplined, but let’s add optimistic to the list. In an interview he did with Bob Klapisch of the Bergen County New Jersey Record, Buck was quick to point out how such experts such as Baseball Perspectives, who predict his Orioles to finish last in the Ultra competitive Americian League East in 2017 also had his team finishing last in the same division last year. A prediction that did not come true as his Orioles were the American League Wild Card representative winning 89 regular season games along the way. They only played one post season game, a heart breaking loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. But, it was more than the so-called experts predicted.

Buck Showalter, as the manager, can only work with the players on his roster. But he has had some talented rosters and managed some talented players while with the Yankees, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and currently the Orioles. In fact, this years roster contains 5 players who last year hit 20 or more home runs in; Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop. Consequently, they also boast the starting rotation that Baseball Perspectus will give up the most runs than any other team in baseball in the 2017 season.

All things considered, does that make him a successful manager? Is it enough for a manager to take the players given to him and overachieve with them? Or is it a managers job to take those same players and win a World Series?

Showalter is 60 years old and told Klapish, “I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” when asked about his manigerial career. He does have two more years left on his current Oriole contract. Will that be the end of his storied managerial career? And if so, should he be considered for the Hall of Fame? Do you have to at least make it to the World Series to be able to make it to the Hall of Fame?

The Rookie Makes it All “Wright”

Have you ever been on the side of the road, frustrated, hot and trying to change you tire on your car? Who needs AAA roadside service when you got guys like Mike Wright in the world?

You may not know much about Baltimore Orioles rookie pitcher Mike Wright, but you should know this: He’s a nice guy.mikeWright1
Wright, a 25-year-old from South Carolina, has pitched in nine games this season for the Orioles. He’s 2-4 with a 5.45 ERA, not exactly headline stuff in what’s been dubbed “The Year of the Prospect” in MLB. But Wright is earning headlines and nice-guy points for what he did earlier this week.

After Sunday’s game at Camden Yards, Wright was walking home when he came across a stranded motorist who was having a hard time fixing a flat fire. According to the Baltimore Sun, Wright jumped in and offered to help.

Kansas City Royals at Washington Nationals“He was there trying to crank it up and he was obviously struggling,” Wright said. “I went down there and helped him jack it up, helped him loosen up a few bolts. It just took about 20 minutes.”
It’s a nice thing to do, whether you’re an MLB pitcher or a regular ol’ driver on the freeway coming home from your job. (Props to those people too). But then Wright took things a step further.

“He was obviously having a bad day so after I helped him fix it, I told him he could come to a game whenever he wanted so he’s coming to the game [Tuesday],” Wright said. “I left him tickets, so hopefully him and his girlfriend can enjoy the game.”

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