Archive for May, 2012

O's win in 17th for sweep at Fenway, own best record in MLB

May 7, 2012

What a weekend at Fenway for the Birds.

Not only did they complete their first 3-game sweep in Beantown since way back in 1994, but the way they did it on Sunday afternoon was something that O’s fans will never forget.

It took 17 innings, both teams using position players to pitch, a huge relay throw from J.J. Hardy to Matt Wieters, Wieters subsequently blocking the plate and flashing a “got ya” smile, and a 3-run bomb from Adam Jones in the top of the 17th to get it done, but get it done our Birds did.

As a result of the sweep, the O’s now own the Majors’ best record this morning at 19-9. That’s the exact same start they had to the season back in 2005, though we may not want to remind ourselves of that.

That year, of course, the wheels completely fell off after the All-Star break and the Palmeiro/Tejada steroid/B12 scandal.

O’s fans are extremely excited, yet extremely cautious at the same time. We’ve seen them play well in the early part of the year before, only to fall off during the “dog days” of summer.

And even though the bullpen is ridiculously taxed at the worst possible time – coming into a 9-game homestand against the heavy hitting Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees (combined record 52-33), here in Birdland we can’t help but feel good about our team at the moment.

Expectations coming into the season were as low as they had been in years, yet the O’s just keep on winning. After a 5-1 road trip to New York and Boston – a road trip that was “supposed” to expose them as the frauds they were – the sun just seems to be shining a bit brighter in Charm City this morning.

Hopefully O’s fans will get out to see the team this week, and give them a welcome home worthy of the conquerors they were over the past six games.

Pack the Yard, Baltimore.


Bucks wins 1000th, Matusz finally wins, and Johnson finally gets a hit

May 2, 2012

It was a night of milestones in the Bronx for the O’s on Tuesday.

The accomplishments ranged from the dubious to the quite impressive.

First, new Oriole Nick Johnson, after starting his O’s career with an abysmal month of April during which he went o-for-26. He was also hitless through his first two at bats Tuesday, extending the streak to o-for-28.

But then, something (sort of) magical happened. With the O’s leading 4-1 in the top of the sixth, and two runners on, Johnson hit what looked to be a routine pop fly to left field. However, it was anything but routine for Yankee left fielder Eduardo Nunez, who was playing the position for just the second time in his career. Nunez misjudged the ball and it fell to the Yankee Stadium earth without ever touching his glove.

Two runs scored, and Johnson ended up standing on second base.

Alas, the scorekeeper at Yankee stadium was feeling none too generous toward the former pinstriper, denying Johnson of his first hit by charging Nunez with the error.

o-for-29 it was.

Undeterred, Johnson stepped to the plate in the eighth inning against Rafael Soriano, and scorched a double into the right field corner. Finally, the streak was over.

In other news, the 7-1 Orioles victory gave starter Brian Matusz his first win since June 6 of last season. Matusz turned in his second quality start, going 6 1/3 giving up just one run on six hits. It was his longest outing since September of 2010.

Finally, the most impressive milestone of the night was for O’s skipper Buck Showalter. The win gave Buck his 1000th as a manager, and it came against the team he was with when earned his first, the Yankees. Buck joins 57 other big league managers in the 1000 club.

Congrats to Buck, Brian, and Nick.

Hopefully the O’s can get Buck his 1001st win today, and take two of three in the Bronx.