Posts Tagged 'Oakland Athletics'

O’s Finally End Streak, Dump Athletics 8-3

Ty Wigginton celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Ty Wigginton homered and drove in four runs, and the Baltimore Orioles snapped a nine-game skid by beating the Oakland Athletics 8-3 on Sunday and spoiling Brett Anderson’s first outing since receiving a hefty new contract.

The Orioles avoided their first four-game sweep in Oakland since Aug. 23-26, 2004, jumping on Anderson (1-1) two days after the A’s gave the pitcher a $12.5 million, four-year contract.

Brian Matusz (2-0), like Anderson a hard-throwing lefty, delivered a much-needed morale boost for the struggling Orioles in his first career outing against Oakland. He struck out eight, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 1-3 innings.

Baltimore (2-11) had lost nine in a row since its lone previous victory at Tampa Bay on April 8, and is off to the franchise’s worst start since beginning 0-21 in 1988. The Orioles also ended a nine-game losing streak at the Coliseum dating to July 22, 2007.

It doesn’t get any easier as the Birds leave the Bay Area, either. The Orioles continue their 10-game trip with three games in Seattle followed by three at Fenway Park against Boston.

Anderson, an 11-game winner in his rookie campaign of 2009, needed only 25 pitches to get through the first two innings. He retired the first eight batters of the game before giving up consecutive two-out singles to Cesar Izturis and Adam Jones and then Wigginton’s two-run double.

Nick Markakis followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0, Lou Montanez singled in a run in the fourth and Nolan Reimold hit his two-run double in the fifth.

Wigginton hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Chad Gaudin.

And as Orioles radio play-by-play man Joe Angel would say…”You can put this one in the win column!!”

The nine game losing steak is over and I’d have to believe an immense feeling of relief has swept through the Orioles clubhouse.

The bats finally came alive on Sunday as Baltimore tallied 11 hits. The birds also went 5-11 with RISP and only stranded four. Since Wednesday Ty Wigginton has four home runs and 10 RBI’s.

Brian Matusz was solid once again. It is hard to believe that Sunday was only his tenth career start. He has struck out seven or more in each of his three starts and has yet to give up a home run.

And give credit to closer Jim Johnson. He went out there and redeemed himself today after Saturday’s abysmal performance. Two innings pitched, one base runner, and no runs. A strong effort and he was rewarded with his first save of the season.

The road trip continues tomorrow night in Seattle with Brad Bergesen taking the hill for the O’s. Doug Fister gets the start for the Mariners. First pitch is 10:10

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The Freefall Continues, Athletics 4 – Orioles 3

Oakland's Ryan Sweeney is mobbed by teammates after his game-winning hit against Baltimore on Saturday afternoon



Associated Press – Ryan Sweeney hit a game-ending two-run single with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Oakland Athletics a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Adam Rosales singled leading off the ninth and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Rajai Davis struck out but reached base on a wild pitch before the Orioles opted to intentionally walk Daric Barton and load the bases. Sweeney, who earlier extended his major league-leading hitting streak to 12 games, singled to right to drive in pinch-runner Eric Patterson — he took over for Rosales at second base — and Davis, who easily scored ahead of the throw from Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis.

Jerry Blevins (2-0) pitched an inning for the win. Oakland has won nine straight home games against Baltimore. The A’s are 9-4, their best start after 13 games since 1992. They also moved five games over .500 for the first time since July 19, 2008.

The Orioles fell to 1-11, their worst start since opening the 1988 season with 21 consecutive losses, and lost third baseman Miguel Tejada to a possible leg injury in the sixth inning.

The Orioles scored a pair of unearned runs off Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer in the sixth inning then took a 3-2 lead on Ty Wigginton’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

So I was following the conclusion of this game online with MLB Gametracker since there was no telecast. And staring at the screen, watching the little animated baseball diamond fill up with Oakland baserunners in the bottom of the ninth, I just had the feeling that the result wasn’t going to be good. And your boy was right haha!

Really, I mean at this point in the O’s losing streak, which is now nine, you begin to expect things to go wrong. Having a lead in the ninth inning seemed to good to be true…and it was! Jim Johnson had two wild pitches in the inning, and sure enough his lack of control ended up blowing the game.

Listen, they are doing things well, let’s not forget that. Those good things by no means make up for losing. But it is so frustrating to see yet another solid pitching performance go to waste.

Jeremy Guthrie gave up two runs and only walked one in 6.2 innings pitched. I’ll take that kind of line any day of the week from this starting unit. Although I would have liked some more runs from the offense, the fact is they scored three and Guthrie gave up two. In relief, Will Ohman, Matt Albers, Mark Hendrickson, and Cla Merdith were solid in giving up none! Johnson couldn’t finish the job and the end result is another W when in fact this is a game that Baltimore should have won.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Dave Trembley and his players to have to explain all of these defeats before and after every game. It’s tough watching these performances, it must be a nightmare to be living them.

No TV for Saturday’s Orioles-A’s Game

So I’m wondering why the O’s game scheduled for Saturday afternoon is not being aired…and after a quick Google search I stumbled upon this:

Due to Major League Baseball’s national broadcast restrictions, the Baltimore Orioles 4:00 p.m. ET game in Oakland on Saturday afternoon cannot be televised by MASN.

Major League Baseball’s agreements with national television networks forbid any regional network from broadcasting any Major League Baseball game during the window reserved for nationally televised baseball games.

According to MLB’s website:

Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, live games occurring each Saturday with a scheduled start time after 1:10 PM ET or before 7:05 PM ET and each Sunday with a scheduled start time after 5:00 PM ET, will be blacked out in the United States.

I mean thank goodness this isn’t an important game or anything. It’s not like anyone is going to be missing out on stellar baseball, but there are some folks out there (including me), who love the game and enjoy following their team day in and day out no matter how awful they are. Just a note: this also affects Athletics fans, they won’t be able to see the game on television in the Bay Area either.

For once I am going to direct my anger at a club besides the O’s, in this case it’s the Oakland. As the home team, they are in charge of deciding when this game is played. This is the fault of the A’s and whomever is in charge of their operations.

This is not Fox’s fault. They paid a lot of money to have exclusive rights on Saturday’s and it is common knowledge that when they are on the air, your local team’s broadcast can’t be. It’s the responsibility of the home clubs to schedule start times so that the game won’t coincide with Fox’s on Saturday or ESPN’s on Sunday.

And it certainly isn’t MASN’s fault either, they aren’t allowed to broadcast the game because of its time slot. If the game is played at 6 or 7 local time (9 or 10 on the East), fans of both teams would be able to watch.

I could understand and sympathize if this was in August or September and there was a scheduling conflict with the NFL’s Raiders (whom the A’s share the Oakland Coliseum with). But even that wouldn’t be a reasonable excuse at all! Because in the MLB, very rarely (if ever) is a weekend series over on Saturday. They always finish on Sunday or Monday.

What befuddles me even more is how this happens more than once! I just checked Oakland’s remaining 2010 schedule, and the same scenario happens four more times! So this goes beyond me being frustrated that I can’t see my Orioles. Fans of teams like the Indians and the Rays, among others, will be blacked out in their local markets when their teams have to play in Oakland on a Saturday.

I’m sincerely hoping that this is just a case of me not having all the information at hand and that the Athletics organization really does have some sort of legitimate reasoning for playing this game when they are.

Sorry for the rant haha. It’s all good though, I’ll still be able to watch the O’s lose on TV for all the other games they play this year. YES!

Have a great weekend everyone. Peace!

Make It 7 In A Row, Athletics 6 – Orioles 2

Associated Press – Ben Sheets pounded the strike zone like his old aggressive self and finally commanded his fastball, winning for the first time since September 2008 in the Oakland Athletics’ 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.

Sheets (1-0), who missed all of 2009 recovering from elbow surgery, pitched six scoreless innings and made good for the first time on general manager Billy Beane’s bold offseason move of giving him $10 million to be the A’s new ace. Beane believed Sheets could return to the form that has made him a four-time All-Star.

The 31-year-old right-hander gave up five hits, struck out four and walked three to win for the first time since a five-hit shutout of San Diego on Sept. 6, 2008, while with Milwaukee.

Oakland gave Sheets a one-year contract in January, 11 months after his elbow surgery.

Ryan Sweeney had an RBI groundout and a fifth-inning double to give him a 10-game hitting streak to start the season and Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Chavez each hit sacrifice flies for the A’s, who got back on track offensively. Cliff Pennington drove in a pair of runs.

Another tough loss to swallow. Although the birds had eight hits, including four doubles, their scoring continued to be a major cause for concern. The team went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base. I’ll continue to post these numbers in my blogs because I feel that until Baltimore can improve them, they are going to continue to suffer defeats similar to Thursday night’s.

Of the eight hits, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones had half of them. The two were also responsible for driving in the only Oriole runs of the night.

There were two fielding errors, one by Jones and one by Ty Wigginton. Jones could have easily been charged with a second. In the bottom of the fifth Eric Chavez hit a line drive to shallow center and Jones caught it running at full speed. When he reached to take it out of his glove, the ball came out. The out was still recorded, but Oakland’s Ryan Sweeney was easily able to tag up and score the A’s fifth run.

At 24, David Hernandez is expected to go through some growing pains in 2010. Thursday’s outing was a prime example. He was able to strike out six batters in 5 innings pitched, but that was about all it did well. He gave up five runs on seven hits. Surely that was not the type of performance he would have liked, and this isn’t to make excuses for him, but it has got to be hard for him go out there and do well when in the back of his head he knows the offense isn’t going to give him run support.

The O’s will try to reverse their bad fortune tomorrow night two of this four game series against Oakland. Kevin Millwood takes the mound for Baltimore while Dallas Braden takes the hill for the A’s. First pitch is 10:05.

Weekend Recap

Loved the final round of the Masters yesterday. Great golf, great drama. Personally I was cheering for Tiger. He’s my favorite and I thought it would be cool for him to go out there and win it all after going through a tumultuous winter of shame and disgrace. I know there were quite a bit of folks who just couldn’t bring themselves to cheer for the man, but you got to respect his game. CBS’ Peter Kostis made a great comment during yesterday’s telecast: “Say what you will about Tiger the person or Tiger the brand. Tiger the golfer is still exciting.” It looks as if viewers agree. Preliminary Nielsen  estimates indicated CBS’ rating for Saturday’s third round was 33 percent higher than 2009’s third round coverage.

And although it was who Tiger drew the ratings, it was Phil Mickelson who finished atop the leaderboard to earn his third green jacket in seven years. Mickelson has always been “the peoples champ” and it was so enjoyable to see him win the tournament given the circumstances surrounding his wife Amy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. He played tremendous golf, shooting 67’s on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday’s final round was also bogey-free for Mickelson, what a great way to finish.

Now on to a topic slightly less heartwarming. The state of the 2010 Orioles after 6 games.  They own a record of 1-5, their worst start since 2002. Like I always do because I’m a homer, I’m going to look at this situation with the glass half-full.

The starters have for the most part done their job, through six games they rank 13th in the league with a 3.89 ERA. I know it’s early to be referencing stats but they really do not lie and the starters have held up their end of the bargain, plain and simple.

The run support was one run short in the first four losses. But on Saturday and Sunday scoring zero and two runs respectively is just not enough. Garrett Atkins is hitting .350 and Matt Wieters .409, however they bat towards the bottom of the order. No one else on the roster owns an average higher than .300.

Mike Gonzalez has now blown two saves and people are calling for his head. I was fine with the first one on opening night in St. Petersburg, and pretty frustrated when he did it again in the home opener on Friday. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt but now my leash is short with him. He better rattle off a few solid scoreless innings before his next blown save. If he can’t, its time for Dave Trembley to make some changes at closer.

So it’s a new week of what is still a very young season and grabbing two out of three or dare I even say sweeping  this upcoming series against Tampa Bay is critical for the team’s confidence. After these three upcoming home games they hit the road for a seven game trip on the west coast against Oakland and Seattle. Then they have to face the Yankees and Red Sox for twelve consecutive games! The Birds went a combined 7-29 in ’09 against the two powers of the A.L. East.

And a very interesting and unexpected move in the NFL last night. The Steelers have traded wide receiver and Super Bowl 43 MVP Santonio Homes to the Jets for a fifth round pick in this month’s draft. Holmes will be suspended for the team’s first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Well this is good news if you are a Ravens fan. Holmes has always been a dangerous weapon at receiver and has made big plays against Baltimore several times in his career, most notably in the 2008 AFC Championship Game when he scored on a 65 yard catch and run.


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