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Showalter Me What You’re Made of…

By on April 8

As Adam eloquently wrote in his last post, how the team responded after suffering their first loss of the season was going to tell us a lot about the team.  If you watched the 9–5 win over Brad Penny and the Tigers, you know the team in most respects responded well.

Overcoming three deficits and exploiting the underbelly that is middle relief is what good teams do. Key parts of our lineup emerged from their caves of hibernation.  Notably, Guerrero destroying a fastball on a rope to centerfield and Jones getting into the action with a standout night at the plate and in the field. Nice save there Nick, if you’re reading.  It’s also worth mentioning the bullpen shut the door when it needed to get the job done.

But with all this winning, let us not forget what great teams are made of–starting pitching.  It’s only been two starts, but we’ve seen back-to-back craptacular performances from the young Bergesen and Tillman now. Both pitchers have failed to get past the 5th inning all the while throwing a bazillion pitches.  It goes without saying that at this rate the bullpen will be toast by May.  What we need is Brad Bergesen circa 9/15/2010.

What I fear most is that this team is entering the hurricane part of the season with the next 7 series facing the Rangers, Yankees, Indians, Twins, Yankees, Red Sox and White Sox.  Each of these teams except the Indians are legitimate contenders.  Meanwhile, the Indians just swept the 2011 World Series…err…the 2011 Red Sox.  Chances are the Sox will get things going by the time the come to town, so yeah I’m worried about them.  Now more than ever we need our pitching to perform to its ability.

When we welcome the 6–0 Rangers to OPACY this weekend, we’ll have the following match-ups:

  • Friday 4/8: Colby Lewis (1-0, 4.50 ERA) v. Zach Britton (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
  • Saturday 4/9: Matt Harrison (1-0, 1.29 ERA) v. Jake Arrieta (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
  • Sunday 4/10: Derek Holland (1-0, 4.50 ERA) v. Brad Bergesen (0-1, 4.91 ERA)/Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

I like our chances against these pitchers, especially if Britton continues what he started in his first major league appearance, and Guthrie gets healthy to make his start Sunday.  However, the Rangers are currently doing a great impression of the 1927 Yankees.  It will be an exciting series with two of the hottest teams in baseball facing off.  For the O’s to have a chance though, our starting pitching has to get back on track.  So show(alter) us what you’re made of, you’ve got our collective attentions.

4 Responses to “Showalter Me What You’re Made of…”

  1. Paul O. says:

    It was nice to see the Tigers fans seated next to me depart before the bottom of the 7th had concluded. A dejected plane flight home. A thing of beauty.

    Nobody turned out for this rubber match against the tigers! What was it, 11K +/-?
    The good news is when we scored, 95% of them were true O’s fans, not 50/50.

    This team has alienated the fans for so many years I can’t even get my dad to turn the game on tv. Even if we finish April at the top of the division it may be a while before we sell out the stadium again. :(

    I mentioned attending the Orioles game to 2 guys at work and they commented on how bad the team currently is. One guy stated that “They have the exact same losing roster as last year, so I ain’t watchin a game”. Apparently nobody pays attention to the Orioles these days except masochistic people like us. Yes guys…face it…we are Orioles fans of the 80s, 90s and beyond. We have lived through lots of pain and generally still enjoyed it.

    Let the fair weather fans watch the phillies instead. I’ll keep my Orioles, because when we finally do Win something, the feeling will be so much more rewarding for us bird lovers in our silly little orange t-shirts.

  2. Becca says:

    Paul, I’m experiencing the same thing. It seems that the guys here at ESB are feeding me hope yet the rest of Baltimore is still hungry for wins. I am personally taking it on myself to talk to every potential Os fan I find to tell them that this year, yes this year, it will be different and that they should attend as many games as possible.

    I want to be there in body at the stadium to show Showalter and the improved gang that we have noticed.

    Casey- I like your point about not only did they come back from a loss last night, but also were trailing the Tigers multiple times through the night and continued to come back. I’m used to us giving up late runs, not making them happen.

    Fun times ahead for sure!

  3. Jon says:

    I was at the game last night and there was a fire in the belly of the (albeit few) fans that were there. They had a certain swagger. It was as if they were waiting with ‘bated breath, just aching for a detroit fan to insult their beloved birds.

    A couple times throughout the first 6 innings, the small section of maybe 20-30 detroit fans behind me tried to get it going with a “let’s go, Detroit!”. This was quickly taken away by a larger, louder horde of indignant Orioles fans. In the past, we would have rolled our eyes, lowered our heads and let the yankees fans or red sox fans have their fun in our stadium but it was different last night. Last night, when we were down, we responded with our own raucous cheering as if to say, “just wait…”.

    And then it happened. We fought back. The boys in orange felt our passion and swung for the fences. The detroit fans left before we could finish our second verse of “scccoooorrreeebooooaaaarrrrddd…”

    “If you build it, they will come.”

    The fans will come. Believe, Hon.

    PS
    The stadium got a makeover in the off-season and it looks great. I like the new food vendors and their cursive “O” shaped pretzels. But don’t worry, Clancy is still serving beer in the stands…

  4. Mark
    Mark says:

    Buck says he has a ‘real affinity’ for baseball people. Well I have a real affinity for O’s fans. I find all of your comments both poetic and inspiring.

    Regarding attendance, I think obviously a lot of fans are still in ‘wait and see’ mode with the team. They’re pumped about the start but don’t want to get too emotionally invested yet. TV ratings are up again this year, even over last year when they went up after Buck’s arrival.

    The fans are still out there man, as I know first hand from being at Wieters’ first game ever, which was fully sold out. They’re just hungry for a winner, and if this team delivers, the Yard will rock once again.

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