Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Baltimore Orioles V: Last Throes Edition
2008-08-22 14:20
by Cliff Corcoran

The last time the Yankees and Orioles played, the Yankees suffered a let-down coming off a series win in Boston and their 8-1 start to the second half. Going into this weekend's three game series in Baltimore, I can't help but look ahead to the Yankees' three-game set against the Red Sox at the Stadium next week. Here's hoping the Yankees are able to stay focused on the task at hand and build up some momentum heading in to that Boston series which, if it doesn't go well, could seal the Yankees fate this season. The Yankees enter tonight's action trailing both the Red Sox and Twins by six games for the Wild Card lead. They have six games left against the Sox, none left against the Twins, and six left against the Blue Jays, who are just a game behind the Yanks after last night's win.

The Yankees are an alarming 5-7 against the last-place Orioles this season, and a mere 2-4 at Camden Yards on the year, though they've not been to Baltimore since the end of May. Since losing two of three to the O's in the Bronx at the end of July, the Yankees are 8-12. The Orioles, meanwhile, are 10-9 since leaving the Bronx, their only two series losses over that span coming against the Angels and Red Sox.

Moose serving up that knucklecurve you ordered.
None of this is encouraging. One would think the pitching matchup would be. Mike Mussina takes the hill looking for win number 17 against just-recalled Radhames Liz, who sports a 7.28 career ERA in the majors. Mussina is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA and no home runs allowed in his last four starts. Liz was demoted on the eve of the Yankees last series against the O's after posting a 7.47 ERA in ten starts in June and July.

Not so fast. Five starts ago, Mussina gave up two dingers and six total runs in five innings against . . . the Orioles. In two starts against his former team this season, Moose has allowed 13 runs in 5 2/3 innings. His last start at Camden Yards was also his final start of the 2007 seaon. He gave up six runs in five innings. As for Liz, the 25-year-old Dominican righty posted a 2.67 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP while striking out 27 in as many innings in triple-A this month, and in two relief appearances against the Yankees last year totaling 4 1/3 innings, he allowed just one run while striking out five and allowing as many baserunners. Though most of those innings game in mop-up duty against the Yankees' subs, the Yankees in tonight's starting lineup who have faced him are a combined 1-for-10 with four strikeouts against Liz.

Are there any encouraging signs heading into this series? Hideki Matsui has just two hits in 11 plate appearances since returning, but they've been good for six total bases (.545 slugging) and three RBIs. He's also struck out only once and grounded out only twice, which suggests his swing is in good shape. Derek Jeter has hit .317/.382/.440 since June 1, .392/.434/.486 in August, and is 17-for-32 on his current seven-game hitting streak. Bobby Abreu is hitting .328/.407/.531 since the All-Star break. Uhm . . . that's about it.

Baltimore Orioles

2008 Record: 61-65 (.484)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 63-63 (.502)

Manager: Dave Trembley
General Manager: Andy MacPhail

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Oriole Park at Camden Yards (101/102)

Who's Replaced Whom:

Jay Payton has replaced Adam Jones (DL) in center field
Luis Montanez (minors) has replaced Jones on the roster
Alex Cintron (DL) has replaced Brandon Fahey (minors)
Radhames Liz (minors) replaces Garrett Olson (minors)
Chris Waters (minors) has replaced Brian Burres (minors)
Rocky Cherry (minors) has replaced George Sherrill (DL)
Kam Mickolio (minors) has replaced Chad Bradford

25-man Roster:

1B - Kevin Millar (R)
2B - Brian Roberts (S)
SS - Juan Castro (R)
3B - Melvin Mora (R)
C - Ramon Hernandez (R)
RF - Nick Markakis (L)
CF - Jay Payton (R)
LF - Luke Scott (L)
DH - Aubrey Huff (L)


S - Alex Cintron (IF)
R - Luis Montanez (OF)
R - Guillermo Quiroz (C)


R - Jeremy Guthrie
R - Daniel Cabrera
L - Chris Waters
L - Radhames Liz


R - Jim Johnson
L - Jamie Walker
R - Dennis Sarfate
R - Lance Cormier
R - Fernando Cabrera
R - Randor Bierd
L - Alberto Castillo
R - Rocky Cherry
R - Kam Mickolio

15-day DL: R - Adam Jones (CF), L - George Sherrill, R - Chris Ray, R - Greg Aquino
60-day DL: R- Danys Baez, L - Troy Patton, L - Adam Loewen, R - Matt Albers, R - Jim Hoey

Typical Lineup:

S - Brian Roberts (2B)
L - Nick Markakis (RF)
R - Melvin Mora (3B)
L - Aubrey Huff (DH)
R - Ramon Hernandez (C)
L - Luke Scott (LF)
R - Kevin Millar (1B)
R - Jay Payton (CF)
R - Juan Castro (SS)


Comments (105)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-22 14:57:11
1.   Cliff Corcoran
A note for those who haven't noticed, you can click on the baseball cards I post for a much larger image.

Incidentally, the back of the one above reads:

"If ever there was a born athlete, it was Mike. The first time he ever played a round of golf on a regulation course, as a teenager, he fired a 92. After high school, he tried out as a kicker for the Penn State football team, and booted a 60-yard field goal. And as a pitcher, he is an annual lock for the Gold Glove Award."

2008-08-22 15:15:15
2.   rbj
The nice thing about not being in the playoffs is that I won't have to stay up late in October.
2008-08-22 15:24:44
3.   Sliced Bread
1 Cone was just on Kay's radio show talking about what a great athlete Mussina is (for a pitcher), how hard he trains, how well he still fields his position, how he's avoided a history of arm problems, etc.
Cone says not a lot of people acknowledge how athletic Moose is.

The golf thing on Mike's card is not that impressive. Shooting a 92 as a kid. I was a much better golfer as a teenager than I became to be as an adult. I consistently scored in the 90s as a teenager. Oddly, I was still playing baseball as a teenager so you'd think that would influence my swing, make me swing harder, but my swing was much more relaxed, and natural as a kid than the mess it became before I finally walked away from that brutal game. At my sister's wedding a few years ago I shot a 133 on an unforgiving links course. I beat my 13 year old nephew's 136 so didn't come in last.

2008-08-22 15:42:17
4.   Cliff Corcoran
3 So I guess being a kid didn't help your nephew. Me, I've never played a full round of golf, so I can't comment.
2008-08-22 15:47:40
5.   Cliff Corcoran
I should add that the field goal thing is impressive. My eight-grade soccer coach said I could kick a ball about as far as any other kid he'd seen, but when I auditioned for punter on my football team the next year I flubbed my kicks completely and wasn't even considered (which was no big deal as I was already starting at right guard despite being one of the smallest guys on the team).
2008-08-22 16:00:17
6.   Chyll Will
Mark Twain got it right about golf, but did you know he also said mini golf was like not shaking before you zip...
2008-08-22 16:02:55
7.   Sliced Bread
4 nephew's 136 wasn't as ugly as my 133. He lost a lot of strokes putting. I lost most of mine in the deep stuff, water, sand, and God knows where else. I was about 15, 16 when I first played golf, so it might have been easier for me being a little bigger than he was at 13.

5 did you try place kicking? would be a much easier transition for a soccer player than punting. Captain of my varsity soccer team became the place kicker on the football team. We were walking off after practice one day, and as a goof he started kicking 50 yarders. Varsity football coach signed him up on the spot which was pretty damn funny at the time.

2008-08-22 16:05:30
8.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
7 football...only thing worse than smug QBs are even smuger (sp?) "genius" coaches...who then punt on 4th and 1...i hate football, in the offseason its jai alai or nothing..
2008-08-22 16:06:55
9.   Cliff Corcoran
7 Thing is, I was the second-string goalie (first-string fullback) on my soccer team, so I had lots of practice dropkicking balls to midfield. I was so bad at the punting, they didn't even let me try the placekicking (which I guess did kinda tick me off).
2008-08-22 16:14:00
10.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
2008-08-22 16:20:40
11.   OldYanksFan
Man... if ARod is trying to get us all to forget about Madonna, he's doing a great job.
2008-08-22 16:28:36
12.   cult of basebaal
fuck you, robinson.
2008-08-22 16:29:32
13.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
O's radio guys said "looked like Cano had a chance at that ball.."
2008-08-22 16:34:09
14.   Biscuit Pants
12 Dude . .
2008-08-22 16:34:56
15.   Biscuit Pants
You know I used to date a girl named Liz . . . she had lousy command too.
2008-08-22 16:37:17
16.   Mattpat11
Whoohoo. Now lets send one out.
2008-08-22 16:38:31
17.   Biscuit Pants
C'mon Jose . . .
2008-08-22 16:39:57
18.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
O's radio guys very dry.."Molina is a rather slow-footed catcher.."
2008-08-22 16:42:36
19.   Biscuit Pants
2008-08-22 16:42:44
20.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice job, Johnny.
2008-08-22 16:46:12
21.   OldYanksFan
I missed the O's run. Was it BER (Barely earned run)?
2008-08-22 16:48:32
22.   Mattpat11
21 dinks and donks.
2008-08-22 16:51:25
23.   OldYanksFan
22 Any bloops or bleeders? What happen with F Robinson?
2008-08-22 16:54:29
24.   rbj
Someone might want to pass this tidbit from Cliff to the Yankee hitters:
"Radhames Liz, who sports a 7.28 career ERA in the majors."

Psst, Yankees, this guy isn't good.

2008-08-22 16:58:11
25.   Biscuit Pants
2008-08-22 17:00:11
26.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
26 at least Toronto up on the Sox 2-1..Dusty McBaldy with a dinger for Boston..
2008-08-22 17:03:54
27.   Mattpat11
Someone is hitting Rasputin Liz, right? Just not the Yankees?
2008-08-22 17:05:42
28.   cult of basebaal
23 grounder up the middle drove in the runner from second ... cano got a lousy jump and couldn't be bothered to dive and knock the ball down and keep it in the infield.
2008-08-22 17:08:34
29.   cult of basebaal
hughes gave up 4 runs in the 1st inning down in SWB
2008-08-22 17:11:21
30.   Mattpat11
2008-08-22 17:13:46
31.   SF Yanks
29 Ugh, can anything go right this year?
2008-08-22 17:15:51
32.   Mattpat11
This team INVENTS ways to lose.
2008-08-22 17:16:04
33.   SF Yanks
Wow, NOTHING is going right. Nothing.
2008-08-22 17:18:48
34.   nick
this alleged pitcher is gonna go 6 against us, giving up only one run: book it....
2008-08-22 17:19:19
35.   Mattpat11
Yankees valiantly lowering Liz's ERA for him.
2008-08-22 17:26:51
36.   Mattpat11
Two run lead. Insurmountable because the Yankees refuse to hit the latest crap pitcher of the week. Try for seventeen next time, Mike.

I wonder how many more double plays A-Rod will cause tonight before the Yankees inevitably lose.

2008-08-22 17:28:55
37.   OldYanksFan
Byrd and Boston up 5-2.
2008-08-22 17:30:45
38.   OldYanksFan
Overbay with a bomb. Byrd and Boston up 5-4.
2008-08-22 17:31:10
39.   nick
so with Moose's pitch count, we need a three-spot this inning.

yeah. right.

2008-08-22 17:32:15
40.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
ooohhh..Cano with the bomb...nice!
2008-08-22 17:32:35
41.   cult of basebaal
alright robbie, now you're even.
2008-08-22 17:33:07
42.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
wow!!!! where did THAT come from??
2008-08-22 17:33:59
43.   cult of basebaal
36 you should insult this team more often!
2008-08-22 17:34:14
44.   SF Yanks
Well there's a start fellas.
2008-08-22 17:39:47
45.   cult of basebaal
contract drive continues for Lemmiwinks.
2008-08-22 17:41:28
46.   nick
up to Alex...
2008-08-22 17:41:42
47.   Mattpat11
Two run lead. Insurmountable because the Yankees refuse to hit the latest crap pitcher of the week. Try for seventeen next time, Mike.

I wonder how many more double plays A-Rod will cause tonight before the Yankees inevitably lose.

2008-08-22 17:42:17
48.   SF Yanks
47 Deja vu?
2008-08-22 17:42:56
49.   Mattpat11
47 Damn.
2008-08-22 17:44:16
50.   nick
they would've turned two if necessary...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-22 17:44:28
51.   Mattpat11
Did A-Rod join the cast of Baywatch? Why was he and only he moving in slow motion on that play?
2008-08-22 17:51:37
52.   nick
ok, Moose at 88 pitches--just a run, kids, just a run....
2008-08-22 17:53:48
53.   rbj
OK, I was just checking the news on the intertubes and came across this:

"Chris Kattan's marriage to his model wife lasted almost as long as a "Saturday Night Live" skit.

The comedian filed for legal separation from model wife Sunshine Tutt after only eight weeks of marriage."

Sunshine Tutt? That's a bad given name or a bad stage name.

2008-08-22 17:59:24
54.   Mattpat11
Chris Kattan is still relevant?
2008-08-22 18:00:35
55.   nick
535 "Ms. Tuttt is the daughter of the well-known King, 2331, an Egyptian Pharoah."
2008-08-22 18:04:00
56.   Eirias
I don't care if it takes 140 pitches. You leave Moose in until he wants to come out. Or the game is over. Or essentially so.
2008-08-22 18:04:03
57.   rbj
OK, The Yankees need to have the Venezuelan little league team show up at every game.
2008-08-22 18:05:23
58.   Eirias
I feel so bad for Orioles fans, have Angelos as an owner.
2008-08-22 18:07:14
59.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
53 Sunshine Tutt...

O's radio guys saying Abreu could have got to that ball...

2008-08-22 18:09:49
60.   cult of basebaal
from chad jennings:

Top fourth: Phil Hughes night is done after three and a third, allowing eight runs on 10 hits. That four-run second inning made for a bad line in the box score, but Hughes didn't look particularly bad. This inning, Hughes looked bad. The inning started with a single to right field, a bunt single and a hard-hit two-run double to right-center field. Hughes caught a pop-up, then gave up a fairly well hit single to left to drive in another run and chase him from the game.

2008-08-22 18:12:00
61.   rbj
2008-08-22 18:14:46
62.   OldYanksFan
So... 2 runs this game due to poor defense? Abreu might have caught that ball, but JD should have been there. JD is getting terrible jumps from CF. Didn't this guy used to play CF?
2008-08-22 18:15:09
63.   Eirias
I want, say, eight runs here. That alright with you, Yankees?
2008-08-22 18:17:27
64.   Eirias
Great name.
2008-08-22 18:37:16
65.   cult of basebaal
wow ... got lucky there, abreu looked out.
2008-08-22 18:38:12
66.   rbj
2nd & 3rd, no outs. How will the Yankees not score?
2008-08-22 18:38:31
67.   rbj
Ah, a Giambi pop up is a start.
2008-08-22 18:40:40
68.   cult of basebaal
66 i'll go with "fly 'em out, throw 'em out" double play ...
2008-08-22 18:41:35
69.   OldYanksFan
Sox up 6-4. Giambi craps out there. ARod craps out in the 1st inning. Cano and Bobby afraid to get dirty. This team does NOT look like they care about winning.
2008-08-22 18:41:37
70.   rbj
Yes, a clutch wild pitch by Nady, er, the O's pitcher.
2008-08-22 18:43:45
71.   rbj
Obviously Nady is not a true Yankee.
2008-08-22 18:44:35
72.   cult of basebaal
2008-08-22 18:45:34
73.   Chyll Will
Trembley is "old man matching" now...
2008-08-22 18:45:54
74.   cult of basebaal
69 pwnd!!!
2008-08-22 18:48:09
75.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
bullpen "percentage" managing is stupid and so tedious to watch..and robbed us of watching more of Rocky Cherry...
2008-08-22 18:53:43
76.   Chyll Will
Bullshyt strike...
2008-08-22 18:54:34
77.   Chyll Will
Instant Replay (clap clap clap-clap-clap)
2008-08-22 18:55:00
78.   randym77
"The slick-fielding Juan Castro" hasn't been slick-fielding for years.
2008-08-22 18:55:21
79.   rbj
Now that's a bit odd. Never seen that before.
2008-08-22 18:56:57
80.   Chyll Will
79 What, you've never seen C.B. Bucknor get in someone's face before? (granted, it was a fellow umpire...) >;)
2008-08-22 19:00:12
81.   Chyll Will
2008-08-22 19:01:04
82.   randym77
Marte isn't working out that well so far, is he?
2008-08-22 19:03:28
83.   Chyll Will
When did Kay start with the "Big Mo-Mini Mo" thing?
2008-08-22 19:03:38
84.   Jeb
This game is nerve racking! I hope we can get the W for the first win of this series.
2008-08-22 19:05:08
85.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
83 refuse to listen to Kay ever again after hearing his ignorant, racist China-bashing..and can't stand i doomed to visiting broadcasts forever?
2008-08-22 19:05:11
86.   rbj
80 That and a strikeout-HBP.
2008-08-22 19:09:49
87.   Chyll Will
85 That was rather head-scratching stuff coming out of his mouth, but to be honest I never expect much from Kay...

86 And I've seen where flying elephants live...

2008-08-22 19:14:40
88.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Bobby 5 for 5 with the bad-hop single!

how many people in the Balmore bullpen???

2008-08-22 19:15:56
89.   Chyll Will
88 Nine, and Trembley's trying to make them all dance on the head of a pin...
2008-08-22 19:17:58
90.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
ooohhh...bad luck there..bad memories of Tony Clark...
2008-08-22 19:19:32
91.   Chyll Will
Codename: Ransom
BA: 1.000
2008-08-22 19:20:00
92.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
HOLY F$CK......
2008-08-22 19:20:20
93.   tommyl
Apparently the Yankees like when I play Iron Man on my guitar. I shall continue to do so.
2008-08-22 19:20:37
94.   rbj
And Mo's still in line for the save.

Didn't someone earlier order 8 runs for the Yankees?

2008-08-22 19:20:50
95.   Chyll Will

Brooklyn ta' Bronx!

2008-08-22 19:21:24
96.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
X-Man!! see, this is what happens when you get play musical bullpen...
2008-08-22 19:22:12
97.   Chyll Will
94 If you mean Nady's 8 HR since coming over... >;)
2008-08-22 19:24:31
98.   rbj
97 Nope 63 ordered the eight runs.
2008-08-22 19:26:10
99.   Chyll Will
63 Sleep well, my friend >;)
2008-08-22 19:27:45
100.   Eirias
99 And miss this?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-22 19:29:21
101.   Chyll Will
Who the hell was that guy???
2008-08-22 19:31:50
102.   Chyll Will
101 Do you suppose if you guess his real name, he won't get injured?
2008-08-22 19:32:53
103.   Max
Wow, winning the first game of a series. What a novelty. After seven straight series opening losses, the eighth time is a charm.
2008-08-22 19:42:52
104.   randym77
High-scoring game in Scranton tonight. It's 12-12 in the bottom of the 9th. Melky is 1 for 6. He was just caught stealing 3B.

Maybe they need to give him that "there's a difference between hustle and bad baserunning" talk again...

2008-08-22 20:09:15
105.   3rd gen yankee fan
Not a bad game, eh?

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