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The Orioles
2005-09-19 13:45
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

My assumptions panned out this past weekend, with the Indians sweeping the Royals and the Yanks and Red Sox taking two of three in their respective series. As a result the Yankees are a game and a half out in both the East and the Wild Card race.

Meanwhile, the Indians have moved within 3.5 games of the White Sox and still have all six head-to-head match-ups remaining (including a three-game series that starts tonight in Chicago). That's bad news for the Yankees' Wild Card hopes as they still trail the White Sox by five games.

Tonight our heroes play the first of eight remaining games with the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles team that the Yanks will face in the Bronx tonight is drastically different from the one that last visited the House that Ruth Built back in late June. That team arrived in New York with a .543 winning percentage, but, starting with a pair of loses to the Yankees, went on to post a 18-33 (.353) record through the end of August. Along the way they changed managers, traded their left fielder, released their would be ace starter, and lost a pair of would-be hall of famers to a combination of injury and steroid suspension.

Things have been looking better for the O's since the calander changed to September. The birds have posted a .500 record on the month, but that's largely been the result of a pair of series wins against the lowly Mariners and Rangers, which produced a four-game winning streak last week. They've also dropped series to the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Devil Rays. The Yankees hope to complete the divisional sweep this week.

Tonight's Oriole starter, Eric Bedard, has pitched reasonably well since being activated from the DL in late July, but has walked a lot of men and had trouble going deep into games. His opposite number, Chien-Ming Wang, has looked good in his two starts since being activated, though he has yet to really deliver on his pre-injury promise. Here's hoping he has a breakthrough tonight after a pair of warm-up starts against those gall-darn Devil Rays.

Baltimore Orioles

2005 Record: 70-78 (.473)
2005 Pythagorean Record: 68-80 (.459)

Manager: Sam Perlozzo
General Manager: Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan

Ballpark (2004 park factors): Oriole Park at Camden Yards (104/103)

Who has replaced whom?

Sam Perlozzo replaced Lee Mazzilli (fired)
Eric Byrnes replaced Larry Bigbie (Rockies)
Javy Lopez (DL) replaced Sammy Sosa (DL)
B.J. Surhoff (DL) replaced Eli Marrero (DL)
John Maine replaced Hayden Penn (minors)
Erik Bedard (DL) replaced Sidney Ponson (released)
Jason Grimsley replaced Steve Reed (DFA)
Tim Byrdak replaced James Baldwin (call-up)

September Call-ups

R - Alejandro Feire (1B)
L - Walter Young (1B)
S - Bernie Castro (IF)
R - Ed Rogers (IF)
R - Eli Whiteside (C)
R - James Baldwin
L - Eric DuBose
R - Aaron Rakers

Current Roster:

1B – Alejandro Freire (R)/Walter Young (L)
2B – Brian Roberts
SS – Miguel Tejada
3B – Melvin Mora
C – Geronimo Gil
RF – Jay Gibbons
CF – Luis Matos
LF – Eric Byrnes (R)/B.J. Surhoff (L)
DH – Javy Lopez

Bench:

L – David Newhan (CF/UT)
R – Chris Gomez (1B/IF)
R - Sal Fasano (C)
R - Eli Whiteside (C)
S - Bernie Castro (IF)
R - Ed Rogers (IF)
L - Rafael Palmeiro (1B)*

*will miss series due to injury

Rotation:

R – Rodrigo Lopez
L – Bruce Chen
R – Daniel Cabrera
R – John Maine
L - Erik Bedard

Bullpen:

L – B.J. Ryan
R – Todd Williams
R – Jorge Julio
L – Steve Kline
L - Tim Byrdak
R - Chris Ray
R - Jason Grimsley
R - James Baldwin
L - Eric DuBose
R - Aaron Rakers

DL:

R - Sammy Sosa (OF)
R – Kurt Ainsworth (60-day)
L – Val Majewski (OF) (60-day)
R - Eli Marrero (OF) (60-day)
L - John Parrish (60-day)

Typical Line-up

S – Brian Roberts (2B)
R – Melvin Mora (3B)
R – Miguel Tejada (SS)
L – Jay Gibbons (1B)
R - Javy Lopez (DH)
R - Alejandro Friere (1B)/L - B.J. Surhoff (LF)
R - Eric Byrnes (LF)/L - Walter Young (1B)
R – Luis Matos (CF)
R - Geronimo Gil (C)

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