Friday, May 16, 2008

Orioles Team Report May 16, 2008

Coming out of their second day off in four days, the Orioles are looking forward to their first interleague games of the season. Because they are hosting the neighboring Washington Nationals, the Orioles pitchers have not had to worry about getting in any batting practice since designated hitters are used in American League ballparks.

Manager Dave Trembley masterfully circumvented the question about whether he likes the idea of interleague play, but he was positive in his remarks about it.

“Interleague play is great for the fans: That’s what it’s all about … it’s a shot in the arm for baseball because it give baseball more water cooler talk,” Trembley said. “It lets more people discuss and talk about the game because you’re playing your neighbor. Anything that promotes the game is positive.

“I don’t think it affects the players one way or the other. It doesn’t alter the guys’ approach.”

Having the game played with the designated hitter means the pitchers don’t have to think about batting practice, something some athletic trainers say creates the possibility of injury because they are suddenly using muscles they don’t ordinarily use. Trembley doesn’t concern himself with that.

“All I worry about with the pitchers is that when they’re supposed to bunt that they get the bunt down. Get the bunt down and get off the field. That’s it!” he said.

Last year, the Orioles lost all three home games to the Nationals and were 2-4 overall against them. The Orioles were 6-12 in 2007 against National League teams.

Notes, Quotes

• RF Nick Markakis was hitting just .167 with runners in scoring position and fewer than two outs before his RBI single in the sixth inning Wednesday. The RBI was his first since he hit a three-run homer May 8 and was also his first RBI on anything but a home run since May 2, when he hit a solo homer and a run-scoring double.

• 2B Brian Roberts has quietly put together a modest four-game hitting streak, during which he has gone 5-for-13 with two walks and four runs while raising his average from .252 to .265. The double he hit Wednesday was his team-best 11th. He also leads the team with 40 hits and 11 stolen bases.

• C Guillermo Quiroz has been behind the plate in each of the past four games because of the wrist injury that has sidelined starter Ramon Hernandez. On Wednesday, Quiroz had two singles and scored in each of the rallies that led to the victory over the Red Sox.

• LHP Garrett Olson will make his fourth start on the season Friday against the Nationals. He goes in at 2-0, and his 2.95 ERA is the best among the Orioles’ starters. After waking five in his first start, he has walked only one in each of the last two. He has yet to get through the seventh inning in a start.

• RHP Chad Bradford, the submarining reliever who has not been in a game since May 10 in Kansas City, has not allowed an earned run since April 20 against New York. Overall, he has given up two earned runs in 13 1/3 innings for a 1.32 ERA this season.

By The Numbers: 12—Consecutive wins over the Royals before a loss on May 11. It was the second time Baltimore won 12 straight over Kansas City; the first was in 1970.

Quote To Note: “As soon as I shaved my head it started kicking in, so I want to tip my hat to my haircut.”—1B Kevin Millar, talking about his hitting spree since being moved from the cleanup spot on May 2.


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