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Message #21 of 24  *NEW*
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Subject:  Opening Week Review
Date:  4/10/05, 8:21pm
The Headline:

Orioles finish first week of 2005 season at 3-3: Takes first series with Yanks 2-1.

The Rants and the Raves:

The first week of the 2005 season is now in the books for the Baltimore Orioles. There are a few things that are quite suprising about this team and how they have performed as well as some NOT so suprising things. Losing 2 out of 3 from the A's and their average pitching while pounding on the Yankees and their "improved rotation" is just 1 example.

Here is my list of top 10 suprises after 6 games of Orioles Baseball.

10 - Sammy Sosa's weekly line: 5 for 25 with no rbis and no HR.
This is truly a WTF??? moment. With Roberts (.464) and Tejada (.444) hitting in front of him, he needs to do a better job of plating the runners.

9 - Orioles playing .500 ball: The A's and the Yanks to start the season is a tough 6 games. The Orioles showed they have what it takes to win agianst these 2 powerhouses... Unfortunalty they also showed they have what it takes to blow games they should have won.

8 - Ponson 1-0: Showing that you can win games with superior hitting afterall, Poson gives up 4 runs and an anemic Orioles offence finally wakes up to humilitae the Yankees in NY 12-5.

7 - Cabrera 0-1: Giving up 5 runs and the Yankees bloodlust set the groundwork for the revenge in the Bronx. Cabrera gave up on his Change early and fired his fastball in there for an arduous 3.1 innings.

6 - Ryan 0 Saves: Being the newly annointed closer on this beefed up offense comes with its own set of baggage. Either the offense scores you 7 or more runs, or they gimp up and don't get you any... Not a way for you to rack up any saves, not to mention appearances.

5 - Mora hitting .148: Starting the season at 1 for 21 was not what Melvin, the Orioles, or us fans had in mind from our 3rd baseman. A WTF moment??? Nahh... MM had 2 great seasons back to back... can we expect much more out of this guy? I think he will turn it around but don;t expect him to hit .340 again.

4 - RBI's: To look at our team's collective box for the first week and see that the only starter not to have a RBI be Sosa, well that would be rediculous right? WRONG. It's true. Hell even Gil has 1.

3 - RBI's part 2(nd baseman): Roberts is showing he has what it takes to be the best eladoff hitter in the bigs. Kinda scary to draw this comparison but he is showing signs of a certain Brady Anderson year... Will Robert hit 50 homers??? Probably not but but fot this kid to lead THIS team in H-10, R-6, HR-3, RBI-6, TB's-22, Avg-.400 Slug-.880, and OBP-.464 is pretty impressive. Even though we are only 1 week in.

2 - Rodrigo Lopez: Pitching to a 2-0 record with an era under 1 (.64) is a pretty phenomenal feat. Put those numbers up against the A's and the Yankees, that't out of this world. Put those numbers up against Zito and Pavano? Your talking another universe entirely. Lopez's start is the fruit of his own labor. Working is ass off in the spring to earn the aces spot in the rotation and then showing us all why he deserved it in the first place. This kid is for real folks. If he is able to stay healthy and the Orioles continue to give him run support, we coul dhav our first 20 game winner in recent memory. Mark my words. You heard it hear first.

1 - Bullpen: What was once (last week) heralded as out lone shining part of the team has managed to give up more runs (15) in less innings (17) then the starting roation (13 runs in 36 innings). This is the biggest WTF moment of the season. The Steve and Steve show have given up 11 runs in only 6 2/3 innings. Kline has been "introduced" to the 3 run homerun but forgot when it was like and had to be reintroduced again. Lets hope he knows who it is next time and doesnt leave the ball up in the zone when 2 men are on.

Overall I am pleased with the team and the way they come together (when they do that is) and play with excitement and heart. If they can remember to remove their heads from their asses before each game, I think we could be on the cusp of greatness here in Baltimore...

But check back here next week to see if I feel the same... afterall, we face Tampa Bay this week. Oh hell....

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