Raphael Dolis Saves the Day for Cubs

The news coming out of Wrigley Field on Friday morning was about the ninth inning and the recent struggles surrounding Carlos Marmol, prompting Cubs Dale Sveum to make a move at the back end of the bullpen and insert rookie reliever Raphael Dolis as the man in charge of recording the final three outs of the ball game.

As fate would have it Raphael Dolis would get a save opportunity in front of the Wrigley Field faithful on a sun soaked Friday afternoon vs. the Dodgers.

Entering the ninth inning with the slimmest of margins one could just picture the collective tightening of chests among Cubs fans.  Witnessing the high wire act of Marmol this season, the ninth inning has been anything but a walk in the park.  Continue reading Raphael Dolis Saves the Day for Cubs

The Blue Collar Pitching Staff of the Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are off to a very good start this season. While there are several reasons for the better results in 2012, the most obvious improvement is starting pitching.

In 2011, the team’s most glaring problem was finding anyone who could pitch seven innings. It may not sound like much, but that one problem affected the entire team. It meant the bullpen was coming into games sooner which meant the bullpen pitchers were asked to pitch many more innings. It wasn’t uncommon for the bullpen to be utilized by the third inning.

This, in turn meant the bullpen was overworked and tired and not very effective.

The starting pitching not going seven innings also affected hitting. In most games in 2011, the team was coming from behind. This caused added pressure on hitters to do more at the plate and explains the high number of home runs and strikeouts.

In 2012 however, not only has the starting pitching greatly improved, but team pitching overall is much better because of it. The Orioles team pitching ERA is currently 2.83 which is second in Major League Baseball. Continue reading The Blue Collar Pitching Staff of the Baltimore Orioles

The Great Canadian Hope- Brett Lawrie

December 06th, 2010 may go down as one of the most important days in franchise history for the Toronto Blue Jays. On this cold blistery winter day Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos pulled the trigger on a deal that would send Blue Jays ace pitcher Shaun Marcum out of Toronto to the Milwaukee Brewers and in return acquiring a 20 year old 1st round draft pick in Canadian Brett Lawrie.

Captain Canada

Lawrie  was born and raised in Langley, British Columbia where he played ball for the Langley Blaze of the BC Premier League as well as representing Canada on the National Junior Team. Lawrie was drafted as a catcher in the 1st round, 16th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers of the 2008 entry draft and assigned to the Midwest Timber Rattlers to begin his professional career. Lawrie elected to fore-go catching for a move to the infield to play second base his first year in pro ball. Continue reading The Great Canadian Hope- Brett Lawrie