Why the Orioles will not be swept in this series with Texas – Update

The Texas Rangers have had the Baltimore Orioles’ number lately. Texas has won 7 of the last 8 against Baltimore dating back to last season. They most recently dismantled the Oriole’s pitching staff in back to back games to the tune of 3-14 and 3-10. The Rangers have done it with great hitting and great pitching. So, does Texas have Baltimore’s number? I don’t think they do and I think today we will see just how different this Orioles team is this season.

Because of yesterday’s postponement due to rain, the Orioles and Rangers will play a doubleheader today.

Game 1 will be at 4:05 P.M. and game 2 will not start before 7:05 P.M. In the first game we will have a chance to see just how great pitcher Wei-Yin Chen can be. What he’s done so far is impressive enough: 2-0 and a 2.76 ERA. He pitched an impressive 5 plus innings against the New York Yankees and even though he was roughed up a little, managed no decisions against both the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. His two wins are off the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s, but what’s been most impressive is his ability to command his fastball. He is not afraid to use a fastball on a fastball pitch and that was something rarely seen last season.  Confidence. Continue reading Why the Orioles will not be swept in this series with Texas – Update

Are the Red Sox a playoff team?

We are about 1/8 of the way through the baseball season, and the Boston Red Sox find themselves in last place in the A.L. East. The injuries are piling up as Kevin Youkilis has been placed on the D.L. with a strained back; ace Josh Beckett will miss his start on Saturday with stiffness. They are already without starters Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, and closer Andrew Bailey which has contributed to their slow start. The real question to be asked, is this a playoff team?

In my opinion, no they are not and it is not just because of injuries. Their lineup consists of hitters who mash middle and bottom tier pitching but struggle against the upper echelon. The pitching staff is overrated with concerns of being brittle and susceptible to injury.

Manager Bobby Valentine has a bullpen that consists of too many question marks, and not enough answers.

The inconsistencies of the offense and starting rotation are major problems. It is either boom or bust as the offense scores 12 runs or 2. I call it the bully syndrome, where they beat up on weak opponents but struggle against equal competition. Continue reading Are the Red Sox a playoff team?

Closer Conundrum

Major league closers are dropping faster than Angels fans jumping off the Albert Pujols band-wagon. This season has started like none other that I can recall with a number of prominent big money closers being shelved for the season.

Ryan Madson got the ball rolling signing a one year 8.5 million dollar deal with the Cincinnati Reds in the off-season. Madson then proceeded to tear a ligament in his elbow during spring training that required season ending surgery to repair.

Madson will not begin throwing for at least another 4 months and may be ready to start next season if the rehabilitation goes as planned.

Andrew Bailey the newly acquired closer for the Red Sox then followed suit injuring the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb that required surgery to reconstruct. The time table for Bailey remains unclear but the All Star break appears to be the earliest he may return. Continue reading Closer Conundrum