There has been quite a few things happen recently that I have some opinions on that I’d like to share. I know I haven’t posted much this past week but school has just started up and my life is chaotic right now. So, here’s a run-down of my thoughts of the week.
1. Michael Gonzalez for Pedro Strop.
The night before Gonzo was traded to the Rangers for power-arm Strop, I blogged on MASNSports.com about how Mike should be made the closer for next season. Unfortunately for me and the Orioles, it doesn’t look like that’s going to be happening. I guess it still could since this is the last year of Gonzo’s contract so the O’s could re-sign him if Texas or another team doesn’t, but still, it was pretty ironic. At first he was traded for a “player to be named later” something I typically don’t like hearing because it usually means it’s no one good. I was wrong in this case. The Orioles received reliever righty Pedro Strop in return, who has already done well for the O’s. He’s pitched 3 1/3 innings over 3 games and has given up only one hit, no runs, no walks, and 5 strikeouts. Those are great numbers for a young guy. We can’t tell yet whether or not the Orioles got the good side of this deal. Although Gonzalez was much older and he could be inconsistent at times, he was mostly striking every guy out that he faced once he returned to his original technique. The problem with Strop is that he’s super young and we could get a lot of inconsistency and growing pains out of him, especially since now it will be the Oriole pitching trainers and coaches “teaching” him and we all know how well that works out. For now, the move is good and I see this kid as being the Koji replacement we need. The 8th inning guy who throws hard, strikes guys out, doesn’t walk anyone, and can pitch up to 2 innings if need be.
More thoughts after the jump
2. September Call-Ups
With the rosters being expanded this month, the O’s called up a few guys from Norfolk to fill out the rest of the spaces. Included are Pedro Strop, lefty-specialist Clay Rapada, righty Zach Phillips, SP Rick VandenHurk, RP Jeremy Accardo (where the hell has he been?), SS Pedro Florimon, and LF Kyle Hudson. Rapada has pitched a total of an inning in 2 games giving up nothing: no runs, no hits, no walks and striking out 2. Zach Phillips has pitched 2 1/3 innings of good, shut-out ball giving up 3 hits over the 4 game-span as well as 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. VandenHurk is getting work in as a long-ish reliever as he’s pitched a total of 4 innings over 2 games giving up one run (a homer) and 2 hits. Accardo hasn’t pitched since being brought up yet and Florimon hasn’t played in a game either. Kyle Hudson has started in left 3 games and has 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and a stolen base.
So far, the call-ups are doing pretty well. I’m happy with the 3 relief pitchers of Strop, Rapada, and Phillips and hope they can continue being solid. Some people are claiming the outfield of the future is beginning to form with Nolan Reimold in right, Matt Angle in center, and Kyle Hudson in left. Reimold and Hudson could switch roles as well. I’m not sure we want to go that far but these 3 youngins are looking pretty good in what I’ve seen of them.
3. Joe Girardi and the Make-Up Game Incident
Oh boy did this piss me off. Today’s game that starts in about 30 minutes is a make-up from a postponed game at the end of August. Girardi basically threw a fit when the game was postponed because he didn’t want to make it up tonight because this was one of the only off-days the Yankees had. He kept whining about it and basically wouldn’t agree to having the make-up game tonight at 7:05 in Baltimore. Showalter said some stuff, Girardi said some stuff, we all didn’t feel bad for the poor, poor Yankees who go to the playoffs every year and blah blah blah. Screw you Yankees. Anyways, they compromised to have the make-up game today but during the day. So whatever, at least they didn’t completely get their way.
4. Cervelli’s HR that’s not a HR.
This is actually a piggyback off of the above. Wednesday night’s game was delayed because of all the damn rain we’ve been getting. However, Girardi didn’t want to call it because he didn’t want another make-up so he made the Orioles, the stadium workers, some Miss America pageant girl who sang, and some fans stay 4 hours until the game finally got underway at 11:08 PM (he says MLB decided to make them wait and whatnot but we all know that whatever the Yankees and Girardi want, they get). The only thing good about this was that a lot of fans didn’t stay so it was nice seeing Yankee Stadium empty. Also, Orioles fans caught the tying HR Matt Wieters hit so that was good. The (turned out to be) game-winning HR was hit by Cervelli. It hit the wall as two fans leaned over and interfered with the ball, which then continued out of the park. If there wasn’t fan interference, the ball most likely would have bounced off the wall and back into the stadium for a double and who knows how the game would have gone from there. However, after reviewing the play, the umpire went with his original bullshit call, thus proving that this instant replay reviewing in baseball for only certain events is ridiculous and needs to be rectified immediately. That’s a whole other argument for another day.
5. Mark Reynolds’ Clutch RBI
Finally, let me talk about a positive from yesterday’s game. In the top of the 11th, Matt Angle reached first on an error by fill-in, or as we say in football second-string, SS Nunez. He then stole 2nd and Nick Markakis was intentionally walked to bring up Mark Reynolds with 2 outs. Of course, it was on everyone’s minds that he’d strike out at an ugly pitch that almost causes him to fall over but he didn’t He hit an RBI single to take the lead. Markakis and Reynolds advanced on a wild pitch and after Nolan Reimold was intentionally walked (if you have a guy getting intentionally walked in a pressure situation, he should be starting everyday) the bases were loaded with 2 outs for Chris Davis who recently returned from the DL. He grounded out but Reynolds had the winning RBI and the O’s won yesterday. Finally, Reynolds gets a hit in the clutch that wasn’t a HR. It was just good hitting.