Orioles

Quick Links

O's look to force Game 5

uspw_6649020.jpg

O's look to force Game 5

Buck Showalter keeps telling the Orioles to stay focused in the present, the here and now. Don’t worry about the past. Concern yourself with today, not yesterday.
 
That strategy is going to be put to the test on Thursday.
 
The Orioles need to get past what happened in Game 3 of the ALDS with the Yankees if they have any shot in Game 4. Just two outs away from taking a 2-1 lead in the series, the Orioles watched Jim Johnson give up a one-out game-tying homer to Raul Ibanez in the ninth. Then, Ibanez crushed another homer in the 12th off Brian Matusz to give New York a 3-2 victory.
 
The Birds had won their final 16 extra-inning games in the regular season. They also were 74-0 in games with leads after seven. Plus, the Orioles had a 29-9 regular-season mark in one-run games.
 
It’s doubtful the Orioles or their skipper were worrying much about those numbers on this night, even though they were big reasons the Birds made the playoffs.
 
Now, even though it’s an old cliché, the Orioles need to turn the page—and they don’t have much time to do it.
 
Can Jim Johnson steady himself and show the form he did all year? He’s had rough outings in two of the three games so far in the ALDS. He settled down to pitch well in two innings on this night, but Johnson still gave up the game-tying homer and five runs in Game 1. 
 
Brian Matusz had been untouchable in recent weeks against lefties – until Ibanez torched him in the 12th. How will he do if the Orioles need him?
 
This is a young team that’s never been to the playoffs or suffered the sometimes-painful losses which the post-season brings. October baseball can teach tough lessons sometimes while the baseball gods don't have much of a sense of humor.
 
As hard as it might be to deal with, Game 3 is over. The Orioles let that one slip away.
 
Can they do what’s needed in Game 4?

Quick Links

Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

machadohr.png
USA TODAY Sports

Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

Quick Links

Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

britton.png
USA TODAY Sports Images

Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.