Chen completely dominates Yankees (www.theorioles.com)
4-6 Yankees off to worst start since 1991 (www.espn.com)
The 6-4 Orioles once again benefited from great teamwork. From Roberts getting 3 hits and Sosa and Tejada continuing their power surge to Chen pitching a masterful 9 innings of 4 hit ball, the team is showing the baseball world how it's done the "new" Oriole way.
Roberts goes 3 for 5 (raising his average to .429) and knocking in a run. This kid is arguably the best leadoff hitter the Orioles have had in the last 20 years. Yes thats above and beyond Mr. Sideburns IMHO. They key to the Orioles continuing to produce runs for their pitchers is the top of the order guys getting on base. Mora has awoken ( 5 for 23 a .391 clip with 4 rbis) in the last 5 games, batting behind roberts make that instant scoring position for the big guys.
Tejada has started to hit for power now, blasting 2 homers in the last 2 games not to mention his other current streak of 7 consecutive games with atleast 1 rbi(17 is the MLB record). Sosa hits his second longball and 3 rbis to bring his season total to 6.
That is not to say that all was gravy with our hitting tonight. as ESPN.com says, the Orioles "failed" to get 10 hits (first time in the last 7 games they have done that... slackers) They also left a whopping 19 men on base. 19 men. Thats sic. Especially when we are playing the Yankees. Taking advantage of the opportunities granted them should be a priority. They ar not going to run over them each and every game this season and hitting out of a big inning will not win the closer games. On the flip side of this argument, Roberts, Matos, Tejada and Sosa did each have a 2 out RBI to their credit. In fact. Sosa had 2.
As far as pitching goes. There is only one thing I can say... Riley Who??? I have to admit that my prior comments about losing Riley in a BS Trade (http://www.baseballgeeks.com/cgi-bin/bbs/thread.pl?
) was short sighted. Bruce Chen was and is the best man for the 5th spot in this rotation. The soft-throwing southpaw had the Yanks so confused and clueless, it was like watching 5 yr olds trying to hit Pedro.
With the exception of Cabrera, who I still think has some terrific upside despite his lousy performance to date and Ponson's bad day, the rotaion has been the biggest spot of light for the Orioles. Sure the batters are scoring big, but without the wherewithal to stand and deliver to some of the best names in baseball and keep the team in the game, the season would be bleak.
In conclusion, I sit in awe as i watch the Orioles work. I don;t care if it is only 2 weeks into a long season. The Orioles are fun to watch. They are easy to cheer for and the passion in the team is palpable. The team may not sweep a series all year long.. but hell, I'll take a 104-52 season every year.