Monday, April 4, 2011

Orioles -- Welcome Home, 2011, a Year of Hope!!

The Orioles open their 2011 home schedule at Orioles Park at Camden Yards this afternoon after winning their first three games against last year's American League champs, The Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles only gave up three runs in three games. A little perspective, the O's didn't win their third game until their 19th game on April 25th in 2010.

The Orioles led 3-1 in the 9th Saturday night. It looked like a familiar Orioles' collapse, two runners on, a long fly ball deep to right field, nick Markasis made a brilliant catch, game over, Orioles win.

The Orioles start the season with two projected starters on the DL. Justin Duchscherer was shelved before breaking Spring Training Camp, then readying for Saturday's start on Friday, Brian Matusz developed rib pain and was removed from the start filled in brilliantly by Chris Tillman who no hit the Rays for six strong innings removed with a ptich count limit.  Called up before even starting the AAA season in Norfolk, Zachary Britton pitched his first major league game giving up one run in six innings.

Baltimore awaits the new firepower on offense: shortstop - J.J. Hardy, first baseman - Derrek Lee. third baseman - Mark Reynolds and designated hitter - Vladimir Guerrero.

The ballpark has undergone more renovations including replacing more seats wider with better viewing angles, a variety of special accomodations including part of the club area being converted into an open air cafe over looking the field, and a new concessionaire promising an enhanced menu while keeping old familiar Boog's Barbeque.

Buck Showalter has expectations raised after the Orioles playing almost historically poor ball earlier in the season, playing the best ball in the AL East during the last two months of the season.

The offense looks intimidating. The Orioles will go as far as their young rotation anchored by veteran, Jeremy Guthrie can take them.

A winning season for the first time since 1997 looks like a real possibility. They're already three games up in their division!


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