(Through Thursday's games)UPS AND DOWNSCurrent road trip...

Buster Olney's O's week in review

June 30, 1996|By Buster Olney

(Through Thursday's games)

UPS AND DOWNS

Current road trip -- DOWN -- No big deal, many players said, it's no more important than the rest of the road trips. Well, with all the losing, it is now.

Emotion -- DOWN -- When is someone on this team going to get mad on the field, while the disaster is in progress? Why is it the Orioles only get rough on the umpires and schedule-makers, rather than the real culprits - the Orioles?

Texas Rangers -- UP -- Think all the ex-Orioles love beating up on their old acquaintences?

B.J. Surhoff -- DOWN -- At least he's not letting his hitting problems - he looks terrible at the plate right now - affect his defense.

Roberto Alomar -- DOWN -- His slump is taking on large proportions.

Scott Erickson -- UP -- Threw two pretty good ballgames in the past week, but has only one win to show for it.

Luis Polonia -- DOWN -- Better start mixing in a few more hits and fewer double-play ground balls. The bubble he's resting on is getting thin.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Wretched."

Manager Davey Johnson, as he gave a soft kick to a bag of bats after the Orioles' loss to Texas on Tuesday.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The Orioles are 31-13 against teams under .500, and 9-22 against teams over .500. Since starting 11-2, they are playing under .500.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Monday-Wednesday, at Toronto

Don't look now, but the Blue Jays aren't really that far behind the Orioles. They've been playing well of late, with rising star Carlos Delgado assuming more of the offensive burden. Third baseman Ed Sprague is quietly have a big season (he's on a pace to hit more than 30 homers) and right-hander Juan Guzman has been among the league leaders in ERA. If the Orioles are looking for a break against the Blue Jays, they're looking in the wrong place.

Thursday-Sunday, vs. Boston

Incredibly, this will be Boston's last trip into Camden Yards this season. The disappointing Red Sox could be headed for some serious rebuilding in the second half, with players like Tom Gordon and Mike Stanley being dangled as trade bait. Who would've guessed Boston would be trying to hold off the Detroit Tigers for fourth place in the American League East?

THE GOOD

Since getting beat on by the Texas Rangers on April 17, Jesse Orosco has been terrific. He allowed runs in only one of his last 18 appearances before suffering the loss Wednesday - on an intentional walk.

THE BAD

The bullpen, which has been sensational since the middle of May, blew a critical game Wednesday. Arthur Rhodes walked in a run, Roger McDowell gave up a couple of runs and Alan Mills gave up the game-winning double.

THE UGLY

The AL East standings are getting uglier by the day for the Orioles.

A MOVE THAT PAID OFF...

On Wednesday, Johnson ordered an intentional walk to the zTC potential winning run, Ivan Rodriguez, and two batters later, Juan Gonzalez hit a hanging slider from Alan Mills past Bobby Bonilla to drive in three runs and win a game for the Rangers.

... AND ONE THAT DIDN'T

On Thursday, Yankees manager Joe Torre ordered an intentional walk to the potential winning run, Brady Anderson, and New York closer John Wetteland struck out the next hitter, Mike Devereaux, to end the game.

By the numbers

There are 45 players on a pace to hit 30 or more homers this year. The record is 28 players, set in 1987.

Oakland is on a pace to hit 233 homers and shatter the club's all-time mark of 199, set in 1987. But that's not exactly earth-shattering. Five other teams -- Seattle, the Orioles, California, Boston and Atlanta -- have hit more homers than Oakland.

Everybody is hanging on to their pitching. When the Dodgers traded Billy Brewer to the Yankees last week, he was only the eighth pitcher on a 40-man roster to be traded since Opening Day.

When Chili Davis achieved his 2,000th hit last week, he became only the 18th switch-hitter to do so.

Six weeks after he separated his shoulder, David Justice dropped out of the top three outfielders in the NL All-Star balloting.

The Dodgers' Ramon Martinez is 15-2 since the 1995 All-Star break.

Rickey Henderson has as many runs scored as hits -- 51.

Pittsburgh's Mike Kingery is 4-for-29 (.138) with runners in scoring position. Pirates pitchers are hitting .149 with runners in scoring position.

Before he was dropped from the California rotation, all of Jim Abbott's 226 major-league appearances had been as a starting pitcher.

David Nied, the first player taken in the 1993 expansion draft, is regressing. He's 0-4 in his past six starts for Colorado's Triple-A affiliate, with a 21.69 ERA.

In his first 12 starts, Cleveland right-hander Orel Hershiser gave up 11 homers over 62 innings. He has allowed none in his past 27 1/3 innings.

Ryan Minor is at least the fourth possible NBA player drafted by a Pat Gillick-run team. The others: Danny Ainge, Scott Burrell and LaBradford Smith.

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