Buster Olney's O's week in review

August 11, 1996|By Buster Olney

(Through Thursday's games)

Ups and Downs

Wild-card hopes -- UP -- If they played Milwaukee the rest of the year, the Orioles would be in the postseason, no problem.

B.J. Surhoff -- UP -- Beat up on his old buddies from Milwaukee.

David Wells -- UP -- Booted Bernie Brewer out of the mug, and shut down the Indians. What a week.

Homers -- UP -- Closing in on club record for homers, and there's still a month and a half to play.

Rocky Coppinger -- UP -- If they make the playoffs, he'll be one of the biggest reasons for the turnaround.

Pat Gillick -- HORZ -- Says he's going to stay, despite vetoes. There are a lot of folks in the warehouse who hope he does stick around.

Gregg Zaun -- DOWN -- Back at Triple-A. Rick Dempsey's nephew would benefit from a change of scenery.

Quote

"I thought he was just messing around. I thought [the ball] was out easy."

Third baseman B.J. Surhoff, on being victimized by an incredible catch by Cleveland center fielder Kenny Lofton in 14-2 loss last Sunday.

Stat of the week

The Orioles have a shot at having six players with 100 or more RBIs. The major-league record is five, set by the 1936 New York Yankees.

The week ahead

Tomorrow-Wednesday, vs. Milwaukee: The Orioles had no problem manhandling the Brewers last week, and there's no reason to think they won't this week, either. Milwaukee's lineup is much weaker now that Greg Vaughn has been traded. His departure means opponents won't have to throw good pitches to left-handed banger Dave Nilsson. Ben McDonald likely won't start in this series for Milwaukee.

Thursday-Sunday, at Oakland: This is the epitome of a tough road trip for the Orioles, who finish a 13-game trip today. They play three games against the Brewers at Camden Yards, immediately board the plane and fly to the West Coast - to play a doubleheader against Oakland on Friday, and single games Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Rick Krivda likely will pitch one of the games of the doubleheader, and this could be the biggest test for the Orioles' four-man rotation.

The good

Brady Anderson marches along toward 50 homers. He has 35, and if he reaches that magic number, he'll become the first Oriole ever to do so.

The bad

Keith Shepherd throws about as hard as anyone in baseball. He also got hit as hard as anyone in baseball, which is why the Orioles placed him on waivers last week.

The ugly

The Orioles' 13-10 win over the Indians on Monday was truly ugly. They led 13-3, but gave up seven runs in the last two innings, lost left-hander Arthur Rhodes to an injury, and needed closer Randy Myers to finish the game.

The move that paid off

On Thursday, Orioles manager Davey Johnson ordered an intentional walk to Milwaukee's Dave Nilsson to load the bases in the fifth inning with the Orioles leading 4-2. The unconventional strategy worked. Rookie Rocky Coppinger struck out the next two hitters to get out of the jam.

and one that didn't

Arthur Rhodes' shoulder bothered him last weekend, although the injury was a strange one - it didn't hurt as much from pitching as it did from sleeping on it. Rhodes wanted to try to throw, and suffered a setback that could sideline him for the rest of the year.

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