Orioles' ups and downs

June 27, 1999|By Joe Strauss

Orioles' ups and downs

AL East Blues -- DOWN -- Thursday's deflating 2-1 loss to Boston dropped the Orioles to 23-43 in their division the past two seasons. Only once in that span have they won more than two straight vs. division foes.

Mike Bordick -- UP -- Career hit No. 1,000 arrived Wednesday and he entered Friday batting .434 against left-handed pitching, third-best in the AL. Bordick batted only .184 against left-handers last season. Orioles pray his option vests.

Cuba fallout -- DOWN -- By agreeing to play a Cuban all-star team on May 3 instead of during spring training, much of the clubhouse thought it had sidestepped a Rochester trip. Cuba, si! Rochester, no! Sorry, seven innings will have to do tomorrow.

Charles Johnson -- UP -- OK, so his size hinders his framing pitches. Entering the Yankees series he had thrown out 36 percent of base-stealers, including 52.6 percent since May 25. Camden Yards hasn't seen such a deterrent since that Cuban ump body-slammed a protester.

Mike Timlin -- UP -- First two saves since May 27 and six consecutive scoreless outings have rehabilitated his standing. Still must overcome Camden claustrophobia.

Brady Anderson -- UP -- Anderson has improved vs. left-handed pitching while ranking among the league's leaders in on-base percentage. Is on pace for his first 25-homer, 20-steal season. High socks are a keeper.

Pub Date: 6/27/99

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