What they're saying about the Orioles

September 17, 2012|By Chris Trevino | The Baltimore Sun

Here's a roundup of what other media outlets are saying about the Orioles:

** Joe Posnanski of Sports on Earth offers his take on Orioles catcher Matt Wieters after his two-homer performance in a win against the Athletics.

It is becoming less and less likely that Matt Wieters will become the next “Mickey Mantle meets Josh Gibson meets Yogi Berra meets Chuck Norris.” I mean, the player Wieters HAS become is plenty good … a Gold Glove catcher and a switch-hitter with power. But he has not lived up to the insane hype that led people to start the “Matt Wieters Facts” concept* before he even reached the big leagues.

That said, there are games like Sunday’s when you just watch Wieters and find yourself in awe. Obviously he had a particularly good game -- he hit two homers, walked twice (once intentionally), handled the game pretty flawlessly and so on. But it’s the way he does it that leaves you shaking your head. His swing, especially from the left side, is absolutely beautiful. I mean it’s BEAUTIFUL -- it’s Griffey beautiful, Strawberry beautiful, Billy Williams beautiful, Will Clark beautiful. Even when he strikes out, which he did in his fifth plate appearance, it’s like art.

** Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell discusses the Orioles’ turnaround and the potential return of playoff baseball in Baltimore.

September hasn’t felt right in this town for 15 years because the Orioles weren’t part of it. Now, the air in Camden Yards smells and feels like it should once more — crisp as tension, cool as contention and crystal clear as a future that’s worth seeing.

Unexpectedly, almost impossibly, the Orioles are tied for the American League East lead with the Yankees with just 20 games left in the season. With 80 wins already, the Birds are 18 games over .500 and poised for their first winning year since 1997.

** MLB.com writer Adam Rosenbloom takes a look at the return of two pitchers -- including Orioles starter Chris Tillman -- trying to rebound from injuries in the series opener between Baltimore and Seattle on Monday night.

Chris Tillman will make his first start since Sept. 2, when he exited after three innings with right elbow stiffness against the Yankees. Manager Buck Showalter knew from the start that Tillman was struggling -- a dip in his normal velocity led to walks in the first two innings, and a two-out, two-run homer by Chris Dickerson in the second.

"He has been so consistent with his velocity early in the game, and you could tell early on that he was really laboring," Showalter said. "I talked to him after the third inning and didn't like what I was seeing. ... Hopefully, it was just a onetime thing."

Tillman has dominated the Mariners twice this season, most recently tossing 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball on Aug. 6. The right-hander held Seattle to two runs over 8 1/3 innings in his season debut on July 4.

** Sports Illustrated updated their MLB power rankings Monday and had this to say of Baltimore, which checked in at No. 8 after being ranked No. 10 last week. 

With all the attention on the Orioles' record in one-run games -- after winning two of three such contests last week, they are 27-8, the best success rate in baseball history -- but they are also quite proficient in two-run games (22-13, fifth-best in the majors this year) and, oddly, in six-run games (12-4), yet they have losing records in three-run games (6-11), four-run games (5-9) and five-run games (5-7). They are also 5-12 in all games decided by seven or more runs, helping explain their negative run differential on the season.

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