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By Peter Schmuck and The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2014
Maybe we've all gotten spoiled by the terrific relief that has been provided by the Orioles bullpen this year, but the past few days have been - to say the least - unsettling. The Orioles won two of the past three games, but the bullpen has faltered in all three, and two of the top relievers in the league struggled in the last two games. It's probably fair to throw out Sunday's game, since it took a three-run meltdown in a tuneup appearance by Ubaldo Jimenez to make things interesting, but Brad Brach had a rare rocky outing that day, too. Monday's loss to the Twins featured an exciting three-run comeback by the O's, which was immediately followed by a defensive breakdown behind starter Kevin Gausman and two quick run-scoring hits off highly reliable left-hander Andrew Miller.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | October 6, 2014
DETROIT -- As left-handed reliever Andrew Miller spoke to the media in the clubhouse hallway Sunday night after the Orioles' American League Division Series clincher in Detroit, he was interrupted by a bellow. "You did it, Andrew," said the excited voice. "You did it. " Miller smiled and shook hands with the giddy man to his right: Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, who acquired Miller in a July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline deal with the Boston Red Sox. Whether you're an Orioles fan or you just happen to run the organization, it's hard not to be pumped about what Miller has done in his two-plus months in Baltimore.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 27, 2013
Some of you are wondering why manager Buck Showalter stuck with closer Jim Johnson in the ninth inning of the Orioles' 6-5 loss to Toronto on Sunday afternoon. The bottom line it that right now this Orioles bullpen is spent. This game was Johnson's to close or lose, and I think 10 times out of 10, Showalter will like his odds with Johnson against Toronto's No. 9 hitter Munenori Kawasaki. I've heard Showalter say it many times: He won't compromise the health of the bullpen. He realizes that this Orioles team will go as far as its bullpen will take it, and there's no way he will put his relievers - as he puts it - “in harm's way.” “Buck doesn't ever put you in a situation where you're overtaxed,” right-hander Tommy Hunter said.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
When the Detroit Tigers last came to Baltimore in May, right fielder Torii Hunter left firmly ensconced as the chief villain in road grays. Miguel Cabrera, the two-time reigning American League MVP, took up that mantel during the ALDS. Cabrera, the reigning two-time American League Most Valuable Player, had a hand in nearly every play - good and bad - on either team's ledger Friday, as his Tigers fell 7-6 with another eighth-inning bullpen implosion. The 2012 Triple Crown winner, who homered in the eighth inning of Game 1 and took his time rounding the bases, opened the Tigers' attack with a two-out single in the first inning Friday.
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By Eduardo A. Encina | May 5, 2012
BOSTON - The clock crept on midnight at Fenway Park - and most of the announced sellout crowd of 37,223 - was likely dozing off. But it was the Orioles bullpen that put the Red Sox bats to sleep Friday night, throwing eight shutout innings - running its scoreless-inning streak to 19 innings - propelling the Orioles to a 6-4 13-inning win over the Red Sox. It was the Orioles' fourth win in their last five games here at...
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | April 27, 2012
It wasn't that long ago when we looked at the Orioles bullpen and didn't know what to make of it. Yes, there were plenty of quality arms - and several that entered the season with some track record of late-inning success - but the lack of defined roles prompted considerable caution. But over the past three nights, the Orioles' pen might have had its finest moments of this young season. Without closer Jim Johnson, who spent the past three nights hospitalized with flu-like symptoms and a bacterial infection, the other relievers sparkled in his absence.
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By Matt Vensel | February 26, 2013
In their unexpected run to the playoffs last season, the Orioles were historically good in one-run games, winning more than 76 percent of them. Their bullpen was among the best in the majors -- and among the best in franchise history -- as relievers went 32-11 with 55 saves and a 3.00 ERA as the Orioles won 93 games. The Orioles ranked fifth in ERA and also finished fifth in WHIP with 1.21 walks and hits per inning. They somehow did it without striking out a lot of batters, as they ranked 28th with 7.49 strikeouts per nine innings.
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By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2012
CHICAGO - Nolan Reimold admitted his uneasyness in stepping into the leadoff spot in the Orioles batting order - unsure how he'd be able to adapt in an unfamiliar role -- but over the past few games, he certainly seems more than comfortable there. Over his past four games, the 28-year-old Reimold has sparked the Orioles offense -- hitting home runs in each of those games -- his latest a two-run shot that broke a scoreless tie in the sixth and helped the Orioles to a 3-2 win over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2013
The Orioles bullpen had a - pardon the pun - bird's-eye view of center fielder Adam Jones' two-run homer on Wednesday night. When Jones smoked a line drive to left-center field that hit off the a metal railing over the fence and bounced back in, the Orioles relievers were just feet away from where the ball landed. “There are very few people who could have seen it besides us,” said rookie reliever T.J. McFarland, who had crouched down preparing to field the ball as it reached the fence.”We saw it right there, because the railing is slightly lower than the fence.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
The Orioles' sweep by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last weekend raised all kinds of red flags. But four days back home against the Tampa Bay Rays allowed the Orioles to get back to one of the things that has carried them to the top of the American League East -- a lights-out bullpen. Relief pitchers Brad Brach , Andrew Miller, and Zach Britton combined for three scoreless innings in Thursday's 5-4 win at Camden Yards, and the bullpen completed a four-game series against the Rays without allowing an earned run in 14 1/3 innings.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
In considering his American League Division Series roster, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said this weekend in Toronto that his biggest decision was whether he would carry 10 or 11 pitchers in the best-of-five series against the Detroit Tigers. He decided on the latter and opted to make that 11th pitcher right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez . To call Jimenez's first season in Baltimore inconsistent might be kind. He's been on a roller coaster that included a second-half demotion to the bullpen.
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The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors share their immediate reaction to Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Orioles and the Detroit Tigers at Camden Yards. Dan Connolly, reporter: Thursday's 12-3 Orioles victory was exactly how the club drew it up -- really the way this team has executed things much of the season: Solid enough starting pitching, excellent relief outings and a couple key longballs. And then they piled on against a shaky bullpen.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
ESPN is bringing its Sunday Night Baseball crew to Baltimore this week to cover the final stop of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter's farewell tour at Camden Yards and, oh yeah, to showcase the first-place Orioles, who entered Friday's game 10 games up on the second-place Toronto Blue Jays and 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in baseball. ESPN was kind enough to hook us up with Sunday Night Baseball announcer Dan Shulman, who has called the Sunday showcases since 2011 and is one of the best in the game.
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By Peter Schmuck and The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2014
Maybe we've all gotten spoiled by the terrific relief that has been provided by the Orioles bullpen this year, but the past few days have been - to say the least - unsettling. The Orioles won two of the past three games, but the bullpen has faltered in all three, and two of the top relievers in the league struggled in the last two games. It's probably fair to throw out Sunday's game, since it took a three-run meltdown in a tuneup appearance by Ubaldo Jimenez to make things interesting, but Brad Brach had a rare rocky outing that day, too. Monday's loss to the Twins featured an exciting three-run comeback by the O's, which was immediately followed by a defensive breakdown behind starter Kevin Gausman and two quick run-scoring hits off highly reliable left-hander Andrew Miller.
SPORTS
By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
The Orioles' sweep by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last weekend raised all kinds of red flags. But four days back home against the Tampa Bay Rays allowed the Orioles to get back to one of the things that has carried them to the top of the American League East -- a lights-out bullpen. Relief pitchers Brad Brach , Andrew Miller, and Zach Britton combined for three scoreless innings in Thursday's 5-4 win at Camden Yards, and the bullpen completed a four-game series against the Rays without allowing an earned run in 14 1/3 innings.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
CHICAGO - The first half of the Orioles' six-game, weeklong trip to Chicago was a success in more ways than one. They beat up on the floundering Chicago White Sox, sweeping the three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. Fate shined down on the Orioles, but that seems to happen when you're playing as well as this team's playing. On Tuesday, while the Chicago Cubs waited through a four-hour rain delay at Wrigley Field, not a drop fell on the city's South Side, even though the ballparks are less than 10 miles apart.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2013
For the second straight night, the Orioles' fate was left to the bullpen, and the team's relievers were banged up and beaten yet again. With the games remaining in the regular season dwindling, the Orioles blew another chance to gain ground in the American League wild-card race with a 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday in front of an announced 20,141 at Camden Yards. The Yankees broke open a tie game with two runs in the top of the ninth inning - including a solo homer by Robinson Cano off reliever Tommy Hunter - and then the Orioles' rally in bottom half fell short as they stranded the potential tying run on first base.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2011
The Orioles' much-maligned bullpen has rarely been singled out for praise this season, but that was the case Monday after the team's 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. That the Orioles even had a chance to win the game was because the bullpen came in after Jake Arrieta lasted just 21/3 innings and pitched 52/3 scoreless frames. Making his third appearance since being activated from major league baseball's restricted list, right-hander Alfredo Simon inherited Arrieta's bases-loaded-and-one-out jam in the third and struck out Carlos Peguero and Chone Figgins . Simon allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out four over 32/3 innings.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2014
Just like Orioles manager Buck Showalter says, there's another challenge around the corner, and the Orioles' next challenge takes them to Cleveland. The Orioles open their two-city, nine-game road trip to Cleveland and Chicago leading the Blue Jays by 7 1/2 games and the Yankees by eight games in the American League East. The Orioles haven't gone into a game owning a division lead of 7 1/2 games or more since Sept. 13, 1997. The Indians still have something to play for. They're 5 1/2 games out of the AL's second wild-card spot.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | June 29, 2014
The Orioles bullpen went into the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon's game against the Tampa Bay Rays having allowed just one run over its past 30 innings. But a struggling Tampa Bay Rays offense came to life with a seven-run sixth inning -- all of the runs coming against the Orioles bullpen -- as 11 batters went to the plate. Six of the runs were scored with two outs in the inning off relievers Evan Meek and Brian Matusz. The Orioles entered the inning leading, 4-3, but No. 9 hitter Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo homer to right field off Meek with one out to tie the game.
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