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By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2011
Orioles right-handed relief pitcher Jason Berken looks like a different man this spring after losing at least 20 pounds since last season. Fortunately for the Orioles, he again is looking like the guy who was the club's best pitcher in the first half of 2010. In his two outings this season, Berken has faced 10 batters and retired nine of them, including six on strikeouts. In the seventh inning of Sunday's win, his first big league game since being shut down Aug. 13 with shoulder inflammation, Berken struck out the side, throwing 10 of his 15 pitches for strikes in the Orioles' 5-1 win against Tampa Bay. In Monday's home opener, Berken pitched the seventh and the eighth, allowing just one hit and striking out three in the club's 5-1 win against the Detroit Tigers.
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By Alejandro Zuniga and The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2014
It's late May, but Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez pitched like it was early April. Jimenez labored through four innings Saturday against the Cleveland Indians, his shortest outing of the year, matching season-worst marks with five runs allowed and five walks. “It looks like I'm just missing a little bit of the strike zone,” said Jimenez, who finished with 99 pitches, 55 of them strikes. “I'm not that far away, but I'm missing and falling behind the count and getting myself into trouble.
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By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2012
The heater rides in at 91 miles an hour, belt-high and straight, giving Orioles hitter Matt Wieters a good view of what looks like a strike in the making. As it reaches the plate, it dives toward the ground. No mortal can say for sure whether the fastball from Angels pitcher Jered Weaver would have grazed the imaginary border of the strike zone, located at Wieters' knees. But umpire Kerwin Danley has called "strike" on two previous close pitches. Wieters swings, awkwardly. His slow roller ends the inning.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2014
Ten starts into his Orioles career, the organization is still trying to figure out which Ubaldo Jimenez they signed. At times, Jimenez has been dominating, as he was during a three-start stretch this month. But when he's struggled, it hasn't been pretty. Such was the case on Saturday afternoon, when Jimenez labored through his shortest start of the season against his former team as the Orioles were on the short side of a 9-0 drubbing - their most lopsided loss of the season --  at the hands of the Cleveland Indians in front of an announced 36,873 at Camden Yards.
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By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer | May 31, 1993
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Orioles reliever Todd Frohwirth doesn't complain much, but he couldn't hold back after a series of close ball/strike calls went against him during a four-run California Angels rally on Saturday night."
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By Jim Henneman and Jim Henneman,Sun Staff Writer | July 24, 1994
In his defense of beleaguered umpire John Hirschbeck the other day, Ben McDonald hit on a touchy subject that produces a wide difference of opinion between hitters and pitchers -- the size of the strike zone.For years, pitchers have contended one way to speed up the game is a stricter enforcement of the strike zone. They particularly have contended that pitches at the top of the strike zone, defined as the midpoint between the armpits and waist, are consistently dismissed as being high.There is an obvious contradiction to that theory.
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By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | July 22, 2001
Major League Baseball vice president Sandy Alderson came out looking like the villain in the strike zone controversy that flared up between MLB and the umpires union, but the issue turned out to be more about semantics than substance. Alderson's attempt to get umpires to call more strikes was consistent with his crusade to standardize the strike zone - which is a noble quest - but his method of determining who was correctly enforcing his strike zone directive left him open to the charge that he was improperly trying to manipulate the game.
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By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | April 8, 2001
It's a little early to judge the Sandy Alderson strike zone experiment, but the early anecdotal returns appear to indicate that the higher strike is having an impact on the balance of power between pitchers and hitters. Obviously, the six strong performances out of the six starters who appeared in the season-opening series between the Orioles and Boston Red Sox are an indication that something is different from last year. Neither team is considered to have a particularly strong starting rotation, yet both teams looked like the Atlanta Braves.
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By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Writer | June 24, 1994
The world is full of gray areas. That fuzzy line between right and wrong. That gap on the speedometer between 55 mph and the speed that gets you pulled over on I-95. Cleveland before they built Jacobs Field.The baseball world is full of them, too, and none has created more controversy than that theoretical box known as the strike zone.It is too big. It is too small. It is getting too narrow. It is far too wide. It is always changing. It hasn't changed in years. It depends entirely on who's doing the talking.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 14, 2001
This season's strike zone seems to be causing more conflict between the umpires and Major League Baseball officials than between umpires and players. Umpires are outraged over instructions that have come to some of them in the past 10 days via e-mail and telephone calls from Sandy Alderson, baseball's chief of operations, two persons who had been told by umpires said yesterday. Alderson said that either the messages had been misinterpreted or the reaction "is all part of a political agenda that some people have," stemming from the bitter feelings between two factions of umpires over which union would represent them.
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By Jon Meoli | September 3, 2013
Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel declared himself “100-percent” healthy and ready to return to the major-league pitching staff Tuesday after he pitched four, one-run innings for Short-Season Class A Aberdeen at Ripken Stadium.   “I don't know exactly what the plan is for the next couple of days, but I've done my work, they're taking good care of me, and I'm feeling healthy, so I'm ready to go when they want me,” said Hammel, who is working his way back from a sore elbow,.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 1, 2013
NEW YORK - Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen thought he had pretty good stuff on Sunday afternoon, but his career-high five walks over four innings in the club's 7-3 win over the Yankees would indicate otherwise. After the outing, Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin that he believed his strike zone was getting pinched by home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg, but he didn't use that as an excuse. “This is a part of baseball,” Chen said through Lin. “Sometimes when I throw right in the middle of home plate, the umpire didn't pick it up. Sometimes, the strike zone was a little small today.” Chen has experienced some control issues of late.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | July 20, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - After going through a span of 43 games without drawing a walk, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has suddenly drawn four in his past three games entering Saturday. Jones had just 14 walks in 417 plate appearances this season heading into the second game of this weekend's series against the Texas Rangers. "There is no explanation, trust me," Jones quipped about his sudden streak of walks. He joked that he's been using the bat that he used to smack his batting helmet into the Yankee Stadium tunnel in frustration earlier this month.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | July 20, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - Chris Davis has admitted that coming to Baltimore - and leaving a Texas Rangers team which he grew up loving and struggled to live up to expectations with - was an important part in his development into one of the best players in baseball this season. But Davis entered Saturday 1-for-17 with 11 strikeouts and just one RBI in five games against his former team this season. Since coming to the Orioles in a trade from the Rangers on July 30, 2011, Davis is 4-for-38 with one homer, one RBI and 23 strikeouts against Texas (including last year's wild-card game)
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2013
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson knows plenty about power hitters. He played with guys like Frank Robinson. He managed Brady Anderson in 1996 when Anderson set a still-standing Orioles franchise record with 50 homers. He now manages Bryce Harper, who, at 20, may have the highest power potential in the game. As a player, Johnson hit 136 career homers, including 43 in 1973 with the Atlanta Braves. So what does he see going on with the Orioles' Chris Davis, who has 37 homers heading into the start of the second half tonight?
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2013
     Jim Johnson's sixth blown save - which ties him with setup man James Russell of the Chicago Cubs for the major league lead - on Friday night in the Bronx was particularly painful to watch.     That's partially because Johnson did much of the damage to himself. He made a costly error on a routine sacrifice bunt. And he issued a four-pitch walk that tied the game.      Johnson was beating himself up after the game for the error. And that's typical Johnson. But, frankly, errors happen.
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By Roch Kubatko and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF | June 3, 2002
By the time shortstop Mike Bordick had taken a few steps toward the home dugout and was tossed from yesterday's game, the Orioles already knew what brushes had been used to paint their 11-8 loss to the Seattle Mariners. They weren't appreciative of the artwork created by plate umpire Kerwin Danley. It wasn't a pretty picture. Though the Orioles wouldn't pin blame for defeat on an umpire, they were incensed by a strike zone that seemed to change as the game progressed and a 7-1 lead turned to dust.
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May 8, 2001
Runs per game -10.6% April 2000, 10.75; April 2001, 9.61 Batting average -3.7% April 2000, .270; April 2001, .260 Home runs per game -8.6% April 2000, 2.56; April 2001, 2.34 Earned run average -9.5%M April 2000, 4.96; April 2001, 4.46 Strikeouts per game +5.4% April 2000, 12.91; April 2001, 13.61 Walks per game -13.3% April 2000, 7.82; April 2001, 6.78 Length of game -2.2% April 2000, 2.58; April 2001, 2.54 Throughout his crusade to...
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By Matt Vensel | June 7, 2013
We are all aware of the kind of damage Chris Davis is capable of when a pitcher puts a pitch in the strike zone. Take Sunday's 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers for example. With the Orioles trailing, 2-0, in the seventh inning, Tigers starter Rick Porcello hung an 81-mph changeup over the outside edge of the plate. Davis casually uncorked his 6-foot-3 frame and ignited an Orioles comeback with a towering solo homer to right center . Davis has made hitting baseballs very far look way too easy this season . He leads the American League with 20 home runs, a .732 slugging percentage and a 1.168 OPS. He is second in the American League with a .357 batting average, 52 RBI and 45 runs.
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Peter Schmuck | May 29, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Highly anticipated Orioles rookie Kevin Gausman still hasn't appeared in a game at Camden Yards, but his education at the major league level continued Tuesday night just a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. What has he learned so far? Well, he found out in his second big league start that it doesn't take long to get up to your ears in line drives if you can't locate in the lower third of the strike zone. The Washington Nationals don't have the firepower of the Blue Jays lineup he debuted against in Toronto last week, but they greeted him with a string of hard-hit balls in the first inning, then punctuated that early onslaught with a long three-run homer by Adam LaRoche.
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