Birds Up, O's Down: 14-20 June 2010

Here’s a weekly look at players making an impact, for good and bad, for the Orioles this week:

Birds Up

Nick Markakis (RF) - He hasn't hit a home run yet this month and only has three total, but he added three doubles this week and is on pace to hit over 50 on the year. Overall he went 8-for-21 with 3 walks, which is a cool .440 OBP for the week. And then there was an interview he gave...
  Jason Berken (RHP) - Berken is the bullpen stud, and he added to his reputation this week. 4 appearances, 5.1 IP, 18 batters faced, 15 batters retired (he gave up 1 single and 2 walks), 6 K, 0 runs. If only Juan Samuel would stop pulling him from the game too soon. 
Brian Matusz (LHP) - Brian made one start this week, pitching to a line of 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K. After struggling with walks for much of the year, Matusz has allowed just one in his last two outings, a total of 14 IP. His pitch count got a little high in his last start, but he was so nervous to pitch in San Diego, so he gets a pass. You can be nervous in San Diego, Brian, as long as you keep kicking butt in Yankee Stadium. 
Kevin Millwood (RHP) - His game against the Giants was good but not brilliant (6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K), but it earned him his first win of 2010 so I couldn't leave him off the list. 
Julio Lugo (2B) - I think you all know how much it pains me to write this. But the truth is Lugo had a good week. He still doesn't belong on this team, but what can I say? He went 6-for-14 with a walk and his double on 19 June was his first XBH of the year. He stole 2 bases but also got picked off twice, which brings me a perverse sense of joy.

O's down

Cesar Izturis (SS) - Izzy spent the week hitting 5 singles. That's it. No extra base hits, no walks. His batting line for the week is a very symmetrical .217/.217/.217 and his OPS is in serious danger of dropping below .500. I know the dude can pick it at SS but at some point you have to start wondering how much that matters relative to his woes at the plate. 
Frank Mata (RHP) - Every time Mata comes in to pitch I think to myself, "Who is this guy?" This week, the answer to that was, "A person who does not belong in the majors." Mata appeared in 2 games for a total of 2.2 IP. In those 2.2 innings he gave up 4 walks, 4 hits (2 2B, 1 HR), and 6 ER. Watching Mata pitch makes me wonder what Brian Bass is up to, for crying out loud. 
Chris Tillman (RHP) - Two innings pitched, six earned runs allowed, one rotation spot lost. He's not on the bus to Norfolk yet, but if Brad Bergesen gets called up for Saturday's game, that's probably what will happen. Chris, we want to love you. Let us love you!
David Hernandez (RHP) - Out of three appearances on the week, David Hernandez did well in two of them. Unfortunately the last one is what everyone remembers, and is the performance that got him yanked prematurely from the closer's spot. 4 hits and a walk in 0.2 IP, leading to walk off by the Padres and the Orioles 12th blown save of the year. That's 12 in 24 chances. Ouch. 
Matt Wieters (C ) - The good news is that Matt Wieters hit a double and a home run this week. The bad news is that those were the only two hits he recorded. Overall, Matt went 2-for-20 with one walk and four strikeouts. The saddest part to me, though, is that on 15 June his OBP went under .300 for the first time this year. Today it sits at .287. 


Shout out! To duck. I had no idea how long this takes every week. I am now in awe of his dedication to all of us.

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