Birds Up, O's Down, Week 21 (August 20-26)

High five, J.J.! You were awesome this week.

Due to a rainout and an off day, the Baltimore Orioles played only five games this week, going 3-2. Because of their abbreviated schedule, I'm going to do a modified Birds Up, O's Down. Hopefully the normal author of this feature, twistedlogic, doesn't take offense to my bastardization of his weekly column.

Lineup

J.J. Hardy James Jerry is finally heating up at the plate, and hopefully it's a sign of things to come. He went 7-17 with three doubles and a home run. That combined with his always fantastic defense at shortstop makes him one of week's top performers.

Nick Markakis His only power at the plate came in the form of one triple, but it's hard to argue with him reaching base eight times in twenty-one plate appearances. It was just another good week for the O's leadoff hitter.

Chris Davis Three home runs in one game is definitely worth an up arrow. In four games played last week he went 5-for-15 and while he didn't work any walks, one HBP gave his OBP a boost.

Matt Wieters Yes, he threw out three runners in one game against the Blue Jays, but he also got on base only once this week. He hit a single in Saturday's rout against the Jays, but other than that nothing. No other hits, no walks, no HBP, nothing.

Mark Reynolds Three hits and four walks gave Mark a .368 OBP for the week, which is good. But all three of his hits were singles, which is not what we were promised.

Adam Jones Adam Jones has really been scuffling of late. He went 5-for-20 with a walk last week, and all but one of those hits was a single. He hasn't hit a home run since July 27th.

Pitchers

Steve Johnson After one good start back on August 8th, Steve Johnson was jerked around between the minors and the bullpen, and just got the chance to start again on Saturday. He didn't disappoint, pitching six strong innings against the Blue Jays. After a shaky first inning in which he allowed a two-run homer, he settled in and looked great.

Zach Britton It's only been two starts since his recent callup, but Zach Britton looks like a different pitcher than the one who was demoted on August 7th with an 8.10 ERA. He looked great against the Blue Jays, pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up just two runs. The six strikeouts and twelve ground balls were nice too.

Chris Tillman It was a good week for the young starting pitchers. The Orioles managed only one win in Texas, and Chris Tillman was on the mound for that game. Both Tommy Hunter and Miguel Gonzalez fell victim to the Rangers offense, but not Tilly. He struck out seven against just one walk, and gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Tommy Hunter Tommy Hunter outdid even himself this week, giving up eight earned runs in just three innings pitched. In that outing against the Rangers he walked two and gave up three home runs, and as a result has been demoted to AA Bowie. The Orioles have given him a lot of chances in the rotation this season, but with the trade for Joe Saunders I think his days as a starter for this team have come to an end.

J.C. Romero Romero came to the Orioles to replace the injured Troy Patton, and he didn't even come close. He gave up runs in all but one of his appearances as an Oriole, and after the last two this week, Dan Duquette sent him packing. You know you're in trouble when Brian Matusz is a more attractive option than you.

Miguel Gonzalez I didn't want to give MiGo the down arrow, but four runs in five innings isn't good. It's not Tommy Hunter bad, but it's not good either. Three walks and eight hits in five innings made him the losing pitcher in Texas.
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