Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Down the Stretch (Sept. 19) - Baltimore Sun (blog)

[Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming night for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]

About last night

Orioles beat Mariners, 4-2, in 18-inning marathon
Duquette says O's have what it takes to win AL East
Thome and Patton expected to be back Friday
Schmuck: Machado deserves a shot at Rookie of the Year
Tuesday's full scoreboard

AL East Standings

BAL       84-64     --
NYY       83-63     --
TB         78-70      6

AL Wild-Card Standings

OAK       84-63      --
BAL        83-64        --
LAA        81-67      3
DET        78-69     5.5
TB          78-70     6

Tonight’s game

Orioles at Mariners. 10:10 p.m.

LHP Joe Saunders (8-12, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (13-8, 2.92 ERA)

Key matchup

This would be an odd matchup to work in the Orioles' favor, but Endy Chavez is 6-for-10 in his career against King Felix. The Orioles' other top hitters against Hernandez are Nick Markakis, Jim Thome and Brian Roberts -- but I'm guessing none of them are going to get a hit tonight.

Other games that matter

Blue Jays (Alvarez) at Yankees (Pettitte), 1:05 p.m.

Blue Jays (Romero) at Yankees (Phelps), 7:05 p.m.

Athletics (Anderson) at Tigers (Verlander), 7:05 p.m.

Red Sox (Matsuzaka) at Rays (Archer), 7:10 p.m.

White Sox (Sale) at Royals (Chen), 8:10 p.m.

Rangers (Holland) at Angels (Wilson), 10:05 p.m.

Thought of the day

Preparing for the first-ever one-game wild-card playoff will involve some roster decisions for the teams involved, but the managers in that situation will apparently have some flexability.

Teams â€" which are allowed to carry 40 players in September â€" must get down to a normal 25-man roster for the wild-card playoff.

But they’ll be allowed to set a new 25-man roster should they advance to the division series.

Ravens need Bernard Pollard to play vs. Patriots - Baltimore Sun (blog)

Soon after Sunday's loss to Philadelphia, both Ravens coach John Harbaugh and safety Bernard Pollard said Pollard would play in this week's game against New England despite bruised ribs. A day later, Harbaugh wouldn't make the same commitment.

The Ravens need Pollard to play.

After two games, he has been the team's best defensive player. He has been a thumper, stopper and a player that the opposition has to find on every play. Pollard had a great season a year ago, but his value has doubled because the Ravens can line him up anywhere on the field. Because the run defense has been subpar, the Ravens have put him in the box or near the line of scrimmage a lot. Without much of a pass rush, the Ravens have used Pollard almost like an outside linebacker at times with him bringing pressure off the corner.

When playing on the back end in pass defense, Pollard has made receivers pay after catches over the middle. And he gives the coaching staff some relief knowing he is back there with safety Ed Reed, who has been known to stray from the called defense at times.

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James Ihedigbo was solid filling in for Pollard in the second half Sunday after Pollard got hurt, but he doesn't bring nearly the same versatility. With a defense that has been struggling in the first two weeks, Pollard had become a player the Ravens could count on.

Orioles rushing Dylan Bundy to Seattle, report says - Baltimore Sun (blog)

In the wake of the 18-inning game Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Orioles reportedly have made a special call for additional pitching depth. FoxSports is reporting that top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is headed for Seattle and could be there in time for tonight’s series finale against the Mariners at Safeco Field.

It makes sense. The Orioles needed seven relievers to pitch 12 2/3 scoreless innings after Wei-Yin Chen left the game in the sixth inning and have used nine different relievers during the first two games against the M’s.

The plan was for Bundy to be shut down after his playoff appearance for the Bowie Baysox and sent to Instructional League in Florida, but team officials obviously decided that whatever innings he might pitch down in Florida would be of more value to the major league club.

Bundy gave up one run on six hits over six innings in his final minor league start on Sept. 5 and pitched a total of 109 2/3 innings at three levels in his first professional season. He was a combined 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA at Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie during the regular season and was recently named to the Baseball America Minor League All-Star Team.

Orioles officials could not be reached to confirm the promotion.

Newborn stem cells hold promise for heart repair - Baltimore Sun (blog)

Stem cells from newborns appear to have a much greater ability to restore heart function than adult stem cells, according to a new study from University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers who were looking for ways to mend children’s broken hearts.

It was the first study to compare the regenerative abilities of the stem cells. And the lab and animal studies showed a three-fold ability of newborn cells to restore heart function.

The study is published in the September 11 issue of Circulation.

“The surprising finding is that the cells from neonates are extremely regenerative and perform better than adult stem cells,” said the study’s senor author Dr. Sunjay Kaushal, associate professor of surgery at Maryland and director of pediatric cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “We are extremely excited and hopeful that this new cell-based therapy can play an important role in the treatment of children with congenital heart disease, many of whom don't have other options.”

For now, children with heart failure must rely on medications and surgery for structural repairs, and the prognosis is poor. Cell therapy could be used along or with other measures, Kaushal said in a statement.

The stem cells work because they can grow into tissue or organ-specific cells with a specific function.

Researchers took heart tissue during cardiac surgery from 43 neonates and 13 adults and expanded the cells in growth medium. Kaushal said it wasn’t clear why the newborn cells worked better, but the doctor said it maybe because there are many more stem cells in a baby’s heart than an adult’s or they have more growth factors to trigger blood vessel development and preservation.

The research could lead to important therapies to treat the approximately 1 in 100 American children born with congenital heart disease, the researchers said.

Frederick's on Fleet gets the small details right - Baltimore Sun (blog)

The beauty of a good neighborhood bar usually lies in its simplicity. Serve some interesting drinks in a low-key, approachable atmosphere, and patrons will have a hard time finding reasons to complain.

Frederick's on Fleet â€" which opened in late August on the corner of South Duncan and, appropriately, Fleet streets in Canton â€" soundly followed this formula on a recent Friday night. It's a solid addition to an area that cherishes comfort â€" Kisling's and Johnny Rad's are in walking distance â€" over stuffiness.

The modest space, which includes a back dining area, felt full with roughly 35 people seated at the long bar and at high-top tables. An important Orioles game (aren't they all at this point?) played on two muted flat-screen TVs in the bar's corners, but few people seemed interested. Most seemed engrossed in their conversations, another welcome sign for a neighborhood bar.

The bar's design lacks flash (the bold, red front doors are the most eye-catching detail), but not personality. There are framed black-and-white photos throughout Frederick's, including rows of vintage boxing glamour shots. Our server told us they were former fighters from Baltimore, a nice touch.

While Frederick's looks attractive, it also knows that's not enough to win regular customers, especially in Baltimore. Smartly, Frederick's has clearly put thought and care into its cocktail list and beer selection. Neither are perfect, but the choices are varied enough and reasonably priced.

On the menu, the cocktails list is split between "vintage" and "modern." Working chronologically, a friend and I began with the Aviation and the Pegu Club (all cocktails are $8.50), both served in martini glasses. The former was refreshingly bright, thanks to a well-balanced mixture of Bluecoat gin, lemon, Maraschino liquor and simple syrup. The Pegu Club â€" made of Tanqueray gin, orange curacao, lime and bitters â€" was more intense. The orange flavor fought for attention, but the gin overpowered it.

It wasn't a bad first round, but our "modern" cocktails were noticeably more nuanced and enjoyable. The Limencello-and-Bulldog-Gin-based Louis De Palma (a reference that might explain the clientele Frederick's hopes to attract) tasted almost too sweet at first, but its intensity leveled off with each sip.

The best cocktail of the night was the Summertime Smash, a pleasant concoction of Tanqueray 10 Gin, cucumber, thyme, white cranberry juice, lime and simple syrup. That's a lot of flavors in one small glass, but nothing was muddled. The cucumber added a soothing dimension.

Despite a disappointing draft selection (seven kinds, all $5.50, with the Doggie Style Pale Ale from Frederick's Flying Dog Brewery being the most discerning), Frederick's has enough choices to satisfy most customers.

By the bottle, there are local (Heavy Seas) and foreign (San Miguel from the Philippines) picks, and even a gluten-free option (Bard's Tale from Buffalo, N.Y.). Perhaps best of all beer-wise, trusted-favorites National Bohemian, National Premium and Pabst Blue Ribbon are $2.50 all of the time.

Alcohol aside, Frederick's gets the little things right, too. Our server and bartender were very attentive and even persuasive. (I didn't plan on getting the cheesecake-wrapped-in-fried-dough "Dessert of the Day," but for only $4, there was no reason to turn it away.)

The bar also has a sense of humor. According to the menu, the China White cocktail is "more addictive than its name" and the Kama Sutra â€" a pomegranate-vodka-based drink finished with champagne â€" is the "perfect pregame for a nooner." There's nothing zany or over-the-top about Frederick's, but it's nice to know it doesn't take itself too seriously either.

With astute service and a sleekly vintage design, Frederick's will likely never have to rely on cheap laughs at its own expense. Instead, the instantly comfortable bar should thrive on its cocktails and staff, a simple combination any neighborhood can embrace.

Frederick's on Fleet

Back story: After some delays over the summer, the unassuming corner bar opened in late August in the space which used to house Tyson's Tavern.

Signature drink: The Summertime Smash ($8.50) proves a cocktail can remind you of summer without tasting like pineapple or Malibu rum. Although fall is just about to begin, Frederick's will continue serving it for the foreseeable future.

Parking: Metered on the street.

Where: 2112 Fleet St., Canton

Contact: 443-438-4572,

Open: 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. daily

Orioles' longest games by innings and by time - Baltimore Sun (blog)

Working overtime

The Orioles' 18-inning win Tuesday night tied for the second-longest by innings in club history and was the fifth-longest by time.

By innings

Inn. Time Date Opp. Fin. W/L
19 5:18 6/4/67 Was 7-5 W
18 4:08 8/6/59 CWS 1-1 T
18 5:27 8/25/69 Bos 3-2 W
18 5:08 8/24/69 @Oak 8-9 L
18 5:44 9/18/12 @Sea 4-2 W
17 5:41 6/27/03 PHI 4-2 L
17 4:58 6/23/54 Bos 8-7 W
17 4:37 6/4/59 @CWS 5-6 L
17 4:35 7/25/59 CWS 2-3 L
17 4:12 9/11/74 NYY 3-2 W
17 4:28 9/27/74 Mil 1-0 W
17 6:08 5/6/12 @Bos 9-6 W

By time

Time Inn. Date Opp. Res. W/L
6:15 16 7/2/04 @Phi 7-6 W
6:08 17 5/6/12 @Bos 9-6 W
5:49 15 6/19/98 Tor 7-4 W
5:46 14 6/4/88 NYY 7-6 W
5:44 18 9/18/12 @Sea 4-2 W
5:41 17 6/27/03 Phi 4-2 L
5:34 14 5/22/93 Mil 5-4 W
5:34 15 5/1/96 NYY 11-6 L
5:32 15 7/17/91 @KC 9-8 L
5:27 18 8/25/68 Bos H 3-2
5:23 13 8/12/89 Bos H 10-8
5:18 19 6/4/67 @Was 7-5 W

Teagarden lifts O's to 4-2 win over Seattle in 18 - U.S. News & World Report

SEATTLE (AP) â€" The Baltimore Orioles weren't going to be denied a victory â€" or making history â€" even if it took 5 hours and 44 minutes to do it.

Taylor Teagarden stroked a pinch-hit RBI single to right in the 18th inning to help give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-2 comeback victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

The win allowed the Orioles (84-64) to pull within a percentage point of the Yankees (83-63) for the lead in the AL East. The Yankees were rained out Tuesday and will play a split double-header with Toronto on Wednesday.

Baltimore maintained a three-game lead in the wild-card race over the Los Angeles Angels, who beat Texas 11-3 in Anaheim.

The Orioles' success in extra-inning games might be one of the biggest factors keeping them in the playoff hunt. They have won 14 straight extra-inning games for the longest extra-inning win streak since the 1949 Cleveland Indians won 19 straight. Overall, the Orioles are 14-2 in extra-inning games this season, going 9-0 in them on the road.

"It's tough," said Nate McLouth, who had three hits. "When you start going that long, there's a part of you that has to fight the feeling, 'Oh, let's just get this game over with.' Especially in the position we're in. It's a really important game. It's hard to stay locked in that long."

McLouth opened the 18th with a walk off Lucas Luetge (2-2). With McLouth breaking toward second, J.J. Hardy sent a single through the right-side hole. McLouth continued onto third.

McLouth said it wasn't a hit-and-run.

"I felt like I could get the bag. He had a strike on him so he swung," he said. "It happened to go in a good spot."

Teagarden then lifted his game-winner down the right-field line. Hardy later scored on Mark Reynolds' fielder's choice.

Tommy Hunter (5-8) picked up the victory. And he did it with a little extra measure of 'good luck.' Just before taking the mound in the 16th, one of the hovering seagulls unloaded on his hat.

"Here I was minding my own business," Hunter said. "Guys were dying laughing. Then everyone said it was good luck. Then we won the game."

Jim Johnson worked the 18th to pick up his 44th save â€" most in the majors â€" in 47 opportunities.

"It's a challenge," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "It's a scenario you don't get into too much, but every now and then it happens. It's tough on both sides offensively. Everyone wants it so bad. We had so many opportunities. One more hit and the game's over."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter added, "that dugout was alive the whole time, the whole extra innings."

The Orioles rallied in the ninth off starter Erasmo Ramirez, who had allowed just two hits and was sitting on a 2-0 lead entering the inning. Pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty and McLouth opened with singles to bring in closer Tom Wilhelmsen.

Hardy dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Chris Davis followed with a two-run single to right.

"It tried to be aggressive with the hitters in the ninth," Ramirez said, "just tried to get ahead in the count."

Wei-Yin Chen went 5 1-3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.

It's the first time the Orioles have been 20 games over .500 since the last day of the 1997 season.

It was the longest extra-inning game for the Mariners this season. They are 5-8 in extra innings.

Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley each had three hits for the Mariners.

It appeared that Chen would breeze through the fourth as the first two batters bounced out to the infield. Casper Wells then drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Miguel Olivo followed with his 11th home run on a 1-2 curve from Chen, who had started him with four straight fastballs.

Ramirez retired the first nine batters before McLouth's leadoff single in the fourth, just tipping off the glove of second baseman Ackley. Ramirez then retired the next eight straight before McLouth's double to center in the sixth. Center-fielder Franklin Gutierrez caught the ball on a dive but it popped out of his glove on contact with the ground.

Ramirez, recalled from the minors on Sept. 1, matched his career high with eight innings. He allowed four hits and both runs were charged to him. He struck out six and walked no one.