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Orioles pitching appears to be wearing down

The unexpected development that helped doom the Orioles last night in a 7-2 loss to Boston was the lack of clutch hitting, especially by Melvin Mora, when there was an opportunity to get to Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka.  More struck out in the first inning with runners on first and second and no out and in the fourth with the bases and one out.  The Orioles failed to score both times.

But the real concerning news was on the pitching side.  Relief pitcher George Sherrill went on the DL and that, folks, is a major problem. And while starter Daniel Cabrera had another sub-par outing, the worrisome part is his velocity.  In today's game story, Sun Orioles beat writer Jeff Zrebiec notes that Cabrera is not hitting those mid-90s with consistency.  And Orioles announcers have mentioned that same fact even before last night. Just perhaps, there's something to this pitch count business.  For a guy who's flirting with a 5.00 ERA, Daniel Cabrera pitches a whole lot of innings.  He's tied for seventh in the AL with 171 innings and he's with four frames of being No. 3.  Toronto's Roy Halladay has 191 innings and the Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie has 177. And as any Orioles fan knows, Cabrera doesn't have 1-2-3 innings.  So it could be he's just a little weary here in late August.  As far as Sherrill is concerned, note that the Mets closer Billy Wagner is out again, this time perhaps for the season.

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They say that pro football is a game of attrition.  Perhaps when it comes to pitching in the 21st century Major league, the same is true of baseball.


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