Mike Mussina -- WHO KNOWS --When he questioned the team's lack of emotion, he spoke the truth; nice to see a player step forward. But he's giving up too many homers.

Ben McDonald -- UP -- His victory over the Angels Wednesday was huge. They need him to step up.

Andy Van Slyke -- DOWN -- Comes off the disabled list, gets one hit, gets hurt and goes back on the disabled list.

Curtis Goodwin -- UP -- He's raw, but he has started fast and added some badly needed speed to the lineup.

The bench -- DOWN -- They need more help from Matt Nokes, et al. Too many 0-fors.

Doug Jones -- UP -- After that terrible start, he's pitched pretty well.

Chris Hoiles -- UP -- Somebody injected some adrenalin into his bat. He's carrying a big stick right now.


"You can have the highest payroll in the league, but when you step on the field that doesn't matter. Everyone who plays against us believes they're going to beat us"

Pitcher Mike Mussina, after the Orioles lost to the Angels Monday night


On May 27, the Orioles were an incredible 8-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The next night, they were just as incredible, going 0-for-11.

The Week ahead

Vs. Seattle: Looks like the Orioles get to face left-hander Randy Johnson again. As Rafael Palmeiro said, batting against Johnson when he's getting his slider over the plate and hitting spots with his fastball is absolutely unfair. But when Johnson mixes in a little intimidation/bad attitude factor - you might've seen him plunk one of those fastballs at the Yankees' Jim Leyritz %o Wednesday - he's downright scary. He struck out 13 Orioles in 6.2 innings on May 26.

Vs. California: None of the Angels' four big hitters have done particularly well in Camden Yards - Tim Salmon has a lifetime average of .204, J.T. Snow .242, Tony Phillips .262 and Chili Davis .264. This will be the return of reliever Lee Smith to Baltimore. Neither club played very well in the first series of the year between these two clubs, in which the Orioles won two of three.

The good

For the first time this year, the Orioles won a game started by Ben McDonald, 5-3 over California Wednesday. He went eight innings, walked none and struck out nine.

The bad

In his last two relief appearances, Orioles rookie Armando Benitez has walked seven in 2.2 innings.

The ugly

The broken wrist suffered by Mariners center fielder Ken Griffey hurts Seattle, hurts all of baseball. A quick recovery isn't a sure thing: His wrist was fractured in six places.

A move that paid off...

Since the Orioles promoted right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds from the minor leagues, he has played well, and helped the Orioles win back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

...and one that didn't

The Orioles didn't put Hammonds' promotion in action quickly enough to get him to Seattle to face Randy Johnson. Instead, first baseman Rafael Palmeiro had to start and struck out three times against the Big Unit.

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