(Through Thursday's games)
UPS AND DOWNS
Playoff hopes * UP * Anybody know where the Orioles can locate about 30 bottles of champage? Just in case...
Eddie Murray * Horz * At 498 career homers and holding. It'll be worth the wait.
Davey Johnson * UP * Feeling better after a bout with dizziness.
Mike Mussina * UP * Not bad, when you can rank third in the majors in victories and still be in the midst of what some consider to be a subpar year.
Bobby Bonilla and David Wells * HORZ * Their passage through waivers is blocked. They'll be here at least through September _ or August.
Chris Hoiles * UP * En route to 30 homers. Haven't heard much about his throwing arm lately.
Archie Corbin * UP * He deserves a nickname, the way he's pitching: Arch Deluxe.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I told him that if this was about stress, this should've happened a month ago"
Team doctor William Goldiner, joking with manager Davey Johnson about how his dizziness came at a time when the Orioles are playing much better than they were in July.
STAT OF THE WEEK
When the Orioles took two of three from Seattle this week, it was the first time they'd won a series against a team over .500 since May 17-19 _ when they took two of three from the Mariners.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday-Wednesday, vs. Oakland. The Athletics roam into Camden Yards with all that firepower and a beat up pitching staff. Depending on how the Orioles' pitchers are throwing, this could be an explosive series, with major-league leaders in home runs facing off in a bandbox. Rocky Coppinger and David Wells will start two of the three games for the Orioles.
Thursday-Sunday, at Seattle. Extreme baseball continues for the Orioles, as they play four games against the Mariners. They're likely to face Oriole killer Jamie Moyer in the final game of this series, and they must somehow find a way to pitch to Alex Rodriguez. The Seattle shortstop hit everything thrown inside to left and drove everything thrown outside to right. Impressive.
If you think the Orioles' bullpen situation has potential for problems, check out the Chicago White Sox bullpen or the Yankees rotation of late. Yeesh. This may not be a race to the finish for New York as much as a limp to the finish.
One loss is equal to another in the standings, but the 10-3 defeat Thursday, when Jamie Moyer shut out the Orioles for 10 innings, was a bit of a reality check for a team that had been hammering opponents by swinging aggressively.
A Move That Paid Off...
Mariners manager Lou Piniella shifted shortstop Alex Rodriguez to second in the lineup, and because he's batting in front of Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner, opposing teams have been forced to pitch to Rodriguez. The youngster has capitalized, as the Orioles learned this week.
And One That Didn't
Mark Smith went on the disabled list last month after fouling a ball off his leg, and at the time the Orioles though he'd be ready within two weeks. Almost five weeks have passed and he's still hasn't healed.