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Here come the Orioles

Posted: 8/22/2014 7:48 AM

Here come the Orioles 


Grew up in Chicago, now in Baltimore. Here is a preview of what the Cubs face in hosting the Orioles the next three days.

In the glory years under Earl Weaver, the Orioles mantra was pitching, defense and three run-homers. And they rode that to 3 World Championships and 6 World Series appearances between 1966 and 1984. This team pretty much is following that example. They are not a good base running team, they don't steal bases, they don't have a high OBP, they don't bunt and it's rare that they manufacture runs. For the Cubs to slow the Orioles down, they are going to have to keep the Orioles inside the friendly confines. In guys like Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young, they have some guys capable of the long ball.

Probably the most interesting game is going to be game 1 of this series, with former-Oriole Jake Arrietta making his first start against the Orioles. When Jake was in Baltimore, he had the best stuff of any Orioles starter. He actually was the opening day starter for the Orioles in 2012, but he never put it all together. Obviously, he is flashing the form the Orioles saw in him, but couldn't wait for it to develop.

Opposing Arrietta will be Kevin Gausman. Real good upper nineties fastball and if he is hitting his spots, that sets up his knee buckling change-up and breaking pitches. He'll have games where his command is off as all young pitchers do, but if the wind is blowing in and he's on, it might be scoreless through seven.

Thumbnail on the Orioles position players:

Nick Markakis, RF - Not your prototypical lead off hitter, but an AL Gold Glove candidate. Strong arm, good jumps and not afraid to sacrifice his body to make a diving or leaping catch. Had a 10 game hitting streak snapped in Chicago v. the White Sox Tuesday, so we'll see if that means anything or not.
Chris Davis, 1B-3B - May play third to replace the injured Manny Machado. Adaquete there with a strong arm that sometimes negate his lack of experience. Better at first where he is a great scooper of low and skip throws. Hit 53 homers last year, just broke 20 this year, but is under the Mendoza line. Explanations (take your pick) - upper cutting too much, pull happy or he is playing through an oblique strain that had him on the DL in May. The last is a rumor, the other two my observations.
Adam Jones, CF - Won a couple of Gold Gloves so he has range; also has a strong if sometimes erratic arm. The unquestioned leader on the team, if he is going good, he is laying off two strike breaking balls in the dirt low and away. Doesn't walk much but will drop a bunt now and then. Has been among the AL leaders in infield hits all year.
Nelson Cruz, LF - After his PED suspension last year, the Orioles got him to sign for a year at 8 million. Had a great first half, may have won MVP if the vote had been held then, but has struggles since then including a 7 hits in 63 at bat stretch that ended last week.
JJ Hardy, SS - Not the flashiest defender but has won two Gold Gloves by the expedient of catching almost everything that he can get to and turning those balls into outs. Had early season back woes that seem to have hurt his power, but he has become a smart situational and runners in scoring position hitter. Used to be a dead pull hitter, now he'll take the ball to center or right.
Steve Pearce, 1b-LF - Two years ago, this guy's picture was in your dictionary under journeyman - he played on 5 teams in 2012. The Orioles released him in April but when Davis went on the DL with the oblique strain, Pearce was re-signed and started hitting. Except for a slow July, he hasn't stopped. Went on an XBH tear against the White Sox earlier in the week.
Jonathan Schoop (pronounced Scope), 2B - Rookie who has enormous power and is a very good defender. He is prone to striking out; I think he has a slider speed bat, but should be something in a few years as he gains experience. Very good pivot man on the double play. Ryan Flaheerty, an ex-rule 5 pick-up from the Cubs, may see action at second as well. Good defense, has trouble hitting pitches with movement, especially curves.
Caleb Joseph/Nick Hundley, C - Playing because incumbent Matt Wieters had Tommy John surgery and is out for the year. Joseph is a real good defensive catcher - throws well and has a reputation of being able to frame pitches well. Slow starter offensively, but had a stretch of 5 homers in 5 games, so he's picking it up. Nick Hundley is the grand son of Randy Hundley, Cubs catcher of the late sixties. Better bat than Joseph, lesser defensively.

The other starters look to be Bud Norris, ex-Astro on Saturday, and Miguel Gonzalez on Sunday. Norris has developed a lot of confidence in a change-up and has been the O's most consistent starter this year. Gonzalez is up from the minors, ex-Angel with fast ball setting up his other pitches.

Two pitchers the Cubs will probably see are closer Zack Britton, who has a 96 mile per hour sin
king fastball, and Darren O'Day, right handed set-up man who has given up runs in 1 of his last 27 appearances.

First look at the Cubs except for the occasional highlight. Will be interested in seeing young Mr. Baez, wish I would catch Mr. Bryant, but those two should be part of the  Cubs turnaround in the not too distant future.

Orioles have been hot since the All-Star break, going 21-10. Don't let the no-name or unknown names on the pitching staff fool you; it has been strong starting pitching that has put them in first place, and a good bullpen that has come through when needed to seal the deal.

I hope for close, well-played games.

Anything I should know about the Cubs as they come in? Who's hot, who's not?

Last edited 8/22/2014 8:01 AM by oltrex

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Posted: 8/22/2014 9:45 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Anything I should know about the Cubs as they come in? Who's hot, who's not?

No one is hot, and Starlin Castro is out on bereavement leave.
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Posted: 8/22/2014 10:10 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


We got this Arrieta guy, some AL team didn't want him. He's been pretty good.

And on a serious note, I guess you could say Cubs are playing some of their best ball now, at least people are watching. Have brought up some of young kids, but like Katie said, Castro back in DR after cousin and three friends killed in auto accident.

Last edited 8/22/2014 10:25 AM by MikeNesterNR

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Posted: 8/22/2014 11:38 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



MikeNesterNR wrote: We got this Arrieta guy, some AL team didn't want him. He's been pretty good.

And on a serious note, I guess you could say Cubs are playing some of their best ball now, at least people are watching. Have brought up some of young kids, but like Katie said, Castro back in DR after cousin and three friends killed in auto accident.
We also have another pitcher an AL team dropped an option on because he was injured. Small sample size, but he's been pretty good too. We also have a middle reliever an AL team didn't want that has turned into a decent, high-leverage reliever.

The other SP pitcher you face (Hendricks) will drive you absolutely crazy. You will think your lineup should absolutely crush this guy, but somehow they don't. Ground outs, double plays ...your hitters will look worse than you remember them to be.

Hitting-wise....Rizzo is very, very good. Baez will K 3 times and hit a 450 foot home run each game. Castro is out, so you miss him. Welington Castillo,  Coghlan, Ruggiano ...all are sometimes good. Not sure if they will show up. Not much else to get excited about right now.
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Posted: 8/22/2014 11:50 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


Rizzo's one of the best 1B in baseball, Arrieta's one of the better pitchers in baseball, and a few of our veterans are quietly having solid years. Our bullpen has some guys who can bring it.

Baez, for better or for worse, will entertain you.
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Posted: 8/22/2014 12:08 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


Haha  I knew some of you guys would work in the Arietta thing.   They'll get a good look at him today.  Maybe Strop can pick up a save.  cool
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Posted: 8/22/2014 12:12 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



cubsfaninca wrote: Haha  I knew some of you guys would work in the Arietta thing.   They'll get a good look at him today.  Maybe Strop can pick up a save.  cool
What? No love for my Wada drop-in?  wink
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Posted: 8/22/2014 12:45 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Grew up in Chicago, now in Baltimore. Here is a preview of what the Cubs face in hosting the Orioles the next three days.

In the glory years under Earl Weaver, the Orioles mantra was pitching, defense and three run-homers. And they rode that to 3 World Championships and 6 World Series appearances between 1966 and 1984. This team pretty much is following that example. They are not a good base running team, they don't steal bases, they don't have a high OBP, they don't bunt and it's rare that they manufacture runs. For the Cubs to slow the Orioles down, they are going to have to keep the Orioles inside the friendly confines. In guys like Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young, they have some guys capable of the long ball.

Probably the most interesting game is going to be game 1 of this series, with former-Oriole Jake Arrietta making his first start against the Orioles. When Jake was in Baltimore, he had the best stuff of any Orioles starter. He actually was the opening day starter for the Orioles in 2012, but he never put it all together. Obviously, he is flashing the form the Orioles saw in him, but couldn't wait for it to develop.

Opposing Arrietta will be Kevin Gausman. Real good upper nineties fastball and if he is hitting his spots, that sets up his knee buckling change-up and breaking pitches. He'll have games where his command is off as all young pitchers do, but if the wind is blowing in and he's on, it might be scoreless through seven.

Thumbnail on the Orioles position players:

Nick Markakis, RF - Not your prototypical lead off hitter, but an AL Gold Glove candidate. Strong arm, good jumps and not afraid to sacrifice his body to make a diving or leaping catch. Had a 10 game hitting streak snapped in Chicago v. the White Sox Tuesday, so we'll see if that means anything or not.
Chris Davis, 1B-3B - May play third to replace the injured Manny Machado. Adaquete there with a strong arm that sometimes negate his lack of experience. Better at first where he is a great scooper of low and skip throws. Hit 53 homers last year, just broke 20 this year, but is under the Mendoza line. Explanations (take your pick) - upper cutting too much, pull happy or he is playing through an oblique strain that had him on the DL in May. The last is a rumor, the other two my observations.
Adam Jones, CF - Won a couple of Gold Gloves so he has range; also has a strong if sometimes erratic arm. The unquestioned leader on the team, if he is going good, he is laying off two strike breaking balls in the dirt low and away. Doesn't walk much but will drop a bunt now and then. Has been among the AL leaders in infield hits all year.
Nelson Cruz, LF - After his PED suspension last year, the Orioles got him to sign for a year at 8 million. Had a great first half, may have won MVP if the vote had been held then, but has struggles since then including a 7 hits in 63 at bat stretch that ended last week.
JJ Hardy, SS - Not the flashiest defender but has won two Gold Gloves by the expedient of catching almost everything that he can get to and turning those balls into outs. Had early season back woes that seem to have hurt his power, but he has become a smart situational and runners in scoring position hitter. Used to be a dead pull hitter, now he'll take the ball to center or right.
Steve Pearce, 1b-LF - Two years ago, this guy's picture was in your dictionary under journeyman - he played on 5 teams in 2012. The Orioles released him in April but when Davis went on the DL with the oblique strain, Pearce was re-signed and started hitting. Except for a slow July, he hasn't stopped. Went on an XBH tear against the White Sox earlier in the week.
Jonathan Schoop (pronounced Scope), 2B - Rookie who has enormous power and is a very good defender. He is prone to striking out; I think he has a slider speed bat, but should be something in a few years as he gains experience. Very good pivot man on the double play. Ryan Flaheerty, an ex-rule 5 pick-up from the Cubs, may see action at second as well. Good defense, has trouble hitting pitches with movement, especially curves.
Caleb Joseph/Nick Hundley, C - Playing because incumbent Matt Wieters had Tommy John surgery and is out for the year. Joseph is a real good defensive catcher - throws well and has a reputation of being able to frame pitches well. Slow starter offensively, but had a stretch of 5 homers in 5 games, so he's picking it up. Nick Hundley is the grand son of Randy Hundley, Cubs catcher of the late sixties. Better bat than Joseph, lesser defensively.

The other starters look to be Bud Norris, ex-Astro on Saturday, and Miguel Gonzalez on Sunday. Norris has developed a lot of confidence in a change-up and has been the O's most consistent starter this year. Gonzalez is up from the minors, ex-Angel with fast ball setting up his other pitches.

Two pitchers the Cubs will probably see are closer Zack Britton, who has a 96 mile per hour sin
king fastball, and Darren O'Day, right handed set-up man who has given up runs in 1 of his last 27 appearances.

First look at the Cubs except for the occasional highlight. Will be interested in seeing young Mr. Baez, wish I would catch Mr. Bryant, but those two should be part of the  Cubs turnaround in the not too distant future.

Orioles have been hot since the All-Star break, going 21-10. Don't let the no-name or unknown names on the pitching staff fool you; it has been strong starting pitching that has put them in first place, and a good bullpen that has come through when needed to seal the deal.

I hope for close, well-played games.

Anything I should know about the Cubs as they come in? Who's hot, who's not?
Pitching wise on paper u guys are in for a battle

This current rotation ranks number six in the majors in WAR...And u wont be seeing Jackson or Wood

Strop is our basic setup man

And u will be facing 2 former O's who have been dominating in Arrieta and Wada.

If this teams hitting wakes up it will be a fun series...for sure yesterday was a mess so the Cubs will be happy to get things back to normal
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Posted: 8/22/2014 12:57 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Grew up in Chicago, now in Baltimore. Here is a preview of what the Cubs face in hosting the Orioles the next three days.

In the glory years under Earl Weaver, the Orioles mantra was pitching, defense and three run-homers. And they rode that to 3 World Championships and 6 World Series appearances between 1966 and 1984. This team pretty much is following that example. They are not a good base running team, they don't steal bases, they don't have a high OBP, they don't bunt and it's rare that they manufacture runs. For the Cubs to slow the Orioles down, they are going to have to keep the Orioles inside the friendly confines. In guys like Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young, they have some guys capable of the long ball.

Probably the most interesting game is going to be game 1 of this series, with former-Oriole Jake Arrietta making his first start against the Orioles. When Jake was in Baltimore, he had the best stuff of any Orioles starter. He actually was the opening day starter for the Orioles in 2012, but he never put it all together. Obviously, he is flashing the form the Orioles saw in him, but couldn't wait for it to develop.

Opposing Arrietta will be Kevin Gausman. Real good upper nineties fastball and if he is hitting his spots, that sets up his knee buckling change-up and breaking pitches. He'll have games where his command is off as all young pitchers do, but if the wind is blowing in and he's on, it might be scoreless through seven.

Thumbnail on the Orioles position players:

Nick Markakis, RF - Not your prototypical lead off hitter, but an AL Gold Glove candidate. Strong arm, good jumps and not afraid to sacrifice his body to make a diving or leaping catch. Had a 10 game hitting streak snapped in Chicago v. the White Sox Tuesday, so we'll see if that means anything or not.
Chris Davis, 1B-3B - May play third to replace the injured Manny Machado. Adaquete there with a strong arm that sometimes negate his lack of experience. Better at first where he is a great scooper of low and skip throws. Hit 53 homers last year, just broke 20 this year, but is under the Mendoza line. Explanations (take your pick) - upper cutting too much, pull happy or he is playing through an oblique strain that had him on the DL in May. The last is a rumor, the other two my observations.
Adam Jones, CF - Won a couple of Gold Gloves so he has range; also has a strong if sometimes erratic arm. The unquestioned leader on the team, if he is going good, he is laying off two strike breaking balls in the dirt low and away. Doesn't walk much but will drop a bunt now and then. Has been among the AL leaders in infield hits all year.
Nelson Cruz, LF - After his PED suspension last year, the Orioles got him to sign for a year at 8 million. Had a great first half, may have won MVP if the vote had been held then, but has struggles since then including a 7 hits in 63 at bat stretch that ended last week.
JJ Hardy, SS - Not the flashiest defender but has won two Gold Gloves by the expedient of catching almost everything that he can get to and turning those balls into outs. Had early season back woes that seem to have hurt his power, but he has become a smart situational and runners in scoring position hitter. Used to be a dead pull hitter, now he'll take the ball to center or right.
Steve Pearce, 1b-LF - Two years ago, this guy's picture was in your dictionary under journeyman - he played on 5 teams in 2012. The Orioles released him in April but when Davis went on the DL with the oblique strain, Pearce was re-signed and started hitting. Except for a slow July, he hasn't stopped. Went on an XBH tear against the White Sox earlier in the week.
Jonathan Schoop (pronounced Scope), 2B - Rookie who has enormous power and is a very good defender. He is prone to striking out; I think he has a slider speed bat, but should be something in a few years as he gains experience. Very good pivot man on the double play. Ryan Flaheerty, an ex-rule 5 pick-up from the Cubs, may see action at second as well. Good defense, has trouble hitting pitches with movement, especially curves.
Caleb Joseph/Nick Hundley, C - Playing because incumbent Matt Wieters had Tommy John surgery and is out for the year. Joseph is a real good defensive catcher - throws well and has a reputation of being able to frame pitches well. Slow starter offensively, but had a stretch of 5 homers in 5 games, so he's picking it up. Nick Hundley is the grand son of Randy Hundley, Cubs catcher of the late sixties. Better bat than Joseph, lesser defensively.

The other starters look to be Bud Norris, ex-Astro on Saturday, and Miguel Gonzalez on Sunday. Norris has developed a lot of confidence in a change-up and has been the O's most consistent starter this year. Gonzalez is up from the minors, ex-Angel with fast ball setting up his other pitches.

Two pitchers the Cubs will probably see are closer Zack Britton, who has a 96 mile per hour sin
king fastball, and Darren O'Day, right handed set-up man who has given up runs in 1 of his last 27 appearances.

First look at the Cubs except for the occasional highlight. Will be interested in seeing young Mr. Baez, wish I would catch Mr. Bryant, but those two should be part of the  Cubs turnaround in the not too distant future.

Orioles have been hot since the All-Star break, going 21-10. Don't let the no-name or unknown names on the pitching staff fool you; it has been strong starting pitching that has put them in first place, and a good bullpen that has come through when needed to seal the deal.

I hope for close, well-played games.

Anything I should know about the Cubs as they come in? Who's hot, who's not?
I would have put Buck Showalter first on this list...he's vying for Manager of the Year!
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Posted: 8/22/2014 1:04 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


Wada had TJ and outside of spring training 2012, never threw a pitch for the Orioles. From what I remember, good command, hid the ball well, not a lot of velocity but very tough to square up.

For about the first 4 1/2 months of 2012, Strop was amazing, but he lost command and confidence so by the end of the year that you wouldn't want him pitching unless you were ahead by 10 or trailing by 10. A lot of parallels with Arrietta - hit a bad stretch and couldn't work through it. And with a team in a pennant race as the Orioles were, you can't afford two non-productive pitchers out of options on the roster

.
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Posted: 8/22/2014 2:25 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Wada had TJ and outside of spring training 2012, never threw a pitch for the Orioles. From what I remember, good command, hid the ball well, not a lot of velocity but very tough to square up.

For about the first 4 1/2 months of 2012, Strop was amazing, but he lost command and confidence so by the end of the year that you wouldn't want him pitching unless you were ahead by 10 or trailing by 10. A lot of parallels with Arrietta - hit a bad stretch and couldn't work through it. And with a team in a pennant race as the Orioles were, you can't afford two non-productive pitchers out of options on the roster

.
I get that...thats the reason we have Jacob Turner
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Posted: 8/22/2014 2:26 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



SportsGoblin wrote:
cubsfaninca wrote: Haha  I knew some of you guys would work in the Arietta thing.   They'll get a good look at him today.  Maybe Strop can pick up a save.  cool
What? No love for my Wada drop-in?  wink
Nice post that was.  Wada is the invisible man.  Until recently I kept forgetting he was in the rotation.
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Posted: 8/22/2014 10:06 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


Arrietta was too much, and when you face a pitcher throwing zeroes up there, the pressure to do the same increases. Gausman cracked first. I think they said Jake has had 20 starts and in 12 of them he's only given up 1 or zero earned runs. That's dealin'.

On Monday against the White Sox, Nick Markakis made a leaping catch in right field against the wall. Since then he is 0-12, so my question is did that marvelous yet awkward catch pull a muscle or strain something? He did not have good at bats today, though the way Arrietta was pitching, there weren't a lot of good at bats for the Orioles, period.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado looks like he'll have knee surgery and miss the rest of the year. Twice in the last 11 months Machado has seen his season end after tearing up a knee. With the waiver deadline, the question is do the Orioles go after somebody like Beltre from Texas to carry them through?

By the way, impressed with the crispness of the Cubs defensively today. Against Rondon in the ninth, two good plays on hard hit balls that could have, against a lesser team, brought the trying run to the plate. Instead a 1-2-3 end to this game.

(to borrow a phrase) "Same two teams tomorrow..."
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Posted: 8/24/2014 4:03 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


I remember in 2008 when the Cubs were flying high with the best record in the NL and the Orioles came to town and took two of three.  Turnabout is fair play.

Best of luck the rest of the way, oltrex.
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Posted: 8/24/2014 4:18 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


And there go the Orioles
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Posted: 8/24/2014 4:59 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


Thanks folks, enjoyed my stay. Without repeating what I wrote in another thread, the Cubs dominated this weekend, and my only question is how did this team drop 72 games this year?

The other tough thing is the Cubs are in a division with two other clubs who have booming farm systems in Pittsburgh and St. Louis. It will be interesting to see how that works out in the years ahead.

Best of luck the rest of the way!
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Posted: 8/24/2014 6:30 PM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Thanks folks, enjoyed my stay. Without repeating what I wrote in another thread, the Cubs dominated this weekend, and my only question is how did this team drop 72 games this year?

well lets see

horrible bullpen to start the year with Veras as our closer
wasted quality starts from Samardzija
no Arrieta to start the year
Schierholtz getting a full time job
Jackson and Wood having terrible seasons
Basically no outfield production
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Posted: 8/25/2014 6:32 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 


Are any of these problems laid at the feet of Renteria?
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Posted: 8/25/2014 8:06 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Are any of these problems laid at the feet of Renteria?
Not really.
Veras was signed to close games and potentially be flipped.  At that time, there weren't many better options anyways.  Failed experiment.
Schierholtz was coming off a career year.  Weren't many good OF options to choose from.

IMO Renteria has done a fine job.  Does he make some mistakes?  Of course he does.  I'm sure he would admit that.  I truly believe they found the right guy for the job.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 8:07 AM

Re: Here come the Orioles 



oltrex wrote: Are any of these problems laid at the feet of Renteria?
I don't think you can really put any blame on him.  Between the last 2-3 years, the entire team has been a revolving door.  So they're still trying to find an identity while showcasing certain players for trades and bringing up young but promising talent.  A good portion of the teams the last couple years has been largely filled with other teams' castoffs.  Some of those aren't going to pan out.  Renteria was put in a tough situation, and I think he's met or exceeded expectations.
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