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About Phil Backert

Phil Backert

Phil Backert grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland loving the Orioles, Ravens, and Terps. After going away to college outside Philadelphia and playing baseball for four years, he moved back to Maryland, and currently resides in White Marsh. Phil interned with Sports Talk 1570AM, WNST during college which eventually led to producing “The Fighting Ungers” on Saturday mornings after he graduated. When FOX Sports 1370AM launched, Phil jumped on the opportunity to produce full-time. He produced “The Rob Long Show” from 2008-2011 until management decided to flip formats from sports talk to news. Phil is currently a Producer for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

The Rundown: Hess Impressive in Debut, Mountcastle Returns

Ryan Mountcastle prepares to field.
It took almost two months, but the Orioles are actually looking like a decent baseball team, winning five of their last six games. It should be noted that they faced two struggling teams — the Royals and the Rays — but it was fun to watch solid baseball. A bigger test comes arrives week against the surprising Phillies and the Red Sox.   Hess’ Impressive Debut In recent years watching Ubaldo Jimenez struggle and more recently Chris Tillman, fans have clamored for better options than running out the same struggling […]

The Rundown: Davis Gets a Rest, Gausman Learns to Pitch

Kevin Gausman pitches in Sarasota.
The Orioles finally won their first home series of the season and now head to the west coast in hopes of turning their season around. I always try to be optimistic, but the month of April has taken its toll after the team lost 20 games. My optimistic take is if the O’s can somehow creep back to .500 by the All-Star break then they will have a chance to make a run at the second Wild Card.   Davis Takes a Mental Break It worked out perfectly for Buck […]

The Rundown: So Much for Bouncing Back

Chris Tillman, Orioles pitcher, wipes his brow with his arm.
After it appeared the Orioles were getting their season back on track when they took three of four from the Yankees in New York, the team has reverted to the one that started 1-5. Since the big series win in the Bronx, they’ve dropped two of three to the Blue Jays and lost the first three to the Red Sox before the final game of the series (scheduled for today) was postponed.   Offense Continues to Struggle We can blame the weather, we can blame the quality of starting pitching […]

The Rundown: Couple Experiments Falling Flat

Chris Davis swings his bat
Everyone knew the month of April would be a huge test for the Orioles, but through five games, the O’s are failing that test miserably. The starting rotation has struggled, the lineup looked lackluster until Tuesday night and the bullpen has imploded twice. This is only the second series of the season, but everything has looked eerily familiar to what happened on a consistent basis in 2017.   The Davis Leadoff Experiment Most O’s fans felt pretty confident that this experiment would fail, and so far, it has. I think […]

The Rundown: Does Anybody Want the Fifth Starter Spot?

Nestor Cortes Jr. throws a pitch from the mound.
Opening Day is ten days away and the Orioles still have a few questions that need to be answered before the first pitch against the Minnesota Twins. Who Wins The 5th Starter Spot? Nestor Cortes Jr. and Miguel Castro will both take the mound on Tuesday night and whoever pitches the best will have the slight edge in winning the final spot in the rotation. We can never count out Mike Wright as it appears the organization really wants him to be the guy. It’s extremely frustrating that none of […]

The Rundown: Rasmus Could Be Part of Effective Platoon

Colby Rasmus plays catch.
Welcome to the 2018 edition of “The Rundown” where I will try to highlight some of the bigger storylines involving the Orioles throughout the season. Let’s get right into it.   Right Field Competition The Orioles’ need for another left-handed hitter in their lineup led them to signing Colby Rasmus to a minor league contract. Barring a huge development, Rasmus will be in a platoon role and will help add more balance to the lineup against right-handed pitching. Rasmus may make his biggest impact defensively, as he is still considered […]

The Rundown – Time to Shut Dylan Bundy Down

Dylan Bundy pitches with the White Sox 1B coach in the background.
The disappointing end to the season continued on Monday night for the Orioles, with Dylan Bundy being the latest pitcher to struggle. At this point, the organization should seriously consider shutting Bundy down for the remainder of the season. The 24-year-old has proven that he can be counted on to be a rock steady starter for the 2018 season and has stayed healthy this year. These were two important question marks heading into this season. The future is bright for the right-hander, but his fastball velocity was the lowest it […]

The Rundown: Quiet Bats Again Dooming Birds

Francisco Lindor of the Indians celebrates a HR as Welington Castillo looks on.
The Orioles’ playoff chances took a major hit after being swept by the Cleveland Indians and dropping their last four games. The Indians are on a historic run so it was going to be difficult to win the series, but leaving town without a win is extremely disappointing. As much as we want to hope this team can be playoff material, watching the Indians for three games just shows how far the Orioles are away from being a true contender. The will now turn to the great Ubaldo Jimenez to […]

The Rundown: The Remarkably Consistent Adam Jones

Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles prepares to swing.
The Orioles won their fifth straight series opener on Monday night against the Oakland A’s, but they have failed to win the series on each of the previous four occasions. This will come as no surprise, but that formula needs to change now if the O’s really want to get back in the playoff race. It will begin tonight with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound and trying to bounce back from his Ubaldo-like performance against the Mariners in which he allowed six earned runs. Jimenez finished with 11 strikeouts and […]

The Rundown: Beckham Rakes, Davis Heats Up, Roster Moves Loom

Anthony Santander of the Orioles swings.
The Orioles’ recent offensive surge continued on Monday night in Seattle with the O’s scoring 11 runs on 16 hits which included four home runs. A victory in one of the next two games would guarantee at least a .500 road trip, a scenario most fans would usually accept when the team heads out west. However, at this point in the season, the O’s need to stack wins so it will feel a little disappointing.   Beckham Continues to Rake Tim Beckham is just the latest in the “nobody saw […]

The Rundown: The Return of the Real Manny Machado

Manny Machado trots around the bases.
After being swept by the Chicago Cubs to start the second half of the season, the Orioles have rattled off 14 wins in their last 21 games to bring them back to .500. That result has put them firmly back in the playoff race as they are only 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card. After much debate on if this team should sell, it’s pretty amazing that we have once again entered August with the Orioles playing meaningful baseball games. The Real Manny Has Returned We can chalk […]

The Rundown: O’s Were Wise to Not Settle for Sub-Par Britton Return

Buck Showalter stands with his hands on his hips.
The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone and the Orioles did what most fans feared: they didn’t sell off their top trade chips. It remains to be seen if this line of thinking will backfire for years to come. O’s Were “Buyers” at the Deadline It’s hard for me to call the O’s buyers at the deadline when they acquired players like Jeremy Hellickson and Tim Beckham, but since they added and didn’t trade away any top talent, we must classify them as such. There have […]

The Rundown: What Can the O’s Get for their Relievers?

orioles pitcher with arm back and about to throw ball
After being swept over the weekend by the Chicago Cubs and another series in which their starting pitching was embarrassed, it appears the Orioles are one step closer to throwing in the towel for the 2017 season.   Re-Tool or Rebuild? Fellow writer Joe Polek did a great job outlining what the Orioles should do at the deadline and he suggests a re-tooling instead of a full rebuild which I completely agree with. The O’s still have a quality core and don’t need to blow everything up. The Manny Machado […]

The Rundown: Kevin Gausman Finally Turns a Corner

Kevin Gausman congratulated by teammates entering the dugout
The Orioles have reached the halfway point of their season with a 40-41 record. The O’s were pretty much a .500 team in the second half of last year after finishing their first 81 games with a 47-34 record. The positive is they can easily go on a run and make the playoffs again, but the negative is for the last 162 games, they have been an average baseball team. The struggling Wade Miley will look to bounce back with the O’s heading to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers […]

The Rundown: Birds’ Pitching Problems Run Deep

Chris Tillman of the Orioles prepares to pitch.
Lack of Pitching The pitching struggles continue for the Orioles as Chris Tillman was once again ineffective on Tuesday night. The right-hander has an 8.39 ERA and 2.17 WHIP for the season after allowing five earned runs in only four innings of work against the Indians. The O’s are also on their way to setting a baseball record for the most consecutive games of allowing at least five earned runs. They have now done it for 17 consecutive games which is the second longest streak in the last 100 years. […]

The Rundown: Can Gausman Slow Down Pirates’ Pillaging Offense?

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop gets ready to defend.
After taking the first two games against the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles dropped the final two even though both were winnable games. The O’s begin a two-game series against the last place Pittsburgh Pirates which should be good news, but due to their struggles outside the American League East, maybe it isn’t. The Pirates have scored at least 11 runs in two of their last three games so Kevin Gausman will get the first crack at slowing down a red-hot offense. Even though it hasn’t looked pretty, the right-hander […]

The Rundown: Did Orioles Let Another Good Pitcher Walk?

Parker Bridwell of the Orioles pitches.
Did the Orioles really need to get back to playing against the American League East to snap their losing streak and look like the team that was one of the best in April? I don’t think it’s that easy and things can quickly change tonight when Chris Tillman returns to the mound. All the credit must go to Dylan Bundy for continuing to look like the ace we have always envisioned. I just can’t get over how much of a veteran he looks like every time he toes the rubber. […]

Word on the Street: Castillo a Pleasant Surprise; Can Gausman Get on Track?

Welington Castillo of the Orioles runs the bases.
While Welington Castillo has been a pleasant surprise, the O’s need more from Kevin Gausman. Press play or read below for more. After a 1-6 road trip that saw the Orioles lose every game by one run, all the team needed was return to Camden Yards to get back to their winning ways. The O’s are now 14-3 at home this season after Welington Castillo’s game winning home run in the bottom of the 10th against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Speaking of Castillo, the catcher is now […]

The Rundown: O’s Need More from Manny Machado

Manny Machado trots around the bases.
The Orioles return to action tonight against the Detroit Tigers hoping to snap a four-game losing streak. Wade Miley will take the mound and try to get the O’s back on track while also looking to regain his command. Not counting the White Sox start that saw him get nailed with two line drives in the first, the left-hander has walked at least four hitters in his last three starts. To Miley’s credit, he has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of starts this season, but he […]

The Rundown: Kevin Gausman & the Return of the Splitter

Kevin Gausman of the Orioles pitches on the mound.
The Orioles continued their winning ways on Monday night which is a good thing since they will now have to square off against Max Scherzer in game two of the Beltway Series with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound for the O’s. The way this season has gone, it shouldn’t surprise any of us if somehow the Orioles found a way to win even though on paper it appears that they are already at a disadvantage.   The Return of the Splitter It’s amazing what happens when you actually throw your […]
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