John Lackey, RH Rodrigo Lopez, RH (10-4, 3.66) (12-7, 4.81)
Game time is 7:05 on CSN and KCAL.
Bloated Gary Gaetti v. a man whose mug shot makes him look like a wax figure of Rodrigo Lopez. Not the most attractive matchup.
Lopez has struggled. In the first half, he posted a 4.47/1.31 line. Since the All-Star break, he's at 5.67/1.48. In 2004, he went 3.89/1.27 and 3.30/1.28. 2002 (his only other full season), he was 3.04/1.15 and 4.20/1.23, but those second half numbers don't quite tell it all, because he was outstanding in July (6-0, 2.57/1.07) before really hitting the wall in August and September (4.94 both months).
Lackey, on the other hand, has been lights out since the break, going 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in seven starts. I thought his 2003/04 seasons made him seem like a guy that was never going to be a front-end starter, but he has shown big promise again this season. His WHIP is still a little high (1.40), but his strikeouts are way, way up (9.16 K/9 v. 6.42 from 2002-04), his homers are down, and even his hits are down. His walks are up.
Another day, another O's game. It's hard to get excited anymore. It's like waiting around to get your foot stomped on.