Early afternoon game today as the Orioles and Rays are one of the Fox games of the week. Presumably not the #1 featured game so we shouldn't have to put up with Joe Buck. That's good. For their trouble, Fox gets a matchup between two Jeremys, Hellickson and Guthrie. I think Jeremy Hellickson is going to be one of those Rays pitchers who comes up and takes lumps for a year, then is a good pitcher for three years and then is traded for some guys, nearly all of whom end up being worth something for the Rays. He has 67.2 IP thrown in the major leagues after a few starts last season and a few starts this season. So he's in his take his lumps year.
If you have any kind of belief that the Orioles hitters are going to be the ones to start putting a hurting on him, bless you. The O's enter today's game with the worst team on-base percentage in the major leagues at .296. I mention this every day because it continues to amaze me even as it depresses me. I watch each game hoping that I will witness an offensive explosion today, which is probably the sign that I have a deranged mind. As if there aren't enough of those.
Worth noting is that OBP is down across the league compared to last year, with the lone exception of St. Louis with a lucky-BABIP-fueled .363 team OBP. Last year, half of MLB (14 teams) had a .330 or better team OBP and so far this year, six teams do. With the Francisco Liriano no-hitter recently and a near-perfect game by Jaime Garcia yesterday, the Year of the Pitcher 2.0 narratives are already being fired up by the usual suspects.
Knowing that the O's are among many who are off the pace isn't much comfort, though. I'm sure it's not for you either. Or at least if it's going to be Year of the Pitcher 2.0, maybe the Orioles can get in on the right side of a no-hitter or perfect game. Jeremy Guthrie, the power is yours. You'll probably have to throw a perfect game to be sure to win... and even then it would require the offense to have scored a run for you.