Game 76: Cardinals (41-38) @ Orioles (35-40), 7:05pm

You're older than you've ever been, and now you're even older, and now you're older still
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What do you suppose it's like to be a fan of a team whose 13th round draft choice turns into a three-time MVP and six-time Silver Slugger? What's it like to sign an aging veteran slugger like Lance Berkman and have him reward your team by putting up a .297/.403/.578 slash line? What's it like to be getting a .768 OPS from a Molina brother? Or when you're paying a star outfielder $16 million (Matt Holliday) and he gives you a .986 OPS? Or when you have actual young prospects you can play (and your manager actually plays them even if he doesn't like them) and you get results like Jon Jay with a .856 OPS, David Freese (seriously, who are these guys?) with a .865 OPS, and Colby Rasmus with a .767 OPS over 313 plate appearances?

Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals could probably answer us these questions, if they stopped proclaiming themselves the best fans in baseball long enough to be aware of their tremendous good fortune. Although they also have a DUI-receiving douche of a manager and a hitting coach who isn't here to talk about the past where he was one of the ultimate symbols of an era of steroid-fueled offensive excess in MLB.

But these clowns all play in the NL Central, which means they spend significant chunks of their seasons playing Pittsburgh, Houston and the Cubs, so I award them no points and no respect, except for Albert Pujols, because seriously, that dude is amazing. Pujols, of course, is out for the balance of this series, so we will not get to see his talents here in Baltimore at this time, and probably not ever, because you know there's no way he'll be playing here, or at least not until he's three or more years past his last good season. We're pretty good at signing those guys.

Pitching tonight for these Cardinals is Kyle Lohse, who prior to this season has had a grand total of one year where his ERA was below 4.00 (and that was 3.78 in 2008), and yet here he sits with a 2.91 ERA over 105 IP. Working in the favor of the Orioles is the fact that Lohse has the worst interleague ERA in history with something like a 5.93 ERA over 26 starts. Although some of those years he was in Minnesota so he probably got beaten up by the NL and AL equally. He's a contact pitcher who's sporting a .242 BABIP allowed on the year, so what do we say to that? Nuts.

Zach Britton is on the mound for the Orioles. Hopefully he'll get some run support from the guys who've been feasting on NL pitching, like Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds. With a hit in tonight's game, Nick Markakis would tie his career-high hitting streak with 17 games. Maybe he'll even get like, an extra-base hit. Now wouldn't that be something?

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