The losing streak is halted, and the demons, in spite of Kevin Gregg's worst efforts, have been exorcised, at least for one night. Seriously, when Michael Gonzalez has to come on to finish out a save, something's gone a little crazy. But the Orioles did win. That's the good news. The bad news is ... well, I don't have enough space here to talk about all of the bad news. The short version of the bad news is that Mitch Atkins is the starter for the O's today in this series finale against the Indians.
If you guessed that's the same Mitch Atkins whose last start saw him give up six runs and fail to get out of the second inning against Boston, you are correct. The active roster must be stocked with as many failed Cubs prospects as possible at all times. Nothing says recipe for success like guys who weren't good enough to hack it in the NL Central.
The O's will be up against Cleveland's Jeanmar Gomez, who's been in the minors since early May. If I was the Indians, I'd probably call up some guy to face the Orioles too. Six runs last night was nice, but I'm not a believer yet. I guess I haven't seen her face. Plus, the first batter that Gomez faces today will be making his major league debut. The newly-called-up Matt Angle is batting leadoff and playing in left field, bumping all of the usual suspects down one.
Here's a little more good news: with three extra-base hits last night, Nick Markakis has dragged himself up to a .741 OPS. I've got to admit I didn't think we were going to see that from him this year. He is still on pace for a pretty bad year by his standards, with only 13 doubles thus far. That does take away a lot of his value, especially with him hit ting second behind a leadoff man who's actually getting on base. Maybe he's forgotten that concept after all the crap he saw last year, and this year until J.J. Hardy nailed down the leadoff spot.
Who knows? Not me, that's for sure. Oh, and just in case you were curious, one year ago today, your leadoff hitter was Corey Patterson, your #2 hitter was Miguel Tejada, your cleanup hitter was Ty Wigginton, and the lineup also featured Felix Pie, Craig Tatum, Julio Lugo and Cesar Izturis. If you guessed that Jeremy Guthrie was the starter, you are absolutely right. The O's lost the game and went to 32 games under .500. Kevin Gregg walked the bases loaded in this game and had to be removed before finishing off a save. So I guess not everything's changed. Except this year, he's doing that for us.
On the bright side, with Atkins starting, we probably won't need to see Gregg today. It's the little things.