If you missed the news, the Orioles have traded Koji Uehara to the Rangers. Texas is sending back RHP Tommy Hunter and 1B Chris Davis. The O's have also reportedly sent $2 million to Texas in the trade. Derrek Lee is not in the lineup for Game 2. Is he the next to be traded?
Zach Britton has to hope his return to the majors goes better than Chris Tillman's, and that it lasts longer. Tillman, who's expected to be optioned back to Norfolk to create the roster spot for Britton, gave up seven runs, five earned, in 4.1 IP in the day half of the doubleheader. He was not helped in any way, shape or form by the defense behind him. Britton will find more or less the same defense behind him. This is one of those things that it would be great if the Orioles organization valued in the slightest. Based on this year's evidence we have to presume that they do not.
Will Britton emerge from Bowie purgatory with a chip on his shoulder and a drive to show that he should have never been demoted? We can only hope so. Tillman ran up against a large portion of the B-team forfeit lineup of the Yankees, and in the nightcap Britton will be facing the A-teamers. His degree of difficulty is accordingly much higher. At least, as a lefty, he has the platoon split advantage against the lefty power hitters who like to deposit cheap home runs in the absurdly short RF power porch.
The O's offense didn't get much done against Bartolo Colon in the opener. They will instead face Ivan Nova in the night game. The last time I made disparaging comments about Ivan Nova was that game last fall where Koji gave up a walk-off home run. So I'm not going to say anything bad about Ivan Nova. I will say that I hope we destroy Nova so thoroughly that he is no longer capable mentally of being an MLB pitcher. But I think that about the opposing starter in every game. It seldom comes true. So it goes.
The O's may have already used up their miracle allotment in getting a victory last night. However, Britton vs. Nova is also a pitching matchup that could tilt in the Orioles' favor. We can only hope they will make the most of the opportunity, salvaging a split of the doubleheader and guaranteeing at least a split of this four game series heading into the final game tomorrow.