The memory of the time is fading into the mists, but Erik Bedard used to be on the Orioles. I remember watching him pitch for us, but Bedard doesn't evoke any strong feelings in me. He had one really great year in 2007 with 221 strikeouts in 182 innings and then we traded him. I figured he was due to get hurt again and he did. The trade has amounted to being for Adam Jones and a couple of seasons of George Sherrill. That wasn't quite the return we imagined, but it was still better than keeping Bedard.
Now Bedard is on the Red Sox and he's starting tonight. Nick Markakis and Jeremy Guthrie are the only Orioles left who spent a season on the roster with Bedard. He's had a decent 2011 season, with a 3.50 ERA and 119 strikeouts over 123.1 innings. He is left-handed, so the O's are predisposed to suck against him. And with him striking out a lot of batters, that also makes them predisposed to suck.
Mark Reynolds and Jones are back in the lineup tonight. This could be a good thing, if they are both all the way healthy, which they may not be. I think Reynolds is more likely to be all the way healthy than Jones, whose thumb was still taped up when he pinch-ran last night. But what do I know, really? Not much.
One thing I do know is that Rick VandenHurk starting against this Boston lineup probably won't go much better than did Matusz last night. Maybe it won't turn into an 18-runs-allowed bad game, but come on. The Hurk is making this spot start as something of a sacrificial lamb and God bless him, because he'll need it. The lineup is no joke.
There is always the chance the baseball gods will shine on the Orioles again tonight as they did yesterday afternoon. Boston clings to a two game lead over Tampa Bay in the Wild Card, and if they should happen to lose tonight and Tampa should happen to win, well... things could get really interesting. But first Boston has to lose, which means the Orioles have to win. Will the baseball gods oblige?