A few days ago, I made note of Adam Jones' comments that this is a "different breed" of Orioles team, that they have won games that they would have lost in previous years. Tonight's contest between the O's and the Angels will be another test of that notion, as it features a repeat of the starting pitchers from what was, to me, the most 2011 Orioles loss of 2011: this 7-1 defeat in Anaheim. The O's offense was pathetic against a journeyman pitcher (Jerome Williams) making his first start in MLB since 2007; Blake Davis looked like a guy making his first career start at 3B, and recorded two errors; Felix Pie could not catch a beach ball in left field; and worst of all, Brian Matusz did his 2011 thing of not resembling a major league pitcher.
Five of the nine Orioles in the starting lineup, plus Matusz, are the same as played that afternoon, with Matt Wieters back at catcher instead of playing first. They will be facing an Angels team that's stumbled out of the gate after unloading the dump trucks full of money on the front lawns of C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols. Despite being a trendy pick to make it to the World Series after their free agent splurge, including by yours truly, they've gotten off to a 4-9 start and they probably eye the bottom-feeding Orioles as a chance to right the ship.
In Brian's first two starts, he's not given us a lot of reason to believe he's figured out how to be anything other than a disaster. Can he start on the road back to respectability tonight? Maybe we can at least play the "end with an ERA lower than you started" game. Matusz is at 8.38 after two starts. He was not very good at that game last year.
Williams is another guy who will need to play that game. He has only started one game in 2012 and gave up 5 runs in 2.2 IP. That's a 16.88 ERA. It's hard to get much worse than that. O's fans can only hope that the hitters can keep him from bringing down the ERA too much.
Matusz has lost eleven straight decisions, and the team has not won a game in which he has pitched since last June 6. There are times where pitcher wins and losses are irrelevant to pitching performance. Brian's case is not one of those times. He has deserved every loss he has gotten and then some. Please stop sucking, Brian. We need to believe in you again.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM|
|Nolan Reimold - LF||Erick Aybar - SS|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Albert Pujols - 1B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Torii Hunter - RF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Mark Trumbo - LF|
|Wilson Betemit - 3B||Vernon Wells - CF|
|Mark Reynolds - DH||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Chris Iannetta - C|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Alberto Callaspo - 3B|