Game 69: Orioles (39-29) @ Mets (37-32), 7:10pm

Human Chia marketing experiment Dillon Gee laments a recent downward revision in his agreed-upon compensation for the experiment. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
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Seriously though, can the Orioles score some freaking runs already?

Their prime nemesis in this task tonight will be the immortal Dillon Gee of the Mets, who, aside from a wholly unimpressive 4.43 ERA, also sports on his chin what I suspect to be some kind of Chia marketing experiment gone horribly wrong. Does Gee even still have this thing growing on his face? Maybe it's just on his player profile. That thing is hideous. Gee, just because you can grow it doesn't mean you should. Does he want to eventually engage in the beard equivalent of a topiary or something? Shape it like an apple, Gee! That would be awesome.

As far as his merits as a pitcher, Gee gets a respectable number of strikeouts with a 7.99 K/9 and he's been averaging over 6.1 IP per game started. In case you were wondering if the O's had surrendered the MLB lead in strikeouts, no, they have not. Against this right-hander they probably won't give it up tonight either. Gee has been hurt by home runs, if not quite on a Tommy Hunter "Five Runs All Earned" kind of level. 11 in those 83 innings isn't great. Will the ball fly out of the yard on a hot night? Actually, the O's haven't homered in what feels like eight years and in reality is since June 14, in the 8th inning of a 12-6 win over Pittsburgh. This would be a good night to change that - you know, a night where the 8-9 punch is Ryan Flaherty and Brian Matusz.

Ah, Matusz. One CC jokester in today's Bird Droppings noted that Flaherty may constitute lineup protection for Matusz, ensuring that he will never have to bunt during the course of tonight's game. The Mets have tended to struggle against LHP generally this season, with an 8-15 record in games started by southpaws. That's a good sign for Brian. Another good sign for Brian is that every start this year where he has gone at least six innings has been a quality start (3 ER or fewer). Not so good for Brian is that only accounts for six of his 13 starts, and when failing to go 6 IP, he has given up 4+ ER in six of seven starts.

He might help his cause by not walking so many batters - 33 issued in 71 innings pitched is poor. Surrendering ten home runs over those innings is also poor. These are the enduring Matusz problems. Sometimes he seems to be unable to find the strike zone if you gave him a map. Other times he can only locate the strike zone with pitches that hang up in the zone and are asking to be crushed. We'll probably know after one inning whether or not it's going to be a long night. Hopefully it won't be, but you know, it's not really up to us.


Lineup

BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK METS
Brian Roberts - 2B Andres Torres - CF
J.J. Hardy - SS Jordany Valdespin - 2B
Chris Davis - RF David Wright - 3B
Adam Jones - CF Scott Hairston - RF
Matt Wieters - C Vinny Rottino - LF
Nick Johnson - 1B Ike Davis - 1B
Wilson Betemit - 3B Justin Turner - SS
Ryan Flaherty - LF Mike Nickeas - C
Brian Matusz - P Dillon Gee - P

Consider me pre-emptively annoyed at any success that a person going through life with the name Vinny Rottino may accrue.

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