Game 76: Indians (38-37) @ Orioles (41-34), 7:05pm

Jake Arrieta knows that it only takes one pitch (after victimization by a bad defense) to totally ruin your night. Can he give us a good outing tonight, and will it matter if the batters can't hit? (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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It's pretty hot out there today. Hopefully you don't melt. Unfortunately for us, the Orioles have been melting for the last week. They have not scored more than three runs since June 16. The pitching has largely sucked. The defense has largely sucked, and like wax sculptures under a heat lamp, they are steadily losing any resemblance to their original shape that began this season. Instead they are dissolving into an unrecognizable mess that's going to get all over your nice shoes if you stand too close. Really though, what are you doing wearing nice shoes when it's this hot out? You were just asking for trouble.

Will today be the day that the Orioles' fortunes turn around? Is a 100-degree day the best to wake people up? I guess it depends on how Jake Arrieta holds up in the heat compared to how well Derek Lowe, the Indians starter, does. Or how the Orioles hitters do compared to the Indians hitters. Who knows? Maybe there will be another home run derby. One problem with that is Lowe has historically been a ground ball pitcher, and Arrieta, well... look, I say this a lot, and I'll say it again: hold on to your butts.

Hopes are fleeing as fast as animal life from the fires in Colorado. Even our resident ultimate optimist dan o'hare has started showing some cracks in the armor, conceding that the team is in trouble if Brian Roberts doesn't start getting on base. He won't start getting on base, because he is not the Brian Roberts we remember from five years ago. He also won't start getting on base because we are Orioles fans, and suffering is our lot in life in this 21st century. We are therefore extremely screwed. We had long since accepted this fate, though reality has cruelly dangled hope in front of us these first three months of the 2012 season.

Dreams wither and die in the heat, bones bleached by a cruel, uncaring sun. The beer is not cold and Miss Agnes is at peace. These are the days of our lives.

Stay cool this weekend, stay safe, and make sure to drink...

... ... responsibly.

Self-promotion alert: if you'd like to help me out in the WNST competition today, I posted one article, a "Best of the Rest" links post, so if you can FB share, tweet, and/or +1 that post, that would be excellent of you.


Lineup

BALTIMORE ORIOLES CLEVELAND INDIANS
Brian Roberts - 2B Shin-Soo Choo - RF
Xavier Avery - LF Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
J.J. Hardy - SS Jason Kipnis - 2B
Adam Jones - CF Michael Brantley - CF
Wilson Betemit - 1B Johnny Damon - LF
Chris Davis - DH Casey Kotchman - 1B
Matt Wieters - C Lonnie Chisenhall - DH
Ryan Flaherty - RF Jack Hannahan - 3B
Robert Andino - 3B Lou Marson - C

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