Jason Hammel and the nine members of the Fellowship will look to overcome the great evil that slumbers within the fens. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Orioles enter tonight's game with a 2-8 record over their past 10 games. Their opponent, the Red Sox, is 6-4 in their own last 10 games. They have finally crawled up from the depths to get an above-.500. We cannot get out. We cannot get out.
It is Jason Hammel who stands tonight against this surging Red Sox team has scored the 2nd-most runs in all of MLB, behind only Texas. He last pitched six days ago. The extra day of rest might be good for him if the knee ails him somewhat. He might have been OK, anyway. The first two starts after his turn was skipped, he failed to make it out of the 6th inning, but in the two starts beyond that he went 6 IP and 6.2 IP respectively. Of course, his last start in Toronto he gave up four solo home runs as the O's lost the game 4-1. The man in white stole the signs. We cannot get out.
Pitching for the Red Sox is Jon Lester, whom, as we all know, has an absurd record against the Orioles. We saw him on May 4, a game where the O's actually managed to score three runs off him in six innings, enough where they could take the game into extra innings and ultimately win in the 13th inning. Lester is not having a very Lester-like year - he's striking out fewer batters - 6.38 K/9 when he's been near or above 9 the last few years. Is he finally mortal? Has he snacked on too many chicken wings and drank too many cans of beer? That would be something. But he is a lefty and the lineup against lefties for the Orioles is not pretty. The end comes.
The usual Red Sox hitting suspects will look to take out Hammel early. The names who have destroyed the Orioles are in the past are there: Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis. The lineup averages 5.24 runs a game. No matter who gets hurt, they just plug in replacements like Scott Podsednik (leading off tonight) and Daniel Nava and they keep on rolling. Drums, drums in the deep.
They are coming...
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Scott Podsednik - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Adrian Gonzalez - 1B|
|Matt Wieters - C||David Ortiz - DH|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Kevin Youkilis - 3B|
|Steve Pearce - LF||Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C|
|Ronny Paulino - DH||Ryan Sweeney - RF|
|Steve Tolleson - 3B||Daniel Nava - LF|
|Endy Chavez - RF||Mike Aviles - SS|