It's your turn now, Zach Britton. If you could suck less than everyone else has, that would be great. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
I'll forgive you if, after watching last night's game, you were left feeling like the Orioles would never win another game this season. The failure was complete, with even the bullpen getting in on the act. The once-best-in-MLB-in-ERA unit is now in 9th with a 3.16 ERA. That's mostly because the bullpen has had to throw something like a million innings in the last few games. Short starter outings and an extra innings game will do that to you.
Back to the grind tonight. The season debut of Zach Britton in the big leagues will take place tonight. All we can hope is that he sucks a little less than Tillman - perhaps that he is able to gut through, you know, five innings and handle the inevitable defensive disasters a little bit better than Tillman was. That Tillman got hosed by Mark Reynolds last night is not in doubt, but he might have helped his own cause by throwing a curveball that came in below the letters. Guess who's playing first again tonight?
Actually, guess who's playing second? The answer to that one is Ryan Flaherty, last seen with the crucial error at third base that forced all those extra innings on Saturday night's game. The infield is a revolving disaster, with only J.J. Hardy to stabilize it, and he is a disaster at the plate. There is yet another revolving disaster in the outfield with Chris Davis and the bizarrely reduced-range reduced-arm Nick Markakis manning the corners. Sometimes you forget what good defensive play looks like, and then you watch a game like last night's and Denard Span and Ben Revere remind you what we don't have.
The Twins starter is Samuel Deduno, whose name Andrew swears to me is pronounced "Didjaknow", and he will be making his second ever major league start. If there are any among you who can consider that fact alongside the slumping Orioles lineup to conclude that we will see anything other than a no-hitter tonight, then bless you. Honestly, just bless you and your unceasing optimism.
Last night, I made a mention of Greek tragedy and a hope that the Orioles would not leave me wanting to stab out my own eyes. What we got was a game that I only kept watching because I had to think, what if this ends up being even worse than the 30-3 game? That's where the Orioles are right now. We are watching to find out how low they can go. Last night was pretty low, but they could get lower if they really tried.
90 wins? Dude, at this point 47 wins would feel akin to a miracle. Show us what you learned in AAA this year, Zach. Hopefully it's more than what every other once-promising young-ish Orioles pitcher for the past five years has learned.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||MINNESOTA TWINS|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Denard Span - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Ben Revere - RF|
|Jim Thome - DH||Joe Mauer - C|
|Adam Jones - CF||Josh Willingham - LF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Justin Morneau - 1B|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Trevor Plouffe - 3B|
|Chris Davis - LF||Ryan Doumit - DH|
|Wilson Betemit - 3B||Brian Dozier - SS|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Jamey Carroll - 2B|