Dylan Bundy will be in uniform and in the bullpen for tonight's game. Whoa, Bundy!
The Orioles have to face Felix Hernandez tonight. Commence the panic. Except we can consider this: Hernandez has a 9.00 ERA in three September starts. He has failed to go even five innings in his last two starts, which has only happened to him three times in 30 starts this year. Perhaps even King Felix goes through rough patches. He needs to step it up to keep from losing ground in the Cy Young competition. Justin Verlander will be waiting to go back-to-back on that award.
The last time they saw Felix was when he was matched against Chen in early July and Chen actually out-dueled the strikeout artist in a game the Orioles won 5-4. Hernandez is really good, but it's not impossible to beat him. The O's have proved that this year. Whether they can do it twice is another story, and of course, they need a win to keep pace with New York, who already took the day portion of a doubleheader this afternoon and will probably be winning the night portion by the time this post goes up.
Against this great Mariners threat, the Orioles counter with ... Joe Saunders. When I spoke last with Ted Berg of SNY.tv, before the segment, we were going over the pitching matchups and when it got to Saunders he said, "We'll skip over Joe Saunders because I don't want to think about him." I laughed, and Ted was spot on. I don't want to think about him. You shouldn't want to think about him either. But, I guess if there's any environment where he's primed to succeed, it's against Seattle in Safeco, in September when it's colder at night and the ball might not carry as far.
Basically, it looks like we probably want to root against seeing Bundy pitch in this game, because he'll probably only pitch if Saunders gets lit up and sent packing early. That's what I would think, anyway, but then again like three weeks ago I wrote on this site how there was no way that they would be calling up Bundy, unless their declaration of wanting him to work on things was just a ruse so they could spring him on an unsuspecting league when the time was ripe. Well, they've sprung him, and now they can do whatever they want with him, and he can do whatever he wants with the league, as long as he doesn't throw any cutters.
What I'm getting at here is that what the O's say they're going to do about Bundy - or what reporters infer the Orioles will do with Bundy - has not always lined up with what they actually do with Bundy, and tonight could be yet another instance of this. Bundy could happen at any time. Be steadfast.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Endy Chavez - RF||Dustin Ackley - 2B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Franklin Gutierrez - CF|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jesus Montero - C|
|Chris Davis - DH||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Michael Saunders - LF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Miguel Olivo - DH|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Casper Wells - RF|
|Taylor Teagarden - C||Brendan Ryan - SS|