Game 8: Orioles (3-4) @ Red Sox (5-2), 7:10

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Three-game losing streaks are a bummer, but fortunately, they don't matter much in the grand scheme of things, right?

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The Orioles are below .500 for the first time since 2011, which feels like it must augur some kind of disaster impending or another. I spent all of last season saying that, of course, and it never happened. The reality is that less than 5% of the team's games have been played, it's only seven games and there's a lot of baseball left to be played, so those seven games don't matter in the grand scheme of the season.

Seven games also don't matter in the grand scheme of things when you consider that in a couple of centuries, all of us will be dead, along with anyone who ever met any of us, and way, way in the future, the sun will burn out and Earth will be obliterated, and with it all traces that there was ever life in this strange place, assuming that humanity doesn't manage to nuke it the planet into that state before cosmic forces take over; in any case, the universe, indifferent to our presence, will go on.

We now find ourselves in the appropriate mindset to consider a Jake Arrieta start.

The Arrieta experience, condensed: just enough talent to tantalize you, and he sort of cruises along, only not really, because he's always got inflated pitch counts due to an occasional inability to find the strike zone and an apparent lack of an out pitch, then one piece of bad luck happens, maybe it's an umpire hosing him on what should have been a strike-out, maybe a lucky grounder sneaks through, maybe a fielder commits a defensive miscue. Then he melts down. He cannot recover from these things. This is what happens.

Nolan Reimold returns to the lineup as the DH tonight. Maybe he can get a hit in there. The O's DH numbers are ugly: one hit for the DH all year. That was Nolan. It's bad out there. Steve Pearce looks bad. He's not playing tonight. Ryan Flaherty looks bad. He is playing tonight. Alexi Casilla would look bad if he was playing tonight. Manny Machado often looks bad at the plate, but then he does stuff in the field to make us forgive him a little.

This futility runs up against Ryan Dempster tonight, who was last seen last year getting lit up to the tune of a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts for Texas. You mean a guy with a 4.31 ERA in 15 NL seasons is going to come over to the AL and get lit up? Imagine that! Twelve starts is a small sample size, so maybe Dempster has fixed whatever ailed him there, or maybe the Orioles offense, cooled off from the Herculean efforts of Chris Davis over the first four games, is so bad that he can retire them effortlessly. It's not pretty right now, and the bench is Pearce, Casilla, and Taylor Teagarden, now joined by Chris Dickerson, who could maybe end up being the next Nate McLouth or something, I don't know.

Maybe the whole "do the same thing as last year" idea wasn't such a great one.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES BOSTON RED SOX
Nate McLouth - LF Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Shane Victorino - RF
Nick Markakis - RF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Adam Jones - CF Mike Napoli - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Will Middlebrooks - 3B
Matt Wieters - C Daniel Nava - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
Ryan Flaherty - 2B Stephen Drew - SS
Nolan Reimold - DH Jackie Bradley Jr. - LF

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