Should Chris Davis fail to hit a home run in a game for the first time this season tonight, I already know who you can blame: me. It'll be my first Orioles game of the season, and we all know I'm a huge jinx.
Actually, I went to 21 Orioles games last season, and I believe they won 14 of them despite my presence. It's almost like they are a good baseball team made up of players who will perform (or not) on a given night against opponents of varying quality who will perform (or not) on a given night independent of my being in the stadium - but what's the fun in thinking like that?
I'll be just as interested in the performance of the other Chris on the Orioles tonight: Chris Tillman. Technically not a member of the Opening Day rotation since he was on the disabled list, I guess he still counts since he'll be off the DL in time to start the 5th game. As of this writing, the roster move has not yet been announced, but there will have to be a corresponding move. I still think Brian Matusz being optioned to Norfolk is the most likely choice. The move will have been announced by the time this thread is published, so we can all see how terrible of a prognosticator I am.
I am interested about Tillman because he looks more and more to be the last of the one-time cavalry worth pinning any sort of hopes upon. And yet the possibility exists that the dark god of regression waits to claim him and consign him to the briny deep, because wow, that .221 BABIP, it just can't be sustainable. Let's not even kid ourselves about that for a second.
Which isn't to say that an inevitable rise in BABIP will doom Tillman, but it might, especially if he doesn't strike out more guys. But that 2.93 ERA last year, so pretty! Jake Arrieta successfully avoided regression yesterday (a bad thing, in his case), so perhaps Tillman will do the same tonight. Hopefully he's all the way healthy as well.
Starting for the Twins tonight is Vance Worley. You don't see many people named Vance. A promising rookie season with the Phillies turned into a somewhat disappointing sophomore season, and Philly gave him up to get Ben Revere. He will be looking to get the W. O RLEY? YA RLEY! I'll show myself out.
Just kidding, I'm not leaving yet. One more note about Worley: he gave up 12 home runs in 133 innings last year, and more of them were hit by righties than lefties, though lefties batted .305/.386/.462 off Worley last year, while righties batted .269/.331/.433.
Another Davis home run would be great. Some semblance of offensive production from the 1-3 and 7-9 hitters would also be great.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||MINNESOTA TWINS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Aaron Hicks - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Joe Mauer - C|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Josh Willingham - LF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Justin Morneau - 1B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Ryan Doumit - DH|
|Matt Wieters - C||Trevor Plouffe - 3B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Chris Parmelee - RF|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Brian Dozier - 2B|
|Nolan Reimold - DH||Pedro Florimon - SS|