April was a good month for the Orioles, as good of a month as the franchise has ever had, at least in terms of the number of wins. 16 victories in the month ties the franchise record for that. They had a better record after 27 games last year, but that was May 4. Calendars are weird.
Game #28 was the Chris Davis pitching game, it turns out. May he do something as awesome today, but may his services as a pitcher never be needed again.
It's bad news for the Orioles if this game gets anywhere near extra innings, largely because it's being started by Aaron Harang, who has sucked. Even Brian Matusz at his worst would have been hard-pressed to lose the Have A Lower ERA Than You Started game when having spotted himself an 11.37. That's what Harang is sitting at. He's managed to give up three home runs in 8 IP even at Safeco. He is what stands between the Orioles and a series win.
For the O's, Wei-Yin Chen brings a streak of three straight quality starts, and a scoreless streak of 13 straight innings, into tonight's game. Just looking at Chen's ERA (2.53) next to Harang's is enough to make me nervous with all that reverse lock karma.
Chen's numbers are different than last year through his five starts: a 4.50 K/9 that's much lower than last year, and a 26.3% ground ball rate that is very low even considering he is a fly ball pitcher. When you look at the .226 BABIP (he had a .274 last year) and the 3.9% HR/FB rate (11.7%), it's apparent Chen is probably in for an adjustment to his numbers. But hopefully the strikeouts increase whenever the BABIP inevitably rises. For tonight, we'll take a continuation to his scoreless streak any way that it can keep on rolling.
This is a game to win if you want to be seen as a good team: win against a bad team that doesn't score a lot of runs, who is starting a bad pitcher. It's baseball and all, and you never know what will happen, but we all know what ought to happen. Feast on the terrible, pad the stats, bank some runs so that we don't have to hear about Pythagoras any more, and get out of town winners of two out of three.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Michael Saunders - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Kenrys Morales - DH|
|Adam Jones - CF||Michael Morse - RF|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Jason Bay - LF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Dustin Ackley - 2B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Jesus Montero - C|
|Nolan Reimold - DH||Robert Andino - SS|