Game 44: Yankees (27-16) @ Orioles (23-20), 7:05

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The hearts of Orioles fans will be gladdened as Freddy Garcia takes on CC Sabathia and the Yankees to try to stop a five-game losing streak. The preceding sentence was ironic.

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Nothing will make you feel quite so good about the possibility of ending a five-game skid as seeing Freddy Garcia pitching against CC Sabathia. You'd feel good if Sabathia was pitching for your team, anyway. The Yankees do not need to stop a five-game losing streak because they actually have multiple decent-or-better starting pitchers. The Orioles ... well, there's a reason why Garcia is making his fourth start, and it is not a good sign that is the case.

What is there even to say about these guys right now? They are a mess. You know they are a mess. I know they are a mess. Out there are those who counsel not to panic, that last year's Orioles had a six-game losing streak, that the 1983 World Series-winning Orioles had two separate seven-game losing streaks. Cold comfort indeed to be found in the annals of recent and more-distant history.

Right now, in the midst of it all, it feels impossible that these guys could ever manage to win another game: that even if the starter should happen to pitch well, the offense won't score enough; or if the starter pitches well, the bullpen will blow the lead because they've been taxed by so many games where starters pitched poorly and did not go deep. This has been the story of the last five games. I'm about sick of it, and also fully expect the five-game losing streak to turn into an eight-game losing streak.

Sabathia has been pitching for the Yankees just as well as you'd expect him to. He brings a 3.19 ERA into the game, nearly a strikeout per inning pitched, not many walks. One thing about Sabathia is he's trending towards giving up more home runs. He surrendered 22 in exactly 200 IP last year, and has given up eight through 59.1 IP so far this year. That's about a 1.2 HR/9 for this year, which is 50% more than his career mark. Seven of the eight homers have been hit by righty batters; lefties are batting .191/.261/.293 off of Sabathia.

Then there's Alexi Casilla, 12-24 in his career off Sabathia. I guess you never know. That's what makes baseball fun.

And then there's Garcia, and you know... I don't want to talk about it any more.

This game will be on ESPN. The Orioles have such a great history of putting their best foot forward in random national TV games in the middle of the season. Wait, no. Please stop losing tonight.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
Nick Markakis - RF Brett Gardner - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Robinson Cano - 2B
J.J. Hardy - SS Travis Hafner - DH
Adam Jones - CF Lyle Overbay - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Curtis Granderson - LF
Matt Wieters - C David Adams - 3B
Danny Valencia - DH Ichiro Suzuki - RF
Steve Pearce - LF Reid Brignac - SS
Alexi Casilla - 2B Austin Romine - C

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