Game 49: Orioles (26-22) @ Blue Jays (20-28), 1:07

Rob Carr

The Orioles and Blue Jays hit a lot of home runs. R.A. Dickey gives up a lot of home runs at home, and Freddy Garcia gives up a lot of home runs when he sucks, which is always.

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A MASN graphic during last night's game indicated that Rogers Centre has had the second-most home runs hit out of all AL stadiums. There were seven during the game. The Orioles, with 66, have hit more home runs than any team. Chris Davis, with 16, has hit more home runs than any player. The Blue Jays, with 62, are in a tie for second for most home runs hit by all teams.

Then there is today's game, featuring the knuckleball magic of R.A. Dickey. The thing is that there hasn't been much magic at Rogers Centre. Dickey has a home ERA of 5.15, and he's given up seven home runs there. Wild theories abound about how perhaps the dome is not the best environment for the knuckler. Perhaps there is some truth to some of them.

We must also prepare ourselves for another Freddy Garcia start. I am not prepared. You are not prepared. By game time, we will still not be prepared. He has allowed six home runs in 22.1 IP. We know the team and the stadium mean there will be many home runs. There are fearsome hitters in that lineup. They are not to be messed with. He hurls his slop in there and we all pray. So far, he has not had success. You should not expect any of it today either.

It's the second look against Dickey this season for the O's. The other was at Camden Yards, and they scored four runs in the six innings Dickey pitched. That was enough to win the game on that day. With how things have gone with the rotation and the bullpen lately, four runs does not feel like it will ever be enough runs again. But if the knuckler is as flat as it has apparently been previously in Toronto, and the O's hitters can come in with the appropriate counterspells to Dickey's brand of wizardry (I suggest Mordenkainen's Strike Zone Matrix, personally), they should not have problems keeping up.

The game figures to be a wild ride. Maybe whoever strikes first will win it. Maybe whoever strikes last will win it. Maybe neither of these things will be true, and also maybe we will end up with an improbable 1-0 pitcher's duel.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Nate McLouth - LF Melky Cabrera - LF
Manny Machado - 3B Jose Bautista - RF
Nick Markakis - RF Edwin Encarnacion - DH
Adam Jones - CF Adam Lind - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Brett Lawrie - 3B
J.J. Hardy - SS Colby Rasmus - CF
Danny Valencia - DH Emilio Bonifacio - 2B
Yamaico Navarro - 2B Henry Blanco - C
Chris Snyder - C Munenori Kawasaki - SS

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