The immortal Jerome "Jeremy" Williams has been a one-game-a-year nemesis to the Orioles for two years running. There was that one game in August 2011 where he stymied the offense over seven innings, and even last year's good Orioles were beaten by Williams, though that latter was mostly because Brian Matusz started the game and sucked. Indeed, Williams has bested Matusz both times. Preferably, we will not see Matusz in today's game. Don't mess with that kind of karma.
Williams is the sort of journeyman pitcher you can't really help but root for, except when he's pitching against your favorite team. He's bounced around, gone from the rotation to the bullpen and back, and keeps grinding. But hopefully he sucks today. He has a 1.69 ERA in 21.1 IP and will be making his first start of the season.
Chris Davis makes a hopefully-triumphant return to the O's lineup to close out this 11-game west coast road trip. They've already guaranteed themselves a winning record on the trip, but 7-4 would look so much better than 6-5, wouldn't it? Not to mention the feather in the cap of winning two four-game series, on the west coast, against Oakland and Los Angeles. That would be kind of awesome.
Williams has yet to allow a home run this year, so he's kind of a little bit due, right? Speaking of due, there's that .235 BABIP to look at. That has to come up, right? Maybe today!
It's Jason Hammel making the start for the Orioles. Don't look at his peripherals or you'll be depressed. The dread god of regression lurks. Oh, it lurks. In every plate appearance by Stumblin' Hank Conger, it lurks. Some players on the Angels have seen Hammel a few times in his career, but not very many. Albert Pujols has reached base five times in 11 plate appearances and Howie Kendrick is 4-7 with a double. So basically, whatever.
A couple of days ago, when Davis limped off the field, I figured all hope was lost. But plug him back in and if he keeps being awesome and Nate McLouth and Manny Machado do a little more of their thing, and maybe Nick Markakis will at least have a higher OPS than Steve Pearce at some point, someone who plays second base will learn how to hit a baseball... what is this weird feeling? I don't like it. I'm scared. Hold me.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Mike Trout - CF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Josh Hamilton - RF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Mark Trumbo - 1B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Alberto Callaspo - 3B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Hank Conger - DH|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Chris Iannetta - C|
|Nolan Reimold - DH||J.B. Shuck - LF|