Game 72: Orioles (40-31) @ Tigers (39-29), 7:08

J. Meric

Zach Britton against Justin Verlander? That's a funny one. Tell me another.

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A scant two years ago, this is a game you probably would not have watched at all. Zach Britton against Justin Verlander? That's a really funny one, and you've seen enough losing already. Now we have to watch, because the Orioles are good, and you never know. They just might find a way to win it.

Verlander can have bad nights, after all. We know that. And in terms of his results like ERA, he is a step off the game he's had for the last two seasons, with a full run higher than his MVP-winning season of two years ago. He had a tough time in May but has seemed to be back to himself in June, including a game where he beat the Orioles. That was the fun one where Jason Hammel was ejected after hitting Matt Tuiasosopo following giving up back-to-back-to-back home runs.

With Britton pitching, back-to-back-to-back home runs and more are possible. A million walks are possible. Anything is possible. This will probably be his only start regardless of how well he does. This is where we spout some saying about how the man who has nothing to lose is the freest man of all. His fate is sealed. The serenity can set in: he cannot control what will happen to him at all. There's no use worrying about it at all.

This mentality did not help Jake Arrieta any last night, so really, who knows. Sometimes you go to a philosophy lecture and a baseball game breaks out.

Travis Ishikawa has been summoned from Norfolk and is the designated hitter in tonight's game. This was necessitated by the fact that Ishikawa opted out of his contract two days ago and would have been a free agent tonight, and enabled by Miguel Gonzalez going on paternity leave. Is this so important to Duquette that he could not lose Ishikawa? Apparently so. He could be the designated hitter for the next two games and then be designated for assignment when Gonzalez returns, essentially making him this year's version of Bill Hall.

All things are possible, even an Orioles victory against Verlander tonight. Remember that time Matt Angle hit a leadoff homer against Verlander? That was two years ago, too, that MVP-winning year for Verlander. The Orioles won that night.

Who would be the most unlikely Oriole who could homer tonight? Ryan Flaherty, this could be your time to shine.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES DETROIT TIGERS
Nate McLouth - LF Austin Jackson - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Torii Hunter - RF
Nick Markakis - RF Miguel Cabrera - 3B
Adam Jones - CF Prince Fielder - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Victor Martinez - DH
Matt Wieters - C Jhonny Peralta - SS
J.J. Hardy - SS Matt Tuiasosopo - LF
Travis Ishikawa - DH Omar Infante - 2B
Ryan Flaherty - 2B Brayan Pena - C

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