The game last night was homer central, as perhaps will be the game this afternoon. Home runs are exciting. Chicks dig the long ball and all that. They are less exciting when the joy of the Orioles having the most home runs of any team in baseball is offset by the Orioles having surrendered more home runs than any team in baseball.
They have surrendered more than they have hit, in fact: 101 home runs hit, 103 home runs given up. This is just the way that it is going to go. They will give up home runs. They will not cut down the rate at which they give up home runs. Starters will give up home runs. Relievers will give up home runs. This is especially true in Toronto, which is a stupid environment for home runs.
The Orioles lost ground in the division thanks to last night's disaster, and even with a win today they may gain none. That is how it goes this year: win and everyone else wins. Lose and everyone else wins. There is no fighting it. All they can do is win and hope for the best.
The Blue Jays dust Chien-Ming Wang off the shelf to start today's game. Well, they took him off the shelf before today, because he's made two starts, but before that he was chilling in the Yankees organization in Triple-A, with the Yankees apparently preferring to let him opt out than deal with the reality that Phil Hughes sucks so far this year. So Wang gets his shot in Toronto, land of a million injuries to starting pitchers.
Despite a fairly low 3.14 ERA, Wang's two starts have seen batters hitting .309/.367/.455 off of him. That's an .821 OPS. It's a small sample size, and as the sample size increases, it could go either way: the ERA may increase or the slash line numbers may decrease: Being Orioles fans, we're rooting for his ERA to go up today.
As always, they will need the runs. I don't have any particular gloomy feeling about Miguel Gonzalez as he makes his first start as a new daddy. It's just that he will give up home runs, because that's what Orioles pitchers do in Toronto. The narrative is waiting for either outcome: he pitches well, wins the game for his new daughter; or he pitches poorly, and all of the cross-country flying - his wife gave birth in California - was too tiring for him.
Unless he pitches well and the bullpen blows the game. That is a third possible outcome. Hey Miguel, how about we solve that one with a complete game? That would be great.
Also, please stop getting beaten in Toronto by Munenori Kawasaki and/or an Izturis brother. It's unseemly.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Melky Cabrera - LF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Edwin Encarnacion - 1B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Adam Lind - DH|
|Chris Davis - DH||Colby Rasmus - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||J.P. Arencibia - C|
|Travis Ishikawa - 1B||Maicer Izturis - 3B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Emilio Bonifacio - 2B|
|Taylor Teagarden - C||Munenori Kawasaki - SS|