By beating the Red Sox in the opening game of this weekend's series, the Orioles did their part to ensure that Boston was knocked out of first place in the American League East. With Tampa Bay having already beaten New York today, the Orioles will look to gain ground on second place with another win tonight. They are three games back of Boston and could end the night two back, 3.5 games behind division-leading Tampa Bay.
Recent trade acquisition Scott Feldman gets the task of holding down the MLB-leading offense in runs scored. Good luck with that. Especially since - dipping into the gambler's fallacy - they are due to break out after being shut down by Chris Tillman and company yesterday. Maybe Feldman can get the ground balls working or something.
Feldman has not had a track record of success against some of Boston's hitters. Mike Napoli has seen the most of him and is 11-23 with two home runs. That hurts. David Ortiz is 2-6 and the two hits are home runs. That also hurts. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 2-4 with a double and a home run. Let's hope Feldman is on his game tonight and all of that is small sample size noise, because if it's not, there is a slugfest brewing, or at least one end of a slugfest.
Orioles hitters will be up against Ryan Dempster, which is not something that will be welcome news for J.J. Hardy, who is 2-30 in his career off of Dempster. That also hurts. It's all painful.
The Orioles are 6-2 against Boston this season, the only team in the AL East with a winning record against them, but look for that to be 6-3 after tonight. The Orioles rotation has been great coming out of the All-Star Break, which is bound to stop happening soon, and that might as well start to turn against this Boston offense (especially with Jason Hammel due to start tomorrow). That's life. Can't win them all.
Out in the suburbs, rain pours down on the roof as I write this post. Will showers or storms affect the game at all? Time will tell. I am not in the mood for a rain delay, but nature may have other plans.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Shane Victorino - RF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||David Ortiz - DH|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Mike Carp - LF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C|
|Henry Urrutia - DH||Stephen Drew - SS|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Jose Iglesias - 3B|