Here is a team more than 30 games under .500 that is playing on the road. They have scratched their best starter, who is probably about to be traded. Yes, baseball is hard and it's hard to beat even bad teams every night, but the Orioles need to get fat on this stretch of games, especially this Astros series. Win them all. No excuses. No bad nights. Just win.
It's even more imperative to win the game when you consider that it's Wei-Yin Chen starting for the O's tonight. The O's best starter against a replacement starter who has an awful ERA? That would be Lucas Harrell, who has walked basically everyone in sight this season, except for June 4, when he pitched against the O's, and they managed to not draw even a single walk. They do not walk, unless it's back to the dugout.
The Astros have only scored 391 runs. It's bad. They are bad. They cannot be allowed to win tonight, not with Harrell starting against Chen. No letting up or looking past this 17-game stretch where they play only three games against teams with a record over .500. Beat the bad teams. That's what good teams do. The Orioles are a good team, but maybe not a good enough for the playoffs team. This is the time to give themselves a leg up.
Maybe they can start with Chris Davis homering for the first time since the All-Star Break. Manny Machado could get a double for the first time in like forever. Something. When you come up against a pitcher with a 5+ ERA, it's time to tee off. None of this two runs in seven innings stuff, which is what happened the last time they faced Harrell. Step up and blast the guy.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||HOUSTON ASTROS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Jonathan Villar - SS|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Jose Altuve - 2B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Jason Castro - DH|
|Adam Jones - CF||Chris Carter - 1B|
|Chris Davis - DH||Justin Maxwell - RF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Carlos Corporan - C|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Brandon Barnes - CF|
|Ryan Flaherty - 1B||Matt Dominguez - 3B|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Robbie Grossman - LF|