The Orioles might not do winning streaks, but they sure know how to do a losing streak. If they want to avoid getting one of those started tonight, they'll have to triumph over, well, every factor that could potentially cause them to lose a baseball game. Many of them will revolve around the starting pitchers in tonight's game: Miguel Gonzalez and Randall Delgado.
The name Delgado makes me think of long-time Toronto slugger Carlos Delgado, for whom one of the ESPN SportsCenter home run catch phrases in the mid-90s was "He Del-GOT-it!" The importance of unlikely influences in one's formative years cannot be understated. I also still hold a certain fondness for Chris Berman nicknames. Judge away.
Delgado was one of the pieces of the Justin Upton trade. He has pitched in eleven games for the Diamondbacks, starting ten of them, and has a 3.48 ERA on the season. That's split very closely between at home and the road, but there's not a whole lot to say about him over so few starts. The good news: he is not a lefty and is not a strikeout artist. Even better news is that he doesn't walk many batters, which probably means he throws a lot of strikes, which possibly means that the Orioles' aggressive nature will come in handy. Or not. I don't know.
Five of Delgado's ten starts have been quality starts. He has given up ten runs (eight earned) in his last two games, but that's not been enough to torpedo his numbers, and he's been fairly consistent so far. Still, he hasn't even thrown 200 innings in the big leagues. Orioles fans can be envious of a young pitcher (he's 23) who actually gets off to a good start in the big leagues, though. What would it be like if that happened for one of the pitchers we root for?
It's Gonzalez for the O's. He hasn't been great for his last few starts, but had eight quality starts in a row before that. What does it mean? Probably that if he pitches well tonight he'll get a good result and if he doesn't pitch well then he won't get a good result.
He has never faced anyone in the Arizona lineup at any point, so it'll be brand new for all involved parties. Excitement! What will happen? Will he record a base hit in one of his two plate appearances (we hope, or even more) in the game?
After watching the bullpen last night, maybe he'll throw a complete game - although Orioles pitchers don't do that, so, you know.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Adam Eaton - LF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Aaron Hill - 2B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Martin Prado - 3B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Gerardo Parra - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Wil Nieves - C|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Miguel Gonzalez - P||Randall Delgado - P|