As the Orioles continue through the parade of games they'd better freaking win if they want to keep themselves in the conversation for the assorted playoff positions in the American League, they will find themselves face-to-face with Erasmo Ramirez tonight.
You might be tempted to be confident about a no-name scrub pitcher facing the Orioles, and if that is the case, I am happy that you've finally awakened from the coma in which you slumbered for the entirety of the season, but I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that these are the pitchers the Orioles are the worst against. I continue to invoke his name because it's so instructive, but seriously, the lineup that was mystified by Brett Oberholtzer is not necessarily going to turn it on against a pitcher with a 7.71 ERA in three starts this season. At least he isn't left-handed.
For the Orioles, it will be Scott Feldman getting the ball. I have no idea what to think of this guy yet. He's supposed to be OK or whatever and get some ground balls, but he has not been especially OK through five Orioles starts, with a 5.12 ERA even though he's getting 48% ground balls. His FIP is 3.52, which is much better, so maybe he's just had some bad luck and things will turn around against a generally-poor offensive team like the Mariners.
The Orioles press notes in recent games had been touting a streak of 150 straight games started by Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy at shortstop and third base, but that is coming to an end tonight as Hardy gets a day off. There does not appear to be any injury concern, just a rest day, which he could probably use.
Matt Wieters is now hitless in his last seven games, which is an 0-25 streak and doesn't do a whole lot to make us feel better about the fact that he had a seven-game hit streak before going hitless in the last seven. It's ugly and there ain't no alibi.
In more positive news, Chris Davis is the first player in MLB history to have 30 doubles and 40 home runs through August 2. The next-fastest was Ken Griffey Jr., who hit the mark on August 18, 1997. Davis has homered in three of the last four games and perhaps he will continue with the hot streak tonight.
There's also Nate McLouth, who's got the most multi-hit games (eight) in MLB since the All-Star Break, and has hit safely in the last six games.
Oh, and Orioles starters have a 4.06 ERA over their last... actually, that stat looked much more impressive the last time I looked at it, probably because Chris Tillman sucked yesterday. Forget about that one. Maybe Feldman will continue with the string of 13 quality starts in the last 19 games, though. That would be alright.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Brad Miller - SS|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Nick Franklin - 2B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Raul Ibanez - LF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Mike Morse - RF|
|Henry Urrutia - DH||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Ryan Flaherty - SS||Michael Saunders - CF|
|Alexi Casilla - 2B||Humberto Quintero - C|