Here are the lineups for tonight's game:
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Nate McLouth (L) - LF||Brett Gardner (L) - CF|
|Manny Machado (R) - 3B||Derek Jeter (R) - SS|
|Adam Jones (R) - CF||Robinson Cano (L) - 2B|
|Chris Davis (L) - 1B||Alfonso Soriano (R) - LF|
|J.J. Hardy (R) - SS||Alex Rodriguez (R) - 3B|
|Nick Markakis (L) - RF||Curtis Granderson (L) - DH|
|Danny Valencia (R) - DH||Mark Reynolds (R) - 1B|
|Alexi Casilla (S) - 2B||Ichiro Suzuki (L) - RF|
|Taylor Teagarden (R) - C||Austin Romine (R) - C|
The Orioles pushed back Miguel Gonzalez's start (although he did see two innings in relief) just so that he could face the Yankees. You see, Gonzalez is what we like to refer to as a Yankee killer. It's a very noble profession.
In five career regular season starts against the Yankees, Gonzalez has pitched 32 2/3 innings with a 2.48 ERA. He has struck out 8.3 Yankees per nine innings and put up a WHIP of 1.071. Yankee hitters have put up a line of just .202/.275/.311 against Gonzalez. And let's not forget Gonzalez's fantastic start against the Yankees in last year's playoff game in which he shut down the Yankees for 7 innings, giving up just 1 run with no walks and eight strikeouts.
There's one small wrinkle in the narrative, though. Gonzalez has faced the Yankees three times this season, and while he's gone at least six innings without allowing more than two earned runs in each, twice he walked five. FIVE. Here's hoping he doesn't do that again.
CC Sabathia is pitching for the Yankees and while his name still makes me think the Orioles are going to get completely shut down, he just hasn't been the CC of old this season. His ERA is 4.81, the first time it's been over 4 since 2005. He is giving up a lot of home runs this year and not doing a very good job stranding runners.
The Orioles really, really need a series win. They actually need a sweep. Will the Yankees be accommodating? I hope so. Let's go O's!