Game 114: Orioles (62-51) @ Padres (52-61), 3:40

Jamie Squire

Forget about the Orioles winning Wednesday. The Padres' Eric Stults is a lefty with an average fastball velocity of 86.5mph. It will be ugly.

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Soft-tossing lefty having a weirdly-good season? Forget about this game. If you're at work, don't try to watch it. Count yourself lucky that it will not be inflicted on you. Hope only that it's over before your evening commute concludes so that you don't have to watch any part of it.

Seriously, though, Eric Stults has an average fastball velocity, according to Fangraphs, of 86.5mph. How does that even happen? How does such a person have a 3.55 ERA? Surely, some of it has to do with the Petco effect: a 2.35 ERA at home vs. a 4.64 ERA on the road. But it's Petco where he'll pitch today, meaning his 5% home run/fly ball rate is what will play.

Sometimes I wonder what the Orioles rotation would look like if they pitched in a park like this with such frequency.

There is no chance that the O's will beat the Padres today because of the soft-tossing lefty effect, but we can still watch Miguel Gonzalez nervously and hope that his stretch of poor starts does not continue any farther than it already has. Maybe a tough-luck 6.2 IP, 2 ER loss? They're going to lose the game, but at least that could make us feel better about Gonzalez going forward. Then again, any pronouncements about him being okay might be dependent on his continuing to pitch in Petco, which, of course, won't be happening.

Prepare yourselves for another day where everyone the Orioles want to lose ends up winning, and the Orioles themselves lose and fall a little farther behind, create a little more ground that they can "make up later when they get hot", which sounds great in theory until you remember that it's August and this team, despite being 11 games over .500, has never actually gotten hot. There is a lot of baseball still to play, but even more has already been played, and they are running out of time.

Nick Markakis - RF Will Venable - RF
Manny Machado - 3B Chris Denorfia - LF
Adam Jones - CF Chase Headley - 3B
Chris Davis - 1B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Matt Wieters - C Jedd Gyorko - 2B
J.J. Hardy - SS Alexi Amarista - CF
Steve Pearce - LF Ronny Cedeno - SS
Brian Roberts - 2B Rene Rivera - C
Miguel Gonzalez - RHP Eric Stults - LHP

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