Game 115: Orioles (63-51) @ Giants (51-63), 10:15

Greg Fiume

The West Coast road trip continues Friday night with the Orioles in San Francisco. Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles against Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants.

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An old singer left his heart in San Francisco. In the present day, we hope that the Orioles don't leave their playoff hopes there. The defending World Series champions are moribund as they follow up their second title in three seasons with a disaster. There is no hope and they can only stand in the way of the O's this weekend in a battle of the orange and black teams.

The Orioles, who are fully capable of losing games against bad teams that they should absolutely be winning, need to tighten things up to keep that from happening again. They are just as capable of sweeping this team with nothing to play for, but then they could also go in and stink up the joint and get swept out of any realistic hope of anything.

What would be a good sign if the O's were a team that could feast on bad pitching is that Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong has not had a good season this year. He will be activated from the disabled list for tonight's game, where he had been ever since breaking his hand while swinging a bat back in May. He had pitched poorly up until that point this season, and sports a 2-4 record with a 7.19 ERA. We have seen in some games all through the season that these are the most likely pitchers to go like seven innings while giving up two runs.

The closest thing the Orioles have to a consistent starter is Chris Tillman, and he is starting tonight, with a chance to become the O's first 15-game winner since Erik Bedard in 2006. That is a sad and very true fact. It has been seven years and the Orioles have not had a starter win more than 14 games. Tillman even has an outside chance at being the first 20-game winner in nearly 20 years, and earning or lucking his way into a win tonight would leave him needing five more wins with nine or so starts remaining in the season.

That is plenty possible, if he pitches well, gets lucky, blah blah blah. You know, whatever.

Nate McLouth - LF Marco Scutaro - 2B
Manny Machado - 3B Brandon Crawford - SS
Nick Markakis - RF Brandon Belt - 1B
Adam Jones - CF Buster Posey - C
Chris Davis - 1B Hunter Pence - RF
Matt Wieters - C Pablo Sandoval - 3B
J.J. Hardy - SS Roger Kieschnick - LF
Brian Roberts - 2B Gregor Blanco - CF
Chris Tillman - P Ryan Vogelsong - P

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