Crunch time continues apace. Every game is nerve-wracking and it feels like the Orioles may need to win each and every last game to be guaranteed to make it into the playoffs. That's probably not the case, but they have given away too many games already and there aren't many losses left to give. Doesn't matter if they're playing a first-place team like the Red Sox or a last-place team like the Blue Jays. They've got to keep on winning.
The last time Wei-Yin Chen faced the Red Sox, the game was in Fenway Park and it was the worst game of Chen's career. There's nowhere to go but up - we hope - from giving up eight runs in 3.2 innings, but he's going to need to do a lot better than that, not just marginally better, unless the Orioles offense really has a good game against Jake Peavy. Also, an unreliable bullpen would have to pick up some slack, and so on.
Red Sox batters have combined for a .321/.385/568 slash line against Chen in 91 plate appearances. Still, it only takes one good game to start turning that one around. O's fans have to hope that tonight is Chen's good game against the Red Sox.
Issues with starting pitching go a long way to explaining why the O's have never been able to put together a needed long winning streak for the whole season.
Few Orioles regulars have seen much of Peavy. The numbers don't matter. They have to be better than him tonight.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Nate McLouth (L) - LF||Dustin Pedroia (R) - 2B|
|Manny Machado (R) - 3B||Shane Victorino (S) - CF|
|Chris Davis (L) - 1B||David Ortiz (L) - DH|
|Adam Jones (R) - CF||Mike Napoli (R) - 1B|
|Nick Markakis (L) - RF||Jonny Gomes (R) - LF|
|Danny Valencia (R) - DH||Daniel Nava (S) - RF|
|Matt Wieters (S) - C||Will Middlebrooks (R) - 3B|
|J.J. Hardy (R) - SS||Stephen Drew (L) - SS|
|Brian Roberts (S) - 2B||David Ross (R) - C|