Bruce Chen, LH Ted Lilly, LH (6-4, 3.31) (4-7, 6.47)
Game time is 7:07 (does anyone know why games in Canada start on the sevens and not the fives?) on CSN and RSN in Canada.
Regarding trading for pitching, since it's been a bit of a hot topic - yes, I think we need some, but there was an SI article by John Donovan that really annoyed me, partially because, as usual, it shows how very little national media types know about this team. The most common thing they do is mention Sosa and Palmeiro as dangerous hitters and completely ignore Melvin Mora, but that's not the issue this time.
If Rodrigo Lopez hasn't proven to be what he is by now, I don't know when he can. No one is saying he's a great pitcher, but he's not unproven. We know exactly what Lopez is: a middle of the rotation starter. Chen has been in the majors forever, and while he's never had a solid shot to stick anywhere, he's getting one now and he's definitely sticking. And our ace is not Ponson in any way, shape or form. He's the fourth starter bumped to third because that was how it shook out when Bedard got hurt. Our ace is Erik Bedard. Your ace is your best pitcher. Past Opening Day, rotation order really doesn't matter.
Donovan then goes on to suggest Mark Redman (who I like), Joe Kennedy (who I also like), Jason Jennings (no thanks) and Shawn Chacon (no thanks) as trade possibilities. What do those four offer that what we have doesn't? Unless Ponson is moved in the deal, there's no real upgrade. Even Cabrera, as maddening as he can be, has real upside that could start kicking in as early as any second now.
The more I think about it, the more the O's might be just as well off sticking with their five when Bedard gets back from the DL if the guys available top off at Mark Redman and Joe Kennedy. If the idea to upgrade the stability of the starters ends up being Jason Jennings, what good does that do? (I sure am slamming Jason Jennings a lot lately, aren't I? I don't really mean to.)
As for today's game, Chen hasn't really had an actual bad start this season. A couple times he's been left in too long and wasn't able to log a Quality Start, but that's it. That's happened twice. The other 11 times he's been good.
Lilly started the season fairly well with solid starts against the Red Sox and Rangers, but then fell right off a cliff for five starts, ending on two horrific 1 2/3 innings starts against the White Sox (three homers, six earned runs) and Indians (five earned runs, five walks) before coming back to earth. He was an All-Star last year (not that he really deserved it and not that it means much). His last six starts have been much more like the real Ted Lilly than that terrible stretch he went through from April 20-May 13.