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Gameday Thread: O's at Those Darn Cats, 06/03

     Bruce Chen, LH                  Jason Johnson, RH
     (5-2, 3.46)                     (3-4, 3.53)

Game time is 7:05 on CSN and FSN Detroit.

This is the third time this season we will face Jason Johnson, and more than likely the last. This is our last series with Detroit (praise the heavens) barring a matchup in the playoffs, which obviously seems unlikely. Johnson could be traded, I guess.

Anyhow, Jason is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and .264 BAA against us. He's struck out just three in 15 innings, but walked only one. He's controlled us, for the most part. And as I said last time, he's actually been quite good this year, although lefties are still teeing off against him (.318, 1.76 WHIP against LHB).

For the season in five starts, he's 1-1, 1.73/1.16 at Kramerica Park. Home has been kind to him.

In fact, let's take out that viciously terrible start at the Metrodome. Minus that 0.1 IP with 7 H and 5 ER, Johnson has been quite good. A lot of it is his park, but nonetheless.

Chen's last start was against this same team in that despicable sweep at Camden Yards, and he was good over six innings. Good enough to win. Then it all went downhill, and this and that happened, but moving on...

Chen has been decidedly better at home than away this year. At home (six starts), he's 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, .217 BAA. On the road (four starts), he's gone 2-1, but with a 4.56 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and ugly .305 BAA. He's shut down righties this year but been destroyed by lefties for a weird split: 0.95 WHIP, 2.18 BAA versus RHB; 2.56 WHIP, .380 BAA versus LHB. Over his career, he's worse against lefties, but you probably have to take into account all the times in his relief days that he came in to face a lefty specifically, and he wasn't very good so he probably got hit pretty well in those situations. And anyway, his career split is nowhere near that extreme.

This will be Chen's first time pitching at Kramerica.