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Gameday Thread: O's at Yankees, 07/05

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     Rodrigo Lopez, RH               Randy Johnson, LH
     (7-4, 4.43)                     (7-6, 4.24)

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July. Game time is 1:05 on CSN and YES.

You know how Roddy Lopez has been frustratingly unreliable this season, but not so bad that you can really lose hope? Imagine if you were paying him as much money as the Yankees are paying Johnson, because outside of the big difference in strikeout numbers, they have been pretty much the same pitcher this year.

The Unit has been blown to bits two of his last three appearances, a 10-2 loss to the Tigers (5 IP, 7 ER) and a 20-11 win over Tampa Bay (3 IP, 7 ER). It'll be interesting to see how he does today. It's never a fun thought to know Randy Johnson is going to take the hill for the other team, but is anyone honestly all that worried at this point? Unit is going on three days' rest.

Lopez is also pitching on three days' rest, which promises to be something of an adventure. With the way the pen got worked out yesterday, and the fact that Ryan is probably unavailable today (or at least should be), we're going to need to hit the Yankees early and hard.

If any Yankee fan thinks yesterday's game could be a turning point - well, as much as I love the Baltimore Orioles, I have to say that if you're blowing six-run leads against a team that's playing as poorly as the O's are right now, and you need to scrape out a win on bloop singles, it's probably not a great sign for your immediate future.

This is just a two-game series in the Bronx, and Baltimore has a day off Wednesday before going home to take on the Red Sox for four before the All-Star break. If we can win this one, get a day of rest, and take some games with the Sox, we're more than still in this thing. It seems hard to believe with the way we've played of late, but the Orioles are still six games over .500 and just 2.5 back in the AL East. The Red Sox have refused to really take charge and put distance between the themselves and us, the Yankees and Blue Jays (yeah, they're still hanging around, in case you haven't noticed), so that's good news.