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Royals (38-59) at Orioles (42-55)

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Rich Hill, are you ready for your close-up?

The tall, lanky, and so far unsuccessful curveballer goes for the Orioles tonight, and it’s no exaggeration to say this start might determine his employment with the Orioles. His Win-Loss record is a pedestrian 3-3, and that hides a horde of ugly numbers behind it. 7.64 ERA. 1.83 WHIP. Almost as many walks (37) as strikeouts (45).

As Rich Hill looks for a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s looking at a freight train named Chris Tillman. Dave Trembley won’t officially announce it (although the O’s website already has), but everyone and their grandmother knows Chris Tillman starts Wednesday for the Orioles. And some has got to go. And Dave Trembley has let Rich Hill know the seemingly-endless patience he’s had up to this point is indeed finite:

"I would say he’s had a tremendous opportunity here and has been extended every measure of patience by all of us," manager Dave Trembley told the Orioles’ official Web site. "I have to look at the situation for what it is and see what we can do to make it better."

Hill has a few factors in his favor, the first being he’s out of options. If the Orioles want to let him go, he’s gone, baby, gone. Unless no other team thinks they can make him a serviceable MLB pitcher, and with that curveball, some one will, and unless he decides after 29 other teams pass on him that Norfolk is a nice place to spend the summer, this may well be the last time we see Rich Hill.

So, as Cecil B. DeMille may well have asked… Mr. Hill, are you ready for your close-up?


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Bruce Chen 0-5 6 5 0 0 0 0 26.0 29 19 19 6 9 16 6.58 1.46


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Rich Hill 3-3 14 12 0 0 0 0 55.1 64 50 47 7 37 45 7.64 1.83

Lineup

Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles

07/27/09 7:05 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals Baltimore Orioles
Willie Bloomquist - CF Brian Roberts - 2B
Alberto Callaspo - 2B Nick Markakis - RF
Billy Butler - 1B Adam Jones - CF
Mark Teahen - RF Aubrey Huff - 1B
Miguel Olivo - DH Nolan Reimold - LF
Brayan Pena - C Luke Scott - DH
Ryan Freel - LF Melvin Mora - 3B
Alex Gordon - 3B Matt Wieters - C
Yuniesky Betancourt - SS Cesar Izturis - SS


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