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GameThread: Orioles (56-81) @ Red Sox (79-58), 7:10 PM

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The Orioles just have to go 25-0 to avoid their 12th consecutive losing season. Keep the faith!

Those watching the game tonight will no doubt have to hear the tale of young Clay Buchholz no hitting the Orioles in his second major league start in 2007. It's true; he made the Orioles look awfully silly that night. Since then? Not so much. Buchholz has made three starts against the Orioles since then without much success at all. In those three starts he's pitched a combined 11.1 innings, allowing 18 runs on 17 hits and 12 walks. That adds up to a pristine 14.29 ERA and a 2.56 WHIP.

Even with those numbers, Buchholz hasn't been awful this year. He certainly hasn't been the golden boy all were touting him as after his no hitter, but he's held his own. In 10 starts this year he's allowed more than 3 earned runs just twice. The good news is one of those times was against the Orioles on 2 August when he gave up 7 ER in 4 innings. The second time was on 24 August against the White Sox, when he also gave up 7 ER.

David Hernandez hasn't been very good lately. He got knocked around by the Yankees in his last start, though he did manage to strike out 7. If I could offer one word of advice to young Mr. Hernandez, it would be: "Stop giving up so many freaking home runs, kid." After giving up just 4 home runs in his first 8 starts, he's given up 13 in his last 7. Hernandez has pitched against the Red Sox twice this year. In his first, on 26 July, he was great. He pitched 7 innings with 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 2 K, earning 1 of the 2 wins the Orioles have gotten against the Red Sox this year. In the 2nd he wasn't great, lasting just 4.1 innings, but he limited the damage to 2 ER on 7 H, 2 BB, and 4 K.


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2009 - David Hernandez 4-6 4.54 1.55 50 38


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2009 - Clay Buchholz 4-3 4.40 1.50 39 26


Lineup

Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox
Brian Roberts - 2B Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
Felix Pie - CF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Nolan Reimold - LF Victor Martinez - C
Nick Markakis - RF Kevin Youkilis - 3B
Melvin Mora - 3B David Ortiz - DH
Matt Wieters - C Jason Bay - LF
Luke Scott - DH J.D. Drew - RF
Ty Wigginton - 1B Casey Kotchman - 1B
Cesar Izturis - SS Alex Gonzalez - SS

This 5 game road trip has the potential to be devastating, but if you're going to play two games against the Red Sox, you couldn't ask for two better pitchers to face than Buchholz and Paul Byrd. And I don't feel awful about sending Tillman, Matusz and Guts to face the Yankees (I know, I'm clearly insane). Last week the thought of this road trip made me feel a little ill, but after watching the O's take two of three from the Rangers I'm all feisty. I'm sure that'll be beaten out of me before this game is over.

Let's Go O's!