After winning the first game of this series against the Mariners in dramatic fashion, the Orioles will be looking to follow that up with a second consecutive victory tonight. If we can take anything away from last night's game, I think it can be that both of these teams have the potential to unleash some horrendous baseball upon unsuspecting spectators. David Aardsma's pitching performance in the bottom of the 10th inning, and Cesar Izturis' and Brian Roberts' at-bats against the wild hurler, have to rank among some of the worst that has been seen in MLB this season. Fortunately, thanks to that gutsy drag bunt by Adam Jones, we walked away with a win.
Today, we will see Kevin Millwood pitching, which probably means another win will be an uphill battle. I've probably been harsher in my posts about the Mentor than I have been towards any other Oriole since Buck took over, and some of that may have to do with the fact that, of the four losses we've suffered in that time, two came in games where Millwood started. Indeed, his last start against Cleveland was one that exposes the weakness of the "quality start" metric. But still, he gave up only three runs and it was the offense who let him down. That was also the case in his start against the White Sox. Watch out for Adam Moore, Mentor.
The Mariners' starter is Luke French. He's been on the Seattle-Tacoma shuttle during the course of this season, and a fantasy scouting report on his ESPN.com player profile comments that his stuff "may not be good enough to consistently retire big league hitters." Luckily for French, tonight he's facing the 2010 Orioles, who, as we saw last night, are one of a small number of teams that can possibly claim to be nearly as bad at scoring runs as the M's. Unluckily for French, tonight he's facing the new-look 2010 Orioles, meaning he's going to be savaged by Buck-infused hitting mojo on the field and by facile jokes about surrendering off the field. Don't worry, French. If you tear the cover off the resin bag, that's probably close enough to a white flag to get the job done.
Alfredo Simon has now allowed a home run in each of his last four appearances. Hopefully we score enough runs tonight and tomorrow that his services as a closer will not need to be rendered.
Oh, and with a win tonight, the Orioles would move up to only three games back of Seattle in the contest for the third-worst record in the major leagues. Bring it on! Go O's!
Seattle Mariners @ Baltimore Orioles
08/17/10 7:05 PM EDT
|Seattle Mariners||Baltimore Orioles|
|Ichiro Suzuki - RF||Brian Roberts - 2B|
|Chone Figgins - 2B||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Russell Branyan - DH||Ty Wigginton - 1B|
|Jose Lopez - 3B||Luke Scott - DH|
|Franklin Gutierrez - CF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Casey Kotchman - 1B||Felix Pie - LF|
|Adam Moore - C||Matt Wieters - C|
|Ryan Langerhans - LF||Cesar Izturis - SS|
|Josh Wilson - SS||Josh Bell - 3B|