In this, the final game of the homestand, the Orioles will be looking for their 7th victory against the Rangers on the season to go against three losses. Whatever happens in today's game, the O's are guaranteed to win the season series against Texas, which is looking to be playoff bound. It's worth noting in the ongoing fan wars for division or league supremacy that Texas is 13-23 against the AL East.
Kevin Millwood is starting for the Birds today. He leads the AL in losses, which doesn't sound too great, but a lot of his losses from earlier in the season were tough ones, and so have been both of the losses he's taken since Buck was the manager. In fact, the Mentor has fired off three straight quality starts in the Showalter era, so he'll be looking to continue that trend before the O's hit the road after an off day for series' against Chicago and LAAAOCCAUSA. Only one Texas batter has significant face time against the Mentor - Vladimir Guerrero in 94 career PA has accumulated a slash line of .384/.436/.651 with five home runs. Maybe Koji can teach him that splitter real quick.
The Mentor's opposite today is Tommy Hunter, who's coming off two straight bad starts against AL East teams, having been tagged for four runs in only three innings against both Boston and Tampa Bay. Anything they can do, we can do better, am I right? Well, no, probably not, but let's not quibble over petty details. Hunter's one of those guys who has a gaudy W-L record without much to back it up. At 9-2 with a 3.71 ERA despite only 4.87 K/9, with 1.51 HR/9 and a .272 BABIP, he comes off looking better than he probably "should" have. Jeremy Guthrie isn't impressed, and apparently neither is sabermetrics - Hunter's FIP is 5.12.
With the ball flying out of Oriole Park at Camden Yards yesterday, today's affair would figure to be another high-scoring one. Josh Bell is back, and he is a tattooed harbinger of the Birdland ascension that's soon to come. It may not happen today, and it may not happen tomorrow, but this orange-feathered flight of vengeance cannot be stopped. We are the Orioles, team of teams: look on our works, ye Mighty, and despair!
08/22/10 1:35 PM EDT
|Texas Rangers||Baltimore Orioles|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Brian Roberts - 2B|
|Michael Young - 3B||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Josh Hamilton - LF||Ty Wigginton - 1B|
|Vladimir Guerrero - DH||Luke Scott - DH|
|David Murphy - RF||Corey Patterson - LF|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Felix Pie - CF|
|Taylor Teagarden - C||Matt Wieters - C|
|Andres Blanco - 2B||Cesar Izturis - SS|
|Julio Borbon - CF||Josh Bell - 3B|