The deciding game of this series between the Orioles and the White Sox is tonight, with Jake Arrieta looking to continue his streak of 6+ inning starts. It'll be his first career start against the White Sox. We've seen the starts this year where Jake has taken his lumps and we've seen the ones where he was good. Much better to see a good one than not, but Jake's got a total of 79 innings under his belt in the big leagues, so whatever happens tonight we can feel confident that the best is yet to come. A night after Brian Matusz stymied the Sox, it'd be great to see his fellow rookie duplicate that success.
Starting for the White Sox is Edwin Jackson, whose name you might remember from his eight-walk, 149-pitch no-hitter earlier in the season when he was still with Arizona. Jackson's making his fourth start since being traded and all of them have been against either Detroit or Baltimore. He's managed a 1.35 ERA in those starts since the trade, but let's get real: a guy who was rocking a 5.16 ERA against the NL this season isn't going to come over and suddenly light up the AL. The numbers in the superior league will catch up to him, and maybe even a team like the Orioles will be the one administering that dose of reality.
Jackson is well-rested though, having last pitched significant time in a game on August 14. Last Friday, he threw seven pitches at the start of a game against the Royals that was rained out. Five Orioles have more than ten career plate appearances against Jackson, with Nick Markakis batting .400 and Brian Roberts with a .412 OBP (due to five walks - he's only batting .167 off Jackson).
The last two nights I've said something about not wanting to see homers given up to Paul Konerko or Carlos Quentin, but maybe I should have added Gordon Beckham to the list. Giving up home runs to the #9 hitter is always great. Except for the part where it totally sucks. So no more of that tonight! Let's leave Hawk Harrelson crying on-air for all the out-of-market MLB.tv watchers who've been stuck suffering through his commentary this series. Go O's!
08/26/10 8:10 PM EDT
|Baltimore Orioles||Chicago White Sox|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Juan Pierre - LF|
|Corey Patterson - LF||Omar Vizquel - 3B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Alex Rios - CF|
|Luke Scott - DH||Paul Konerko - 1B|
|Ty Wigginton - 1B||Carlos Quentin - RF|
|Felix Pie - CF||A.J. Pierzynski - C|
|Matt Wieters - C||Alexei Ramirez - SS|
|Cesar Izturis - SS||Mark Teahen - DH|
|Josh Bell - 3B||Gordon Beckham - 2B|