After opening up the series with a win last night, the Orioles are sending Kevin Millwood to the mound tonight. My reaction when Millwood is pitching lately is something like this. Perhaps that's unkind, because I think the Mentor is the only Orioles pitcher where I remember his bad outings more than I remember the good outings. When I think of him pitching I think of him giving up six runs in six innings against Texas like his last start.
The good news for the Orioles is that the Angels starter tonight has an even higher ERA than the Mentor. Scott Kazmir was good once upon a time, as Orioles fans well know from his time in Tampa Bay, but whatever he had he seemed to have lost last year and he hasn't found it this year. He's walking more guys, striking out fewer guys, and giving up more home runs than he used to. Out of 21 starts this year he's recorded only five quality starts. He has recorded more than six innings pitched only four times. How does he have eight wins on the season? The Mentor is not impressed.
Brian Roberts is expected to miss a couple of games with a hip strain, so it's unlikely we will see him tonight. Adam Jones is still on the bench as well due to the shoulder contusion suffered when he was hit by Gavin Floyd's pitch.
I'd like to point out something from last night's game that I forgot to mention in the recap. You won't see all of it in the box score, but it's one of my favorite little plays to see. The play-by-play says: C Patterson grounded into fielder's choice to second, C Izturis scored, J Bell out at second. Running from first to second, the grounder was right in front of Josh Bell and the Angels second baseman fielded it. Had Bell kept running he would have run right into a tag and made an easy double play. Instead, he stopped, forced the second baseman to try to tag him, which he successfully avoided. The second base umpire called him out, because why would you ever expect an umpire to get a call right? I love those little "dodge the tag" plays on the basepaths because it shows off instinctive baseball smarts.
Every sign on paper points to a high-scoring affair, so we should probably expect dueling no-hitters in the 8th inning. Hopefully the Mentor's is superior to Kazmir's. Go O's!
08/28/10 9:05 PM EDT
|Baltimore Orioles||Los Angeles Angels|
|Julio Lugo - 2B||Bobby Abreu - LF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Ty Wigginton - 1B||Alberto Callaspo - 3B|
|Luke Scott - DH||Torii Hunter - RF|
|Jake Fox - LF||Hideki Matsui - DH|
|Felix Pie - CF||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Craig Tatum - C||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Cesar Izturis - SS||Bobby Wilson - C|
|Josh Bell - 3B||Peter Bourjos - CF|