Guys, I have a confession to make. I'm about one more win away from going completely and totally nuts. If the magic of Buck Showalter extends to seeing the O's win on a night where Brad Bergesen is up for the Birds against John Danks, any semblance of sanity is going to flee from my system. It'll be gone. You'll be getting treated to wild card standings, status updates on contending teams, and any other things that come to mind that are utterly disconnected from the reality of following a team that will still be a 100-loss team if they finish .500 from right now. So consider yourselves warned - but I have a feeling I won't be the only one off the deep end.
Danks is pretty good this year, with a 3.40 ERA and a slightly lower FIP. It's good for a 3.6 WAR to date, which is higher than anybody else on the Orioles by at least 1 win and better than any Orioles pitcher by at least 2 wins. 47% ground balls would look pretty good in Camden Yards. The good news is some current Orioles have pretty good numbers off Danks. Brian Roberts has a .389 OBP in 18 PA, Nick Markakis slugging .556 in 18 PA and Luke Scott slugging .545 in 12 PA. Scott's been on one of his hot streaks lately and hopefully it keeps on riding.
On the batting side of the box score, the White Sox are 5th in MLB in home runs. That's a pretty good sign for them up against Bergesen, who's allowing 1.61 HR/9 this season, especially Paul Konerko with his 27 HR on the year - 20 against righties. There's nothing pretty about Bergesen's cumulative performance for the season, with only five quality starts out of 17. He hasn't won a game since May 12, although in fairness, that's not his fault since he should have won his last start against Kansas City.
Chicago's lineup sure isn't Kansas City's lineup, though. In short, there's absolutely no reason to believe that the Orioles would win tonight unless you've completely taken leave of your senses. But then, there was absolutely no reason to believe that the Orioles would win with Dan Haren on the mound either, or that Cesar Izturis would line a ball up the middle past five infielders to get a game-winning hit.
Kicking off this four-game series with a win tonight means I'm diving head first into the Orange Kool-Aid pool. Better have a bathing suit handy just in case. Go O's!
In case you're so inclined, you can get a White Sox fan perspective on tonight's game at South Side Sox. They like to make The Wire references over there so they can't be too bad. Presumably nothing about casinos in the community guidelines.
08/06/10 7:05 PM EDT
|Chicago White Sox||Baltimore Orioles|
|Juan Pierre - LF||Brian Roberts - 2B|
|Brent Lillibridge - CF||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Paul Konerko - 1B||Ty Wigginton - 1B|
|Carlos Quentin - RF||Luke Scott - DH|
|Mark Kotsay - DH||Adam Jones - CF|
|Alexei Ramirez - SS||Julio Lugo - SS|
|A.J. Pierzynski - C||Matt Wieters - C|
|Dayan Viciedo - 3B||Felix Pie - LF|
|Gordon Beckham - 2B||Josh Bell - 3B|