Just between you and me, maybe it's for the better we lost that game on Saturday. If I was sitting here writing a Game Thread opening post with six straight wins rather than just having won five out of six games in the Buck Showalter Era, it might have been just a little ridiculous, with a level of craziness that would grow exponentially with each consecutive win. This way I'm at least keeping some sort of tenuous grasp on the reality-based environment, which is difficult when even ESPN's giving a little love to the "rolling" Orioles.
Still... six straight quality starts is a pretty hopeful sign going forward, isn't it? I think every CC member has his or her own opinion on how much of that can be attributed to Buck's arrival, how much is luck and how much is those pitchers just putting things together at the time Buck arrived. Pretty much everything seems to be swinging up in the past week except the bullpen, as you can see in great detail in this week's Birds Up, O's Down.
Tonight, the O's go for back-to-back series wins for the first time all season. Looking to extend the streak to seven straight quality starts will be Brian Matusz. If he racks up another QS in tonight's game, then even if the offense sputters or the bullpen goes awry, nothing else matusz. (Do I have to pay royalties to Roch Kubatko for that one?) Seriously though, 6 IP and 1 ER in his last start was good because he'd gotten beaten around pretty bad in the four starts before that. Control is good for Brian. If he's locating pitches, he's not walking guys and they can't wait to swing at the cheese. I think I've written that about all our young pitchers lately.
Edwin Jackson was acquired by the White Sox at the deadline and he's starting tonight. Eight-walk no-hitters are pretty weird. Jackson was not so great in every subsequent outing after the no-no, except for his one start since the trade. He has a 1.49 WHIP and a 4.97 ERA on the year. This may not be a bad night to take the over, not that I even know what the over/under is - speaking solely for entertainment purposes, of course.
For this one week, it's been fun being an O's fan again, and I hope the rest of the month of August and September makes that true too. Go O's!
08/09/10 7:05 PM EDT
|Chicago White Sox||Baltimore Orioles|
|Juan Pierre - LF||Brian Roberts - 2B|
|Alexei Ramirez - SS||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Alex Rios - CF||Ty Wigginton - 1B|
|Paul Konerko - 1B||Luke Scott - DH|
|Carlos Quentin - DH||Adam Jones - CF|
|A.J. Pierzynski - C||Felix Pie - LF|
|Dayan Viciedo - 3B||Matt Wieters - C|
|Andruw Jones - RF||Cesar Izturis - SS|
|Brent Lillibridge - 2B||Josh Bell - 3B|