We're #3! We're #3! After last night's extra-innings triumph over Toronto, the Orioles are now in possession of the third-worst record in the major leagues, having pulled past Seattle as a result of their defeat at the hands of Boston. Not only that, but the O's are within three games of another three teams, so climbing higher is not out of the realm of possibility.
Last night was the first victory over the Blue Jays on the season, and you've got to give credit to Rick VandenHurk for coming unexpectedly out of the bullpen and tossing 5.1 innings while only allowing one run. Today the O's will be looking to make it two in a row against the Jays. A win either tonight or tomorrow would give Baltimore a fourth consecutive series win, which hasn't happened since August 2004. I don't even remember what I was doing in August 2004.
What are our chances of making that happen? For tonight, the O's will look to Jake Arrieta to continue not getting completely shelled by AL East opponents. His last couple of starts were against New York and Boston, and he wasn't great but he wasn't bad. Jake's finally got his strikeout total equal to his walk total and hopefully he'll push that more and more in favor of the strikeout total starting tonight. It's his first time facing Toronto and anyone in Toronto's lineup.
Cito's Cuckers will be starting Shawn Hill. It's only his second ML start on the season, which is probably why he still is wearing a Nats cap on his ESPN player profile. Hill was on the Nats last in 2008. Over six big league seasons he's only made a total of 41 starts, in which time he has a career WHIP of about 1.5. Some O's hitters have a handful of plate appearances against Hill, but nobody's seen him more than three times. Hill's a fringe righty so hopefully O's lefties will be feasting on him. Hopefully everybody will be feasting on him, really. After last night's nailbiter I could go for an unambiguous smackdown. Plus it'd be nice to stick it to Cito on general principle.
Marylanders who are registered Democrats or Republicans, did you vote today? Polls don't close until 8pm, so you've still got time. Your civic duty awaits.