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GameThread: Yankees (88-58) @ Orioles (58-88), 7:05pm

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Hopefully Baltimore's finest who are assigned to duty at Camden Yards this weekend are on their toes, because the criminal element is coming to town. An article from this week in the New York Times has informed us what we already knew: that Yankee fans are a criminal lot of reprehensible human beings. Note that I was being tongue-in-cheek there, and I don't actually think that all Yankee fans are criminals, although it sure is interesting that a lot of criminals in New York City seem to be Yankee fans. However, in this matchup that is as unambiguously good vs. evil as you can get, I can safely say that if you are not rooting for the Orioles, then you're either dead or you're an asshole. I'd say that I'm sorry, except I'm not. You should be sorry for being an asshole.

The other thing about Yankee fans coming south for this series, criminal or otherwise, is that they might want to watch out for Chris and Snoop, who I am given to understand aren't very big on Yankee fans. (Warning: NSFW, also you can stop watching after the first minute.) This series is going to be the Orioles administering the equivalent on the Yankees' chances for winning the AL East this season. At the end of it, right before we nail up the board sealing them into a vacant rowhouse, we will look at what we have wrought and we will ask, "Where's your Yankee pride now?"

There is actually a baseball game tonight, so let's get around to looking at that now. The starting pitchers tonight's game will feature are Kevin Millwood and A.J. Burnett. This would be the stuff of which marquee pitching matchups are made, if only we were in the year 2002, when both Millwood and Burnett threw 200+ innings with less than a 1.2 WHIP. But we're actually in the year 2010 (unless you're Jewish, in which case we're in the year 5771, and also enjoy Yom Kippur.) And this year features these guys making $12 million and $16.5 million respectively, for roughly 170 innings of 1.5+ WHIP, 5+ ERA pitching from both.

The following Yankee hitters have an OPS of at least 1.000 against Millwood in no less than 25 career plate appearances: Mark Teixeira (1.244), Robinson Cano (1.081), Nick Swisher (1.162). Yikes. Another three Yankees have 25+ PA and a .900+ OPS, so double yikes.

Except for Luke Scott (31 PA, 1.099 OPS), nobody on the O's roster has sustained gaudy success against Burnett. But Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis both get on base against Burnett at around a .350 clip, and in the small sample size category, Felix Pie is slugging .583 in 12 PA and Nolan Reimold has a .429/.556/.857 in 9 PA. The rest are pretty ugly, but I just named a lot of names, so hopefully that's a good sign.

So cross your fingers, and let's see what happens. Go O's!


Lineup

New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles

09/17/10 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles
Derek Jeter - SS Brian Roberts - 2B
Curtis Granderson - CF Nick Markakis - RF
Mark Teixeira - 1B Ty Wigginton - 1B
Alex Rodriguez - 3B Luke Scott - DH
Robinson Cano - 2B Felix Pie - LF
Lance Berkman - DH Adam Jones - CF
Austin Kearns - RF Matt Wieters - C
Brett Gardner - LF Robert Andino - 3B
Francisco Cervelli - C Cesar Izturis - SS