The Orioles enter tonight's game looking to get a sweep in this September series in Boston. The preceding sentence made me smile, so I'm going to bask in it for a minute.
Okay, here we go. Yesterday I said that a win yesterday would guarantee a win in the season series, but it turns out that in making that claim I was employing Republican math, so let me take another crack at it here. The Orioles have guaranteed at least a tie in the season series against the Red Sox, but a victory tonight would make it their first winning season against the Red Sox since 2004. Which sounds much more impressive than saying their first non-losing season against Boston since 2004.
Looking to help make the sweep a reality will be Kevin Millwood. Sometimes the Mentor makes me recoil in horror and proclaim, "DO NOT WANT!" But he posted a 3.54 ERA in August and has a 3.38 ERA so far in September. Millwood's yet another Oriole who's been playing way better than his previous level since Buck arrived, and while it's highly unlikely that Buck suddenly taught him how to pitch, you have to wonder if there was a mental adjustment that Buck helped him make. In his only other start against the Red Sox this season, the Mentor held them to two runs in eight innings in a May 2 game that the O's eventually won in extra frames.
His Red Sox counterpart tonight will be John Lackey, who's making $18.7 million to have a 1.48 WHIP. With 5.2 innings tonight, Lackey will go over the 200 innings mark, so at least that makes him an innings eater, and really a 200 innings guy with a 4.63 ERA in the AL East isn't awful these days - but it's definitely not what the Red Sox thought they were getting when they signed him to that deal. You can probably guess how much I care about the Red Sox being worked up about something.
Benedict Arnold sponsors John Lackey's page on baseball-reference.com. I mean... if you're getting that worked up about John Lackey leaving as a free agent, well... that kind of speaks for itself.
09/22/10 7:10 PM EDT
|Baltimore Orioles||Boston Red Sox|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Ryan Kalish - CF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||J.D. Drew - RF|
|Ty Wigginton - 1B||Victor Martinez - C|
|Luke Scott - DH||David Ortiz - DH|
|Matt Wieters - C||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Mike Lowell - 1B|
|Felix Pie - LF||Bill Hall - 2B|
|Robert Andino - 3B||Josh Reddick - LF|
|Cesar Izturis - SS||Yamaico Navarro - SS|