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GameThread: Rays (83-52) @ Orioles (50-86), 1:35pm

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The Tampa Bay Rays are a contending team with designs of winning it all this year, so they're spending their Labor Day Weekend playing one of the crappiest teams possible in the sport. Hmm... why does this sound familiar... oh yeah, that's because college football started up this weekend. HEYO! Imagine if baseball scheduling was as much of a joke as college football scheduling - the Yankees would choose to play home games against the Pirates the whole month of September, and then the media would breathlessly talk about how amazing it is that the most storied franchise in the history of stories, franchises and history could win 100 games every year. Although I guess if you think about it, top college football players are probably making as much money as Yankees. HEYO! Insert your own "no playoffs" joke here.

Today's game sees the return of Chris Tillman to the major leagues, and to the starting rotation. I gotta tell you, I'm trying to be excited, because I know all about his potential and stuff, but when I look at a guy and his ERA is 7.92 it's hard to get excited. Tillman's only had 25 innings at the major league level this year, though, so it's not like he's stunk in significant time. Plus, he is only 22. Undoubtedly he still has a lot of learning to do as far as refining his pitches, when to throw what, and so on. Hopefully he was getting better advice about that in the minors than he has gotten in the majors thus far.

The Rays are sending out Wade Davis to try to take this prophylactic series game from the Orioles. He's 3-0 against the Orioles in his rookie season and has a 0.75 ERA in those starts. If I was Wade Davis, I'd wish I could play the Orioles every game. He would probably be Rookie of the Year. Lucky for Wade, though, he got in all those starts before the Buck era, so now it's time to even the ledger. Due is due. You can't argue with due, unless the player or team in question completely sucks. So on second thought that's not a great omen for us - but Buck is Buck so I like our chances a lot more than I would have otherwise.

The O's racked up 15 hits last night, with seven players recording at least two hits. Pop quiz: Who was the only Oriole who recorded no hits at all? If you guessed Julio Lugo, you're absolutely right! Who was the only Oriole who only reached base once? If you guessed Cesar Izturis, you're absolutely right! If either of these tidbits surprise you, I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Will today be a "bats stay hot" kind of game or a "bats used up all their energy last night" kind of game? There's only one way to find out - but if you're not rooting for "bats stay hot", then get the hell out! Go O's!


Lineup

Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles

09/05/10 1:35 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays Baltimore Orioles
John Jaso - DH Brian Roberts - 2B
Ben Zobrist - 1B Nick Markakis - RF
Carl Crawford - LF Ty Wigginton - 1B
Evan Longoria - 3B Luke Scott - DH
Matt Joyce - RF Felix Pie - LF
Sean Rodriguez - 2B Corey Patterson - CF
B.J. Upton - CF Craig Tatum - C
Dioner Navarro - C Cesar Izturis - SS
Jason Bartlett - SS Josh Bell - 3B