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Game 23: Red Sox (10-13) @ Orioles (10-12), 7:05pm

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Jacoby Ellsbury, left shell-shocked by the fury of Birdland.
Jacoby Ellsbury, left shell-shocked by the fury of Birdland.

Most of the time I try to keep these threads positive, but when the starting pitching matchup is Brad Bergesen against Jon Lester I don't have any way to imagine the Orioles winning the game. The Red Sox have never lost a game that Lester started against the O's and there's not any reason to believe that tonight will be the night.

As a general rule, I hate all Red Sox players, and so Lester is no exception, but on a human interest level you have to take some inspiration from the guy's story: survived cancer to come back and be a very good pitcher in the major leagues. Over 200 innings thrown in each of the last three seasons and the highest ERA in that time was 3.41. Couldn't we beat him just once? That would be great. At least losing to Lester is losing to a lefty who's actually tough, not just some random scrub who inexplicably shuts down the Orioles lineup.

Speaking of the Orioles lineup, the tough lefty aspect means we will be seeing Jake Fox in left field. Presumably those who are waiting for the spring training home run leader to break out will be waiting a while longer, and I do hope those poor people aren't holding their breath, which would be silly. Even sillier would be if those people were clamoring for Fox to get more regular playing time, though. I hope that's not happening, but I can't account for what may be taking place in the dark corners of the internet, nor of Middle River.

And as for Bergesen... look, it's not 2009 any more. I want him to get back to that surprising rookie campaign but it's not happening. What we can hope for is that he stabilizes into a decent #5 starter, the kind you can count on to go six innings and give up 3-4 runs. We haven't seen that Bergesen in 2011, and even if we did, let's face it, that's not a fair fight against Jon Lester when Lester is facing the Orioles.

But man, wouldn't it be sweet if we swept these douchebags out of town and farther into last place? Go O's!