Central time? What the hell is this? I need my 7:05pm start times, dammit! Ah, well.
Tonight marks the start of a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox, of which Stacey has done a great breakdown here. For the opener, Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Birds, looking to continue racking up quality starts - four of his five thus far meet the criteria, with two of these coming against New York.
John Danks goes for the Sox, and so far this season he's striking out a batter per inning. I was about to fire up a sentence about how that's bad for the Orioles, since they strike out a lot, except looking at the numbers, the Orioles hitters actually have the fourth-fewest strikeouts in the majors. They've played a couple less games than some teams due to rainouts, but still, I figured it would have been higher. The O's have 148 in 23 games played. The ML leading Padres have 213 in 25 games played.
The good news for the Orioles going into this series is that the White Sox hitters are struggling nearly as mightily as the O's own, coming off an 11 game road trip in which they were outscored by a 51-23 margin. We can feel this pain, having been held to three runs or less 12 times, with a 1-11 record in those games. As it is every year, that's the magic number for the Orioles: three runs or less and you lose. Four runs or more and you probably win. I guess that's probably true everywhere in baseball.
Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko are the only full-timers hitting well. However, part-timers Brent Lillibridge and Mark Teahen are also doing well. You may look at Juan Pierre leading off and ask yourself how serious can you take a lineup that has Juan Pierre (.297 OBP) leading off? Except Brian Roberts has a .287 OBP. D'oh!
Still, the bats have to break out sooner or later, right? Why not tonight? Don't answer that. I already know why not.