Over the first two games of this series, the White Sox have given every appearance of being a team that's completely snakebit. It's been a lot like watching the Orioles play the Orioles, because the scenario of a passed ball on a third strike that results in the batter reaching and a runner scoring from second base feels like something we would have seen in the dark August or September days of the recent past.
The O's probably can't count on the catcher disaster continuing, as A.J. Pierzynski (pronounced Douchinski) is on the bench today. Backup Ramon Castro is catching for Maryland's own Gavin Floyd, who had a nice, if not spectacular April, with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 35 innings pitched over five games. Floyd's strikeouts are up and his walks are down, and thus far he's got opposing hitters batting .234/.290/.383 against him - so basically he turns other teams into the Baltimore Orioles (.234/.291/.376). Will the actual Orioles fare better or worse? You never know, and maybe they will actually work some counts and get into the bullpen, the soft underbelly on which they have feasted in the past two games.
It's Zach Britton Day for the Orioles, which is exciting. Britton's 2.84 ERA through 31.2 IP was a breath of fresh air for the team, and for us as fans. How many times have we fans seen a heralded pitching prospect be called up and then get blasted after one strong start? Perhaps those days are gone and perhaps Britton's the real thing. A groundball pitcher like Britton is good to see after the first couple of games in the series, where the ball was really carrying.
Don't look now, but with a win today the O's return to a .500 record. Just between you and me, I never thought we'd get back to that plateau.