A day removed from a knock-down, drag-out fail-fest where the Orioles stood up one second before the double knockout could be proclaimed, both the Mariners and the O's will be looking to present a better face, or at least a slightly less crappy baseball team, to the world.
The good news for the Mariners is that they have the reigning Cy Young winner, Felix Hernandez, starting for them in tonight's game. Hernandez is off to a start typical of his past performance, with a 3.02 ERA in 56.2 IP over eight starts. He has given up more than two earned runs only once. He's striking out eight batters per nine innings, and nearly three and a half batters for every walk issued. Opposing batters are hitting .230/.278/.325 off of him. He's turning 2011 batters into 2011 Nick Markakis. The bad news for the Mariners is the other 24 players on the active roster.
The good news for the Orioles is that they have 3/5ths of something that might resemble a major league rotation. The bad news is that none of those pitchers are starting tonight. Chris Tillman gets the ball, and he'll need to go deep in the game after much of the bullpen was used up in last night's 13-inning game. Tillman's gone longer than five innings in only two of six starts this season and he has a 7.16 ERA. The Mariners are in the top 5 in walk rate in the major leagues. Expect Jason Berken to log multiple innings tonight. The stoppable force meets the movable object and the result is likely to be grotesque.
So basically everything in this game sucks except for Felix Hernandez. You would have to expect some kind of miracle game from Tillman to think that the Orioles might be victorious in tonight's contest. The hyperdrive motivator has been damaged, it's impossible to go to light speed, three Imperial Star Destroyers are in pursuit, and an asteroid field looms large in front of us, of which the chances of successfully navigating are approximately 3,720 to 1. On the other hand, as a bold Corellian once said, "Never tell me the odds!"