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Game 41: Orioles (19-21) @ Red Sox (21-20), ppd. rain

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Fakeout! Rain in Boston means no game tonight. Presumably a doubleheader will be scheduled later in the season. The Orioles will be traveling back home to Baltimore where they will begin a two-game set with the Yankees tomorrow.

Last time Zach Britton took the mound for the Orioles, nine shutout innings weren't enough. After what he saw from the bullpen yesterday, he must think he's got to go another nine shutout innings or this game will be a loss too. As fans we can only cross our fingers and hope for this unlikely outcome because the last thing we want to see is more of the worst bullpen in the American League, now sporting an ERA of 5.09. That is .01 lower than 2010 Kevin Millwood.

The Red Sox send their shining example of that most enigmatic breed of pitchers, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, to start tonight. Being as there is no way for Wakefield or anyone else to predict what the balls he throws will end up doing, there's really no way to cast the bones and divine potential outcomes to tonight's game. Actually, Vladimir Guerrero has a 1.749 OPS against Wakefield over 35 career PA, including ten walks (five intentional). Other Orioles with an OPS of 1.000 or better are Derrek Lee (1.494 OPS over 11 PA), Luke Scott (1.067 OPS over 10 PA), and Cesar Izturis - wait, what the f***? Is someone playing a joke on me?

Well, it doesn't matter anyway because Izturis isn't with the team, as he's back in Baltimore to get an MRI due to numbness in his hand. "Silky D" Lee is also not likely to play, due to a nagging oblique injury.

Wakefield's mostly been out of the bullpen this year, although he's made two starts: one where he sucked and one where he was okay. Overall he has a 5.40 ERA. As a reliever, Wakefield's about as bad as the Orioles bullpen. That's kind of encouraging. Not so encouraging is the icy fist that wraps around our insides as we anticipate with dread what might go wrong tonight.