En route to winning the first three games of the series, the Orioles have in some ways been out-Orioled by the White Sox. We've seen just about every comical baseball possibility shy of players running into one another and being injured while trying to catch a pop-up. You may feel bad on some level for fans of the Sox, because we know well the feeling of watching a team that embarrasses you night in and night out. Except they just won the World Series in 2005, so they can deal with it.
I would not have any pity even if they had a Cubs-like World Series drought, though. That's largely because (you may have heard me tell the story before) when I was five years old and went to my first ever baseball game at old Memorial Stadium, the Orioles were playing the White Sox and we had seats right next to the visiting dugout, and Ron Kittle walked over and asked me to shut the hell up and buy him a beer. For this reason my well of sympathy for them will always remain dry.
Back in the present day, to notch the sweep the Orioles will have to triumph over Mark Buehrle, whose name I hate to type because I am always tempted to misspell it. Buehrle has pitched over 200 innings every season since 2001 and only once in those seasons did he have an ERA above 4.30. With 38.2 IP in April he's on pace to have another such season. It was a bit of a rough April for Buehrle, though, as he came out of it with a 5.12 ERA. Vladimir Guerrero has slugged .703 off Buehrle in his career (44 PA), and Nick Markakis (.696 SLG in 26 PA) and Derrek Lee (.688 SLG in 18 PA) also are looking good. Whether the 2011 versions of those guys can hit Buehrle is another question, of course.
The Orioles will also have to overcome hating Jeremy Guthrie, who has only one start in five where he allowed more than two runs but has only one win to show for it. He's bound to give up a couple home runs to this lineup, so hopefully they're solo shots and the offense can cover the difference. Go O's!