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Game 75: Reds (40-38) @ Orioles (34-40), 1:35pm

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There are days where I try to be optimistic about the Orioles. There are also days where I realize that the rotation is Jeremy Guthrie and a pack of inconsistent young pitchers and/or journeymen, the bullpen has Koji, Reliever JJ and a bunch of scrubbadocios; and the lineup has an old guy DH and an old guy 1B who are both mostly singles hitters at the plate and who are batting too high in the order, a veteran LF who shouldn't even be in the field except for the fact that we signed the aforementioned old guys, a young LF who should be playing every day but only appears against LHP, a CF who swings at 45% of pitches outside of the strike zone, a RF who's riding a 15-game hitting streak that has brought his OPS up to .681, a 2B who may never even play again but will make $20M each of the next two years, a backup 2B whose OBP is higher than his SLG, a 3B who hits a decent number of home runs but is a disaster in the field, a C who could throw out most every baserunner if only the pitcher would give him half a chance, which they seldom do, and finally an SS who is awesome but may be a free agent at the end of the season.

And all of those guys have 21 straight games remaining against teams with records better than .500.

So with all that in mind, it's a good thing today's starter is Jeremy Guthrie, who's the most consistent. Although even for that, his last start against Pittsburgh wasn't so great, with 5 ER allowed over 6.1 IP. If Guts is lucky, the Reds got all the homering out of their system last night. If he's not lucky, well... we might not have a lot of fun watching this baseball game.

Speaking of homers, today's Reds starter is Homer Bailey, who hasn't pitched in the big leagues for a month due to a right shoulder strain. Dusty Baker strikes again? Either way, there are some good signs for the O's, because Bailey had a 6.08 ERA in three rehab starts and he has struggled in interleague in his career to the tune of a 6.23 ERA across eight starts. Accordingly, we should expect to end up with a GIDP in every inning where the Orioles bat, and that's only if they manage to get a man on base before there are two outs.

Well, at least the Sunday curse hasn't applied in the Buck tenure.