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Game 58: Athletics (27-33) @ Orioles (26-31), 7:05pm

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The last time the Orioles saw the Athletics, they were swept in a three-game series. In the intervening time, Oakland was swept by New York and then Boston. So they are probably glad to be rid of the top tier of the AL East and instead getting a chance to feast on the weak lineup that is fielded by Baltimore.

In this game, the O's will get another look at Gio Gonzalez, who struck out seven over five innings in the previous meeting, giving up two runs (one earned). Gonzalez also walked five Orioles and gave up five hits, but that was one of those games where the O's grounded into a billion double plays and couldn't buy an extra-base hit to save their lives. Just typing that sentence makes me feel like I've stepped into a time machine and gone back one year or more into the past. I didn't even have to go eighty-eighty miles an hour, but I am getting to see some serious crap - namely, the Orioles offense.

Oakland's offense is also bad. In fact, for all that the A's are made out to be a team that knows how to work the count, they have a lower walk rate than do the Orioles, and trail the O's in just about every offensive category. That's good news for Brian Matusz making his second start of the year. Matusz has bad numbers in his career against Oakland, but this doesn't matter because there's been so much turnover on that club anyway. Also, we kind of need Brian to not suck tonight, because do you want to see more of the bullpen? Winning a game would be a nice fringe benefit as well.

The first round of the MLB Rule 4 (First-Year Player) Draft begins tonight at 7pm. The Orioles have the fourth selection, with five minutes on the clock for each selection. My question to you is this: will the Orioles already be trailing the game by the time they make their draft choice? Either way, at that time we can all commence an (in)appropriate level of hysteria regarding who we've picked, even as we know that whoever we draft won't sign until 11:58pm on the deadline day anyway. Talking about the O's pick in tonight's game thread is fair, but let's keep draft play-by-play in the thread started by James F this afternoon.

Also, you know, go O's and stuff.