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Game 126: Orioles (48-77) @ Twins (55-72), 8:10pm

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The very foundations of Baltimore were shaken today by the news that Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith might be separating. Thankfully, it turns out that those reports were false, so the tremors could quickly subside.

The Orioles, though they missed out on the seismic shenanigans back in the nest, went through a bit of upheaval in the last day as well with some roster maneuvering. After last night's game, Blake Davis was optioned, which was not surprising. Jake Fox has been recalled from Norfolk, which is much more of a shock, especially since he was not on the 40-man roster any more. Rather than take the opportunity to clear away some minor league dead weight, the O's chose instead to designate Felix Pie for assignment to make room for Fox on the 40-man. I am a little sad for Felix that this had to happen in such an abrupt way, rather than the more civilized offseason non-tender, but, it was clear in the last week that he would never be a part of the future. For the O's sake it was good to get it over with. Matt Angle has been called up to take Pie's spot on the 25-man.

Whew. That was intense. For a second there I thought the walls might come crumbling down, but then I remembered that for the Orioles, the walls already came tumbling down a while ago.

Let's look ahead to tonight's game. Twins starter Brian Duensing is having a bad 2011, as he comes into tonight's game sporting a 4.75 ERA. That means that tonight is one of those rare matchups where the Orioles' starting pitcher has a lower ERA than the other team's starter - Alfredo Simon squeaks ahead with his 4.68. What is Duensing's problem? Line drives are up, ground balls are down, and more fly balls are leaving the park. The latter may be bad luck, but a 1.47 WHIP probably isn't bad luck. This is Duensing's first full season spent as a starter in the major leagues, and perhaps his stats represent a sign that it should be his only full season spent as a starter.

Duensing is a lefty, though, so the O's chances of rumbling into Minnesota to pick up two straight wins are not as good as they might be. We saw in last night's game that all it takes is a good game from your starter and you have a pretty good chance of winning. What are our odds of Simon giving us such a game? Probably not good, either. He has looked tired for several starts. It's been a long year for Simon. It's been a long year for O's fans too, but at least we haven't been in the slammer.

Well, I haven't, anyway. I can't speak for the rest of you. This is Baltimore, after all.