Last night, we Orioles fans got to watch something that might almost be described as competent baseball, and amazingly it was the O's who were demonstrating it. Though the night seemed ticketed for disaster with five innings to a perfect game by Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow, the O's made the most of what their skill and fluky plays brought them, rather than being on the wrong end of "those" plays as they usually are.
What does that mean for today's game? Probably a hill of beans, more or less. The O's get to face the Jays starter who's had the best results on the season, that being Ricky Romero. He has had one good outing against the O's this year and one bad outing, and the good outing was only a week and a half ago. His sub-3.00 ERA stands in stark relief against the poor numbers of the rest of the Toronto staff, and the entire Orioles cadre of starting pitchers, for that matter.
Meanwhile, the O's pitcher is Alfredo Simon, who happens to be the only sub-4.00 ERA O's starter. If he ends up today's game with that condition still being true, then I would say there's a good chance of an Orioles victory. It's only his sixth start of 2011, though, so the chance of our hastily-kindled hopes for Simon simply being snuffed out may still be high. I'm still not sure what to make of Simon, but it would be pretty awesome if he turned into a decent starter out of nowhere.
J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis are still out of the lineup. One of these bothers me much more than the other, especially when you consider that the lack of Hardy means that we are once again getting the combo of Robert Andino at SS and Cesar Izturis at 2B. I am not certain how any human being could have watched Friday night's game and come away thinking, "What we really need is for Izturis to start another game at second base." Apparently someone did. On the bright side, at least Izturis is batting 9th, and ahead of him are Craig Tatum and Josh Bell, so there's only so much damage he can do down there.
Damage potential in the field is high, as we saw on Friday. So, basically, good luck to Simon, because he's going to need it. I'll keep my fingers crossed for him.
|Blue Jays (R. Romero - L) @ Orioles (A. Simon - R)|