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Game 152: Orioles (62-89) @ Red Sox (87-65), 1:05pm

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Guts, today would be a great day for a CGSO. While you're at it, how about some winning lottery numbers?
Guts, today would be a great day for a CGSO. While you're at it, how about some winning lottery numbers?

Having spent the weekend essentially crushing the playoff hopes of LAAAOCCAUSAESMWU, the Orioles turn their sights starting this afternoon to the unfriendly foes from the north, the Boston Red Sox. After losing three out of four to Tampa Bay, the Red Sox cling tenuously to a two-game lead in the wild card standings. Seven of Boston's final ten games will be against the Orioles, including the two games today as part of this day/night doubleheader.

If there was anything to bring O's fans some joy in the waning days of a failure of a season, it would be our favorite team keeping one of the rude, whiny and entitled teams to the north out of the playoffs. Sadly, there is no hope to do such for New York, but the O's can play Boston well and give Tampa the chance to pull off a miracle comeback and leave Boston remembered for an epic collapse. That would be cool. Of course, on a human level, I should try not to take joy in the misery or potential misery of others, but when the Pink Hat Nation is involved, well...

What passes for an ace in the Orioles rotation will be aiding them this afternoon. Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to suck against Boston and in Fenway Park, though as far as Guthrie pitching in Fenway Park goes, it's the time he succeeded but was lifted too early we'll all remember... anyway, the Red Sox lineup is pretty good. Guts gives up a lot of damage to Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz in particular.

The Orioles' lineup is not very good. Two of their best hitters, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds, are still out of the lineup. Josh Bell is playing third base. They will be facing Kyle Weiland, who's had some struggles in his first stint in the big leagues. He's coming off a start where he was lifted after three innings because he was doing poorly, and he'd only thrown 61 pitches. This means he is starting on short rest. He may struggle, but do the O's have enough in the way of major league bats to take advantage if he does? We may be afraid to know the answer.

The best hope for Orioles success in this series may rest in the baseball gods intervening directly, providing miracles to strike down and punish the Red Sox for hubris. And if you think the O's need a miracle to win this game, just wait until you see what's coming along in the nightcap...