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Game 158: Orioles (66-91) @ Tigers (91-66), 7:05pm

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Guthrie. Verlander. WHO WILL OWN IT? Well... uh...
Guthrie. Verlander. WHO WILL OWN IT? Well... uh...

In one corner, Justin Verlander, the American League leader in wins and probably should be the Cy Young award winner (but not because of the wins). In the other corner, Jeremy Guthrie, the American League leader in losses. Of course, wins and losses are a terrible way to judge pitchers, but any other way you choose to examine the results of Verlander and Guthrie from this season, it's perfectly clear that Verlander comes out ahead by a wide margin, to the tune of a gap of 1.99 points of ERA.

The Tigers continue to try to secure home field advantage in the ALDS. To do this they have to have a record equal to or better than that of Texas, with whom they come into play today tied at 91-66. They still have something to play for after clinching and this is more than just a tune-up start for Verlander. Detroit has to win if they want to enhance their chances of playing Boston (or, still possibly, Tampa Bay, with Boston getting smoked by New York in afternoon action today).

Back to the subject of losses, the usual suspects at The Sun have pointed out that this is the fifth time in six years that the Orioles have had the league leader in losses on their team. Last year it was Kevin Millwood, in 2009 it was Guthrie, in '07 it was Daniel Cabrera and in '06 it was Rodrigo Lopez. In 2008, it was ... Verlander. Sadly, if Guthrie were to turn things around to the extent Verlander has - which is an unlikely enough proposition - it would likely be another team to benefit by the time 2014 rolls around. This whole paragraph is really sad. Of course, the Orioles have been one of the worst teams in the league every year of that time, so maybe it isn't surprising. Stubbornly sticking with some of these guys when they really sucked (especially Millwood, Cabrera and Lopez) wasn't so good though.

From the cool baseball stat department: according to Baseball Reference, there have been 199,991 games played since 1876 going into today's action. There are six games that will be either concluded or official by the time the O's game starts, and there are eight games starting at either 7:05pm or 7:10pm. Presumably, the third of these eight games to go official will be game #200,000. If the Orioles-Tigers game was that game, that would be pretty cool even if it was entirely insignificant.

You know what else would be cool? If I wasn't looking at where the O's are planning to use Brian Matusz as a starter tomorrow. I won't be here tomorrow to rant about it, so for tonight I'd like to say... you know what, I've said it all already. You win, Orioles. I give up. I surrender. Uncle. Please, just no more.