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Game 143: Orioles (57-85) @ Blue Jays (72-72), 7:07pm

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Guts, we don't want to see this face tonight.
Guts, we don't want to see this face tonight.

Jeremy Guthrie gives up a lot of home runs. Brett Cecil gives up a lot of home runs. Jose Bautista hits a lot of home runs. Mark Reynolds hits slightly fewer home runs. All of these players will be in tonight's game. The Blue Jays and Orioles are fourth and fifth, respectively, in home runs hit in MLB. None of this means that any home runs are sure to be hit in tonight's game, but it would seem to be the most likely outcome.

The teams in question have very little to play for in this game or for the remainder of the season. That said, there are still intriguing individual plots to follow for fans of those teams. For Bautista, how many home runs will he end up with? For that matter, the same is true for Reynolds on the O's. There are others. For the Jays, just how good will Brett Lawrie be? For the Orioles... well, on second thought, there's maybe not a lot of predictive value in September numbers as even contending teams like the Yankees are cycling through September call-ups. But as I often say, it's pretty boring as a commentator to just say that nothing matters, so let's pretend it matters.

From the arbitrary numbers that mainstream outlets will act like are important department, Jeremy Guthrie enters this game with a 6-17 record. This means there is a chance he could be charged with 20 losses in 2011, the most since the first season of the Orioles in Baltimore, when Don Larsen had 21. This also does not particularly matter, because as we well know, pitcher wins and losses are not to be used as a barometer of performance. Guthrie hasn't had a great season but he deserves better than to end up with even in meaningless ignominy, so hopefully the offense will score some runs for him in his final starts to give him at worst a no-decision.

He can help his own cause by actually pitching decently. A 4.45 ERA is not especially indicative of decent pitching, particularly in the Year of the Pitcher 2.0. We're all familiar with the reasons why by now. We will probably see more of them tonight.

As for Maryland's own Brett Cecil, his year hasn't been the greatest either. He was banished to AAA for twelve starts, during which he didn't exactly acquit himself well either with a 5.26 ERA. But he's back in MLB now, where he's actually had a better 4.60 ERA in his 17 starts. We last saw him on August 30 in Baltimore, when he gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings. Cecil will be facing the same Orioles in a slightly different order. He could do better, or worse, or the same. That's the magic of the future, man. No one knows for sure.