It's two for the price of one baseball in Camden Yards today, and the few fans who made it to the afternoon part of the twin-billing certainly got their money's worth. After a brief intermission, it's time for the nightcap. The Orioles and Rangers have played some wild doubleheaders in recent memory. The first game may have been enough to be labeled wild on its own. Will the second one add it to that pantheon of weirdness?
The peculiar odyssey of Tommy Hunter this week may be something that contributes before a pitch is thrown. After being the forgotten footnote, the starter in the 17-inning contest, Hunter was banished to Norfolk. He's back in Baltimore, though, due to the knee soreness for Jason Hammel. So Hunter was demoted to AAA for three whole days, and in fact he'll be starting a day earlier than his turn in the rotation would have been if he'd never been demoted. Tommy's got to hope that he can channel the same mojo against his former team that Brandon Snyder had on Monday. He'll need it, because his 5.00 ERA in 2012 is less than impressive, and we've seen what Texas can do already in this series.
Starting for Texas will be Derek Holland, whom our Rangers blogging compatriots at Lone Star Ball refer to by his absurd mustache - the Dutchstache. Derek has gotten beaten around a little bit early in 2012. Not bad, with a 4.43 ERA, but not great either. One thing that hasn't been a problem for him is getting strikeouts, as he has 35 in 40.2 IP. He's done this while getting a lower WHIP than he had last year, so maybe he's having bad luck this year, or maybe he had good luck last year. He'll be looking to stop the home run parade that the Orioles unleashed on his rotation-mate Colby Lewis in game 1. The O's continue to have problems scoring when they don't hit home runs, so if Derek can stop the long ball, he's halfway there.
I have no idea who is even playing in the nightcap, because the twi-night doubleheader has things smashed together so close that nobody's even had time to post lineups. Most likely some players will be swapped around, considering Hunter is a righty and Chen was a lefty. Plus, no way Matt Wieters catches two games. Maybe if we're lucky, he'll DH!
Nobody (including me) gives them much chance to split this series by winning the second game today, but stranger things have happened. We've seen a lot of them so far this year, and even earlier today.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Ian Kinsler - 2B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Josh Hamilton - CF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Adrian Beltre - DH|
|Matt Wieters - DH||Michael Young - 3B|
|Wilson Betemit - LF||David Murphy - LF|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Nelson Cruz - RF|
|Steve Tolleson - 3B||Mike Napoli - C|
|Luis Exposito - C||Mitch Moreland - 1B|