Happy Father's Day to all the dads of Birdland out there, young and old.
The Orioles and the Braves have each won one game in this series so far, and today they will go for the series win. One series win doesn't mean much in and of itself, but successful seasons are built on winning series more often than not. Take two out of three with regularity and the wins will add up before long. A win for the O's today would mark their fourth consecutive series win. They won four consecutive series this year from April 24 to May 7. Last year, they did not win four consecutive series at all - although they did win or tie five consecutive series to end the season, including the five out of seven against Boston, which hasn't stopped being awesome even though the O's are actually good this year.
By the way, Boston is the only sub-.500 team in the AL East. They are 7.5 games out of first place.
In action today for the Birds is Wei-Yin Chen. He's made two interleague starts so far and has given up ten earned runs in 10.2 IP in those two games (Washington and Pittsburgh). That probably doesn't mean much for today. Much of both leagues is the same as the rest for Chen, who hasn't faced any team more than twice. They don't know him and he doesn't know them. Atlanta is an even 12-12 against left-handed starters. Chen has good games when he scatters hits, gets a few strikeouts and doesn't walk guys. He also has good games when he doesn't give up a lot of ground balls - so hopefully his outfielders are on their toes. Yes, Chris Davis is playing right field for a third straight game. No whammy! No whammy! No whammy! (80s synth soundtrack vamps)
Atlanta's starter is Randall Delgado, who is 22 years old and has made a grand total of 19 MLB starts in his career. As you might expect from such a young starter, he walks a lot of guys, with a 4.88 BB/9. Even the O's might walk against this guy. Delgado has a 1.43 WHIP, so you will get baserunners against him. Just hopefully the O's don't pull one of those 0-for-RISP kinds of games where there's a leadoff man on second in every inning, then someone else walks, then someone else GIDPs to kill the rally. Delgado's ERA of 4.34 against NL competition does not impress me in any way, shape or form - and now that I've said that, the Orioles will get no-hit and it'll be all my fault. Sorry.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||ATLANTA BRAVES|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Michael Bourn - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Martin Prado - 1B|
|Chris Davis - RF||Chipper Jones - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Dan Uggla - 2B|
|Wilson Betemit - 3B||Matt Diaz - LF|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Jason Heyward - RF|
|Ronny Paulino - C||David Ross - C|
|Steve Pearce - LF||Andrelton Simmons - SS|
|Wei-Yin Chen - P||Randall Delgado - P|