After consecutive games with disappointing outings from starters, maybe the last guy that we want to see on the starting mound is Tommy Hunter. That is precisely who we will see, however. He has been recalled from Norfolk and Miguel Gonzalez has been optioned. That's tough luck for Miguel, considering he only had to be optioned because he had to clean up Matusz's mess on Thursday, meaning that Gonzalez could not pull the spot start today. No one ever said life is fair.
Vance Worley is the Phillies starter today. He'll only be making his second start since returning from the disabled list with an inflamed elbow. In the first start back he only made it through four innings, giving up three earned runs. Reports are that he'll be stuck with a bone chip in his elbow for the duration of the season. If that's bothering him still, then maybe the Orioles lineup can capitalize on the opportunity presented today.
Worley was pitching well before the DL trip. He has a 3.38 ERA. Maybe it's better to say he was getting good results prior to the DL trip, because a WHIP of 1.40 with that low of an ERA probably means there is some luck involved. 18 walks in 48 innings isn't great, and 7 home runs surrendered in that time is notable as well. We saw last night that they can still bruise a pitcher who is struggling - they just can't be expected to overcome a complete disaster of an outing from their own starter. On the other hand, Worley strikes out over a batter per inning and the Orioles remain the MLB leader in strikeouts.
With Hunter starting, the possibility of a third straight disaster start from the rotation certainly exists. The Phillies have a banged up and depleted lineup at present - I mean, Jim Thome's the cleanup hitter right now - but that didn't stop them from kicking around Arrieta last night and it won't stop them from kicking around Hunter today if he looks like the Hunter we have come to know and not particularly care for. The press release from the Orioles was almost embarrassed to announce Hunter's recall. Usually they go out of their way to heap effusive praise when possible, and players who are demoted or released have their stat lines recited in a terse fashion. Hunter, being recalled, got one such terse recital of his stats: Hunter is 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA (58.0 IP, 36 ER) in 10 starts for the Orioles this season.
Last night, one of the Jumbotron segments was "This or That" where the players had to pick between Michael Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson. Stacey found this confusing, as there is nothing in common between these guys other than that they happen to be black men with the last name of Jackson. When someone (it may have even been Tommy Hunter) picked Samuel L. Jackson, the clip on the screen was Jackson from Jurassic Park, right before he shuts down the system: "Hold on to your butts." I mention this only because that was my exact reaction to hearing Hunter would be starting today's game.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES|
|Endy Chavez - LF||Jimmy Rollins - SS|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Juan Pierre - LF|
|Chris Davis - DH||Hunter Pence - RF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jim Thome - DH|
|Matt Wieters - C||Shane Victorino - CF|
|Nick Johnson - 1B||Ty Wigginton - 3B|
|Wilson Betemit - 3B||Mike Fontenot - 2B|
|Ryan Flaherty - RF||Hector Luna - 1B|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Brian Schneider - C|