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Game 81: Orioles (43-37) @ Mariners (35-48), 4:10pm


Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind" -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests.

Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution. But from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist.

And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared, in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!" We're going to live on! We're going to survive!

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!


Xavier Avery - LF Ichiro Suzuki - RF
J.J. Hardy - SS Michael Saunders - CF
Chris Davis - RF Casper Wells - LF
Adam Jones - CF John Jaso - DH
Jim Thome - DH Kyle Seager - 3B
Matt Wieters - C Justin Smoak - 1B
Wilson Betemit - 3B Jesus Montero - C
Mark Reynolds - 1B Dustin Ackley - 2B
Robert Andino - 2B Munenori Kawasaki - SS

As you have probably noticed already, this is the MLB debut of the year for Chris Tillman. I have no confidence whatsoever in Tillman's ability to come up and hack it at the big league level, but I was tired of watching Matusz and Hunter fail, so at least now we can watch someone different take a chance at it. Some people, including most of the beat corps, has been crowing about Tillman's numbers in Norfolk. He's had a good enough ERA and has been getting strikeouts but he also hasn't been averaging more than 6 IP/GS.

Seattle's starter is Hector Noesi, whose 5.69 ERA in 2012 would fit right in the back end of the Orioles rotation. 19 home runs in 91.2 innings will do that to you. Hopefully after scratching out runs against Felix yesterday the O's bats haven't shut down for the series.