Around this time last year, there was a West Coast road trip and a really unfair pitching matchup for the Orioles and I remarked that if you watched that game, you are surely an Orioles addict. At that time, I also said this is not the place to come to seek treatment. No, that is not what you will find here. This is the place where your fellow addicts will be sucking on Mad Dog 20/20 bottles in paper bags, stumbling around and vomiting into the sewers, maybe around the intersection of St. Paul and Fayette, where there are some trees and benches.
Tonight is another one of those games. If your idea of a Friday night is to watch a game where the Orioles are starting Miguel Gonzalez and the Angels are starting C.J. Wilson, you are an addict beyond any hope of recovery. Sure, it's a little better for you since the Orioles do not yet have a sucky record this year - and who knows, maybe they won't, although I'm going to need to see some stability in the starting rotation first.
Pretty much the same Angels team that lit up Jake Arrieta yesterday and sent him packing to the minor leagues will be taking the field tonight. They wanted Jake gone so fast that they aren't even calling up a replacement for tonight's game - it seems Steve Tolleson is the most likely candidate but he was optioned within the last 10 days so he can't be called back up until tomorrow. That's the abyss into which this season is capable of sinking, and none of us should forget it.
Not long before game start time, news came out from the beats that Brian Roberts has a right hip labral tear and that will probably require surgery, so whatever plan you have for recovery, don't count on him (and if you were counting on him after watching him in his game action this year, I don't know what to tell you anyway).
The good news is we saw last night that the offense is capable of scoring some runs. There are some strong dudes on this team who can hit some freakin' home runs. All the O's need to do is actually get some guys on base and have some vaguely competent starting pitching so that any other time where the O's score 7 runs, they can win a game - and it's not like they got 7 runs in garbage time. They rocked the other team's starter for 7 runs early. You have to win those games! But they did not win last night and it feels like they will lose a lot more like that.
I guess I'm not in a good mood tonight. Maybe the Orioles will put me in a better mood. I am a fan who rides the rollercoaster - and probably so are you, or you wouldn't be here. So let's slap on our safety belts and see where it takes us tonight.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Mike Trout - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Torii Hunter - RF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Albert Pujols - 1B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Wilson Betemit - 3B||Mark Trumbo - LF|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Alberto Callaspo - 3B|
|Steve Pearce - RF||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Ronny Paulino - DH||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Xavier Avery - LF||John Hester - C|