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Game 85: Orioles (45-39) @ Angels (47-38), 3:35pm

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Wei-Yin Chen was in a good mood after his last starting performance. Can he do as well, or even better, today? Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
Wei-Yin Chen was in a good mood after his last starting performance. Can he do as well, or even better, today? Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Most years as the All-Star Game approaches, I think to myself that at least I'll have a few days where the Orioles' badness is not inflicted upon me. That never lasts, because even bad Orioles are preferable to no Orioles, but that's always what I say anyway. This year I won't even go that far. The team - at least the guys who aren't going to be in Kansas City for the festivities - could probably use a few days off at this point. They will get four days off. So will us fans. It's strange thinking about a competing O's team. That's what we've watched so far this year, and I don't think I am prepared for the withdrawal I will be suffering on Wednesday and Thursday. Pack it all in today while you can!

The West Coast afternoon game still starts in the afternoon over here, so it's not like we're waiting around all day for baseball. Starting for the O's today is Wei-Yin Chen, who is as much of a fly ball pitcher as someone like Jered Weaver. Hopefully that works out as well for him as all the fly balls against Weaver did last night. That's the recipe for Chen to succeed: lazy fly balls and a few strikeouts. Chen seems to have a big fan contingent when he's on the west coast, and maybe that will inspire him to excellence today. Or maybe he'll just be excellent anyway.

The Angels have had to call up an emergency replacement starter, with Dan Haren going on the disabled list a couple of days ago. That starter is lefty Brad Mills, who has 48.1 MLB innings and an 8.57 ERA. 12.1 of those 48.1 innings came against the Orioles, and he gave up three earned runs in those innings. So basically he has sucked against every team he's ever faced except for the Orioles. What else is new? Mills is left-handed, and recent Orioles teams have struggled against lefties. On the other hand, this year's Orioles are 13-8 vs. lefties, which does not suck. They had best roar into the All-Star Break with a high-scoring effort.

Also, Mills' numbers are probably meaningless since one of those starts was in 2010 and one was in 2011, and the only Oriole who was in the lineup for both of those games who's also playing today is Adam Jones.

Sunday forfeit lineup today, with Andino leading off, the struggling Hardy still 2nd, Chris Davis playing against a lefty, Team Steve batting 7th and 8th and Ronny Paulino catching and bringing up the rear. So much for scoring runs. Maybe even the forfeit lineup will be better than Mills.

A win today would give the O's a series split against the team that, if the season ended right this moment, would be the other Wild Card winning team along with your Baltimore Orioles.


Lineup

BALTIMORE ORIOLES THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Robert Andino - 2B Mike Trout - LF
J.J. Hardy - SS Torii Hunter - RF
Matt Wieters - DH Albert Pujols - DH
Adam Jones - CF Mark Trumbo - 1B
Mark Reynolds - 1B Howie Kendrick - 2B
Chris Davis - RF Erick Aybar - SS
Steve Pearce - LF Peter Bourjos - CF
Steve Tolleson - 3B Maicer Izturis - 3B
Ronny Paulino - C John Hester - C