Thursday is an off night for the Orioles, as well as their next opponent, the Toronto Blue Jays, winners of eight straight games. The rest of the AL East is not idle, with New York playing Tampa Bay within the division, and a battle between division leaders as Boston plays Detroit.
TAMPA BAY RAYS @ NEW YORK YANKEES, 7:05
TB: Matt Moore (8-3, 4.13 ERA)
NYY: Andy Pettitte (5-4, 3.95 ERA)
Moore was looking like a Cy Young contender after the end of May, with an 8-0 record and a 2.18 ERA. June has not been so kind to him, as he has a 13.86 ERA in three starts, raising his season ERA to the 4.13 mark. He has lost all of those games and deserved to lose all of them.
The Yankees lineup includes the likes of Jayson Nix (.260/.321/.311 in 222 PA), Vernon Wells (.224/.266/.372 in 267 PA), and Reid Brignac (.098/.119/.122 in 42 PA). This may be a case of the stoppable force meeting the movable object. The Yankees have lost six of ten, but the Rays have lost seven of ten.
BOSTON RED SOX @ DETROIT TIGERS, 7:08
BOS: John Lackey (4-5, 3.08 ERA)
DET: Jose Alvarez (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
This game will be on MLB Network
How does a guy with a 3.08 ERA on a division-leading team end up with a losing W-L record? Seven of 11 starts have been quality starts. But if you break it down game-by-game, there's only one hard-luck loss and one hard-luck no decision, so this is not the worst injustice ever.
Detroit, we hope, will pitch better than they did in their recent series against the Orioles. If they take a game out of Boston, the O's will end the night only one game back in the AL East. If the Tigers miss their chance tonight, the O's will be two games back at the end of the night.
AL East Standings
Also, an episode of Camdencast will be recorded during the action tonight. If you'd like to get a question or topic in for Stacey and I to discuss, leave a comment about it before 8 o'clock. The episode will be available on iTunes around midnight and on Camden Chat tomorrow morning.