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Game 60: Orioles (33-26) @ Astros (22-38), 2:10

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Greg Fiume

Even the last-place Astros are due to win a few games, right? There is that old baseball saw that every team is going to win 60 and every team is going to lose 60, and it's what you do with the other 40 that counts. That may actually not even be true for awful teams like the Astros. They may win less. But they still might win on any given day, including today.

Bud Norris is the best Houston starter. He has a 3.39 ERA, which makes him better than any Orioles starter in that category. This while toiling away on the worst team in the American League. Not bad, Bud. The O's didn't even get much going against a couple of crappy Houston starters, so why would they do well against the lone good one? This is a great offense, as we have seen on many occasions, including last night as they tried to claw back into the game against the Houston bullpen, but man, sometimes they are inexplicably stymied.

With a K/9 rate below 6, Norris is something of a contact pitcher - though a BB/9 above 3 means he's also prone to a few walks, if not a lot. How does a contact pitcher with a .320 BABIP survive with that kind of ERA? Some of it's probably luck and some of it's probably skill, and hopefully they both fail him today. Sorry, Bud.

I'm not really sorry.

Miguel Gonzalez gets the start for the Orioles. With the way the ball was flying out of Minute Maid Park yesterday, seeing any fly-ball pitcher is going to be a little nerve-wracking. This Houston team can hit some home runs, as we saw. Just because their team sucks doesn't mean that all of the players are bad, all of the time. Leave junk up in the zone and it flies out of that weird little stadium with its hill in center field. Seriously, what's up with that hill? This place is weird.

Day game forfeit lineup? Here we go.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES HOUSTON ASTROS
Nate McLouth - LF Brandon Barnes - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Jimmy Paredes - RF
Chris Davis - 1B Jason Castro - C
Adam Jones - CF J.D. Martinez - LF
Matt Wieters - DH Carlos Pena - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Chris Carter - 1B
Chris Dickerson - RF Ronny Cedeno - SS
Ryan Flaherty - 2B Matt Dominguez - 3B
Taylor Teagarden - C Marwin Gonzalez - 2B