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Game 85: Orioles (47-37) @ White Sox (33-47), 7:10

Mike McGinnis

Three weekday games at three different times in three days? What the heck is this, Chicago? Not that I am complaining about tonight's game starting at a civilized time for those of us in the Birdland home nest, although perhaps I've spoken too soon, because as I typed the beginning clause of this sentence, notes on Twitter popped up about the tarp going out on the field. It's also raining in Baltimore, 700 miles east.

Sometimes in the course of a season, there are games that feel like they take on more importance than just one game out of 162. Tonight is one of those games: it marks the debut of new acquisition, starter Scott Feldman, and also it comes on the heels of a loss against an awful offensive team that the Orioles would have rather swept. Instead, they need to win two straight or they lose a series against this AL Central bottom-feeder.

Feldman could suck tonight and be good the rest of the season. He could be good tonight and suck the rest of the season. There are other permutations. To paraphrase that classic xkcd strip, a weighted random number generator is about to provide a new batch of numbers. Some will use them to build narratives. They can be fun, narratives, but sometimes they are silly.

Here's something that sucks: tonight's White Sox starter, Hector Santiago, is left-handed. With an average fastball velocity of 92.1 mph, he is at least not the dreaded soft-tossing lefty (seen last night in John Danks, average fastball of 88.6 mph). Santiago started out in the bullpen, but he's made nine starts, and as a starter, he's striking out over a batter per inning, but also walking nearly a batter per every two innings. Ah, but walks will never be a problem against the Orioles lineup, will they.

Here's something else that sucks: the Chicago batter who's seen the most of Feldman is Alex Rios, who has a .958 OPS in 33 PA, including two home runs. Paul Konerko also has some good numbers against Feldman, but he's on the DL. Too bad, so sad.

Seriously, though, this is a last place team that doesn't score a lot of runs. Win two freaking games. The end.

Nick Markakis - RF Alejandro De Aza - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Alexei Ramirez - SS
Adam Jones - CF Alex Rios - RF
Chris Davis - 1B Adam Dunn - 1B
Matt Wieters - C Dayan Viciedo - LF
J.J. Hardy - SS Conor Gillaspie - 3B
Nate McLouth -LF Jeff Keppinger - DH
Nolan Reimold - DH Gordon Beckham - 2B
Brian Roberts - 2B Tyler Flowers - C