Remember when it was a bit warmer out and the Orioles had won their opener versus the Red Sox? Man, those were the days. As many of you are aware, the team dropped four straight after that and today, they are looking to finally add another one in the left column - but it won't be easy.
Former Cy Young-and-MVP Justin Verlander takes the mound for the Tigers today and he's not been kind to the current O's hitters - they have a combined .536 OPS against the righty for lifetime. The only Oriole with a decent number against Verlander with not-too-small-sample-size is J.J. Hardy, who has .853 OPS in 31 at-bats with 3 home runs against the ace. Which isn't bad but the O's will probably need more than Hardy's own volition to win today.
Taking the mound for the birds is the former Fountain Valley High Barons standout, Chris Tillman. He did well as a opening day starter last Monday versus the potent Boston lineup. He's not been particularly outstanding versus the Tigers in his career (.769 OPS against) and Miguel Cabrera's been lethal to the righty - 1.434 OPS against in 9 at-bats with a homer and a double.
What's worse than a 4-game losing streak? I can name plenty of things off the top of my head and a 5-game losing streak is definitely one of them. Hope Tillman breaks the string of the O's starters performing poorly (7.56 ERA in 25 IP. That's bad) and do what the #1 starter is supposed to do while offense doesn't get quieted away by Justin Verlander. Personally, I can see this being an entertaining pitching duel decided by one inning of small offensive outburst (but that totally doesn't mean that it'll happen that way!) but who knows. It's Sunday. Turn on the TV and enjoy your afternoon with the O's playing for a much-foreign win.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||DETROIT TIGERS|
|David Lough - LF||Ian Kinsler - 2B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Torii Hunter - RF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Miguel Cabrera - DH|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Victor Martinez - 1B|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Tyler Collins - LF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Nick Castellanos - 3B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 3B||Bryan Holaday - C|
|Steve Lombardozzi - 2B||Andrew Romine - SS|
|Chris Tillman - RHP||Justin Verlander - RHP|