When/Where to Watch
Time/location: Game one begins at 4:05 p.m. with game two following in this single admission double header at Orioles Park at Camden Yards
TV: MASN (BAL), ROOT Sports (PIT)
Radio: WBAL1090 (BAL), KDKA 93.7 (PIT)
RHP Charlie Morton is pitching for the Pirates in game one. Morton made his major-league debut with the Braves in 2008, and had has appeared in the majors every year since then. After a relatively decent season in 2011, Morton missed most of 2012 and the first few months of 2013 after having Tommy John surgery. In 20 starts last year he put up his 3.26 ERA/3.60 FIP, but hasn't been able to repeat that so far in 2014. He pitched six shutout innings against the Cubs in his first start of the season, but has given up 4-5 runs in each of four starts since. In his career, lefties have given him fits, with a hitting line of .325/.407/.487.
Pitching for the Orioles is RHP Bud Norris. Norris has made four starts this season, and in three of them I found myself pleasantly surprised. A glance at the numbers don't really show it, but he's pitched well and given the Orioles a chance to win in each of his last three games. Even with those, I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop with Norris, but hopefully that won't happen against the offensively challenged Pirates.
In game two the Pirates send RHP Brandon Cumpton to the mound. If you don't have any idea who that is, I'm sure you're not alone. Cumpton made five starts for the Pirates in 2013 with pretty good results, and has made one start this season in which he gave up two runs in seven innings against the Reds. Cumpton is a low walk, low strikeout guy with a low-90s fastball. He will probably dominate the Orioles. Just a guess.
Going against Cumpton is #stafface Chris Tillman. Tillman is coming off of his worst start of the young season, when he gave up seven runs against the Blue Jays in 5 2/3 innings. The results of his start were poor, but he did bounce back from a six-run second inning to shut down the Blue Jays while the Orioles mounted their comeback. I'm hoping for another 8+ inning effort from Tilly. He's well rested, after all.
Lineups - Game 1
First, Manny Machado is NOT in the lineup for game one. As of the time I'm writing this, I don't know why. Perhaps it's because Morton is bad against lefties, but if that's the case, where is David Lough? I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty bummed. I assume we'll see him in game two.
You'll have to check the game two gamethread for those lineups, but here are the Pirates and Orioles who will be playing in the first game, along with their numbers against the opposing pitcher.
Since Norris spent some time in the NL Central, he has racked up numbers against the longest tenured Pirates. Morton vs. the Orioles...not so much. Fun fact! The Oriole with the second most plate appearances against Morton (behind J.J. Hardy) is...Bud Norris! He's 0-for-6 with 5 Ks in his career against Morton. I'm so glad I don't have to watch NL baseball regularly.
|Jose Tabata - RF||5-for-19, 2B, HR, 4 K|
|Ike Davis - 1B||3-for-11, 2B, BB, 2 K|
|Andrew McCutchen - CF||7-for-30, 2 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 9 K|
|Pedro Alvarez - 3B||2-for-14, 2B, HR, 10 K|
Gaby Sanchez - DH
|Neil Walker - 2B||9-for-21, 2B, HR, 5 BB, 4 K|
Starling Marte - LF
Tony Sanchez - C
|Jordy Mercer - SS||N/A|
Jemile Weeks - 2B
|Nelson Cruz - DH||N/A|
|Nick Markakis - RF||1-for-2, 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||1-for-2, K|
Delmon Young - DH
Steve Clevenger - C
|J.J. Hardy - SS||3-for-8, 2B, 2 K|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||N/A|
|Ryan Flaherty - 3B||N/A|
After 40 days and 40 nights of rain in the Baltimore area, things are finally starting to dry up. It will be partly cloudy today with a game time temperature of 74. There could be a thunderstorm in the 5 o'clock hour, but if it happens it shouldn't last long.