The series win is in the bag, which is nice, but the Orioles can't let their foot off the gas in any way, because the rest of the division surely won't. It's nice to win two out of three, sure, but they're about to play four against a surprisingly good Mariners team, two of which will involve facing Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez. The O's may be up in the division by four games, but that can evaporate in four days if they aren't careful.
The O's will be without the services of Manny Machado for a second straight night. No, you didn't miss another bat-throwing incident. He's battling back spasms and continues to be day-to-day.
RHP Jered Weaver, Angels
2014: 21 GS, 131.1 IP, 3.43 ERA, 104 SO, 38 BB, .227 BAA, 1.14 WHIP
Last start (vs. Mariners): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO
Here is a fact that I found surprising, because I don't bother to think about teams who play outside of the Eastern time zone on a regular basis. Since 2010, Weaver has pitched 934.1 innings and has a 2.92 ERA. That's the kind of thing that makes an $85,000,000 contract extension look like it's worth it. Imagine if the Orioles had a pitcher who was actually worth paying that much. No, I can't imagine it.
It's a bad matchup for the Orioles on paper, which is often the case. Strangely enough, those are the ones where it feels like they excel. This may not actually be true, because we might only remember the times where they win those games and forget about the times where they lose them.
Weaver has a 4.12 FIP, which may look like luck until you realize he's outperformed his FIP for four straight seasons, so it's probably not worth thinking he's due to regress this year.
RHP Chris Tillman, Orioles
2014: 21 GS, 125 IP, 4.03 ERA, 80 SO, 49 BB, .246 BAA, 1.36 WHIP
Last start (at Athletics): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 6 SO
Tillman is striking out fewer batters than any time in the last three seasons and is walking more batters as well. It's not a good recipe for success, to say the least. One thing he has done so far is cut down on the home run rate, though whether that's luck or design, who knows.
Tillman sucks on the road, putting up a 4.96 ERA in 69 road innings this year. It's when he's on the road doing badly that the offense has actually bothered to score runs in support of him, though. So that's something. It also has nothing to do with how they'll do against Weaver tonight, but maybe they'll do well anyway.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||LOS ANGELES ANGELS|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Kole Calhoun - RF|
|David Lough - LF||Mike Trout - CF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Albert Pujols - DH|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Josh Hamilton - LF|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Erick Aybar - SS|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||David Freese - 3B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 3B||Efren Navarro - 1B|
|Nick Hundley - C||Chris Iannetta - C|
|Chris Tillman - RHP||Jered Weaver - RHP|
David Lough, number two hitter. It was a golden opportunity to have the team's good power hitters like Jones and Cruz just move up a spot, getting extra at-bats, but no. Why Lough? Well, righties are batting .170 against Weaver, whereas lefties are batting .258. Even with platoon splits in his favor, I don't think Lough is going to be 88 points of average better than Steve Pearce, but hey, whatever.
The Orioles have a number of hitters who've seen a lot of Weaver in their careers. Cruz has faced him 72 times and has a .641 OPS against him. OK, that's not so great. There's also Davis, with a .419 OPS in 31 plate appearances. Chris, he's supposed to be worse against lefties!
Maybe the marine layer be kind, and may Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer already be drinking two and a half hours before first pitch.