I know it's considered an honor or a sign that your team is good or whatever to be on ESPN's broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball, but I'm not a fan. I don't want to be up that late on a school night! And I don't want longer commercial breaks! And I don't want to listen to the ESPN announcers act like the Yankees are the ones in contention and not the Orioles! And I DO want Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer! OK, I got that out of my system.
The Orioles are looking to take three of four in this series against the Yankees with a win tonight. The pitching match up is #StaffAce Chris Tilman vs Hiroki Kuroda.
Tillman can still say that he hasn't given up more than three earned runs since June 5th, but his last few starts haven't been the strongest of the season. In two of the last three he's only gone five innings, and in the third he went just six. The Orioles won all of those game, and in fact haven't lost a game started by Tillman in his last nine starts. This will be Tillman's fourth start against the Yankees this season, and he's done pretty well against them. Twice he's pitched seven innings, and one six and two-thirds, giving up a total of just five runs. He did walk four in one start but somehow didn't allow any runs at all.
Tillman sits at 187.2 innings for the season and is looking to top 200 for the second straight season. If he pitches every fifth game until the end of the season he'll have three more starts including tonight's. That gives him a very good shot to reach 200, but once the Orioles clinch it's possible Tillman won't get that third start.
At 39 years old, Hiroki Kuroda is having his worst season since coming to the MLB. But that's not to say he's having a terrible season, because he isn't. His 3.91 ERA is just a touch below league average and he's managed to stay healthy for the entire season, unlike his younger teammates who started the season with him. Kuroda has faced the Orioles three times this season and gave up just two runs in each start.
Most of the Orioles have had very little success against Kiroda. In fact, the only two current O's who have hit him well (although in limited exposure) are newcomers Alejandro De Aza (6-for-15, 2B, HR, BB) and Kelly Johnson (8-for-25, 2 2B, HR, BB).
The man of the hour, Derek Jeter, has gone 0-for-7 in the series so far and hasn't had a hit in his last 20 at bats.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Derek Jeter - SS||Alejandro De Aza - LF|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Martin Prado - 3B||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Brian McCann - C||Steve Pearce - 1B|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Chris Young - DH||Kelly Johnson - 3B|
|Stephen Drew - 2B||Nick Hundley - C|
|Antoan Richardson - RF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Hiroki Kuroda - RHP||Chris Tillman - RHP|