These two teams are going to be hard-pressed to play a more ridiculous baseball game than last night. At least the weather looks nicer so there shouldn't be any rain either. Better a weird win than a mundane loss, but mundane wins are even better. No stress, no drama, just jumping out to a commanding lead and holding onto it so that all of the garbage time relievers can pitch and everyone else can rest.
The Orioles magic number stands at 17. The Yankees play the Red Sox in New York. Anthony Ranaudo is the Boston starter, with Hiroki Kuroda pitching for the Yankees. If the Yankees lose and the Blue Jays win, the magic number will start to be against the Blue Jays instead. Toronto plays the Rays in Tampa - Marcus Stroman starts for the Jays, Chris Archer starts for the Rays.
Over a major league career that's spanned parts of four seasons, Axelrod has a 5.17 ERA. You know what this means, and it doesn't mean anything good. This is precisely the kind of pitcher who will flummox the Orioles lineup. That's how these things work, especially because he falls in the junkballer category as a righty with an average fastball velocity of 89.2mph. Just book the no-hitter already. It's happening.
RHP Miguel Gonzalez, Orioles
2014: 21 GS, 127 IP, 3.61 ERA, 89 SO, 42 BB, .261 BAA, 1.35 WHIP
Last start (vs. Twins): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 6 SO
The Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) stat is not one that loves Gonzalez, giving him a 5.16 - that's basically an ERA-equivalent based on what's in a pitcher's control, namely strikeouts, walks, and home runs. Gonzalez gives up a lot of home runs. He's allowed 22 this year. Don't do that, Miguel! Still, he has a respectable, if not stellar, ERA despite all the homers, and the Reds have not been a good team offensively this year, so maybe this game will work out okay.
|CINCINNATI REDS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Billy Hamilton - CF||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Todd Frazier - 1B||David Lough - CF|
|Brandon Phillips - 2B||Adam Jones - DH|
|Devin Mesoraco - C||Nelson Cruz - LF|
|Jay Bruce - RF||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Ryan Ludwick - DH||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Skip Schumaker - LF||Kelly Johnson - 3B|
|Kristopher Negron - 3B||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Ramon Santiago - SS||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Dylan Axelrod - RHP||Miguel Gonzalez - RHP|