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The Thursday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Astros, 2:10

The Orioles try to avoid getting swept this afternoon against the Astros. Who knows, maybe it will work out. Wei-Yin Chen and Dallas Keuchel are the starting pitchers.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Woe is the team that comes into the fourth game of a four-game series looking to avoid a sweep. You've already lost the series, horribly, and the best that can happen is you salvage one game and have a .250 winning percentage in the series. That is a deep hole.

It's even deeper because the Orioles will have to go up against Dallas Keuchel today. We saw them get destroyed by Lance McCullers last night. Keuchel has even more of a track record of success at the MLB level in the last couple of seasons, although the O's did manage to score four runs against Keuchel the last time they saw him in the last Astros series. Keuchel has actually given up four runs in three of his last five starts, and still is sporting a 1.76 ERA. My goodness.

Of course you can't win them all, and of course every team, even good ones, is going to go through a rough patch, but things are really rough for the Orioles right now. Last night it was noted that the O's have scored two runs or fewer in 13 of their last 24 games. That makes it damn hard to win, no matter how good your pitching happens to be in a given game. But it only takes one game to start to turn things around, and maybe somehow, against what you'd expect, that game will happen this afternoon.

Today's Lineups

Manny Machado - 3B George Springer - RF
Delmon Young - RF Jose Altuve - 2B
Adam Jones - CF Evan Gattis - DH
Chris Davis - DH Chris Carter - 1B
Steve Pearce - 1B Luis Valbuena - 3B
Travis Snider - LF Jonathan Villar - LF
Caleb Joseph - C Hank Conger - C
Ryan Flaherty - 2B Marwin Gonzalez - SS
Everth Cabrera - SS Jake Marisnick - CF
Wei-Yin Chen - LHP Dallas Keuchel - LHP