The bleak picture of a week ago looks a little brighter now. It's funny what winning two straight series will do to you. Not that the Orioles should let off the gas tonight just because they've won the series already. They need to stomp throats and eat babies, in the Camden Chat vernacular. The Twins have already lost a game this afternoon, meaning that the Orioles, with a win, would pull within a game of a wild card spot.
First, they'd have to win. That means the usual things - a strong outing from the starter and a good effort by the offense. Can Chris Tillman continue to be the Second Half Chris Tillman we have seen in his last two starts, or will he go back into the first half stream of poor outings to which we had accustomed ourselves? And can the offense actually have like, two good games in a row?
They'll be up against Braves rookie Mike Foltynewicz, who is sporting an ERA north of 5.00, so that means what we should probably expect is for the Orioles to get maybe one run on five hits, if they're lucky. A no-hitter is never out of the question in these situations. The 23-year-old Foltynewicz was a top 100 prospect on most lists before last season and still stayed on MLB.com's list at #78 before this season. He was better-liked when he was in the Astros system. I wonder what that tells you.
The Orioles have won four games in a row, which is cool, but it won't mean much if they don't win today too. They've put themselves in that position by losing too many games due to scoring like 1-2 runs. Look at this lineup and tell me you expect any different tonight. Yeah... well, here goes nothing.
|ATLANTA BRAVES||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Nick Markakis - DH||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Cameron Maybin - CF||Jimmy Paredes - DH|
|Freddie Freeman - 1B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Adonis Garcia - LF||Chris Davis - RF|
|A.J. Pierzynski - C||Matt Wieters - C|
|Andrelton Simmons - SS||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Jace Peterson - 2B||Nolan Reimold - LF|
|Eury Perez - RF||Ryan Flaherty - 1B|
|Daniel Castro - 3B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Mike Foltynewicz - RHP||Chris Tillman - RHP|