Just take it all in. In this very moment, the Orioles are the best team in Major League Baseball. It probably won't last forever, but right now they are tied for the most wins (Cubs, 6-1) in the game, they are the only undefeated team, and they have the biggest division lead (2.5 games) in the sport. That advantage could even grow to 3.5 games if both the O's win and the Blue Jays beat the Yankees. I'm getting all teary-eyed just thinking about it.
But re-focus. It's a big game tonight. A win guarantees the third series win of the season (two of which would be against division rivals). These games, while they don't feel as important, carry just as much weight as the match-ups in September. And it is a face-off with Clay Buchholz, a guy that has seen a lot of success against the Birds, including a 2007 no-hitter.
That said, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty weren't Orioles in 2007. That trio knocks Buchholz around. Davis is batting .364 with two home runs and four RBI over 22 at-bats. Hardy is hitting .318 with two home runs and three RBI in 22 at-bats, and Flaherty, who is always great at Fenway, is batting .389 over 18 at-bats against the righty. So, runs seem more likely tonight.
Mike Wright is on the mound for the Birds, and that worries me, like, A LOT. But the Red Sox hitters have not seen too much of him. And he has the O's offense behind him. I'm sure everything will be juuuuust fine. Yeah, just fine. Just fine.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Joey Rickard - CF||Mookie Betts - RF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Xander Bogaerts - SS|
|Mark Trumbo - RF||David Ortiz - DH|
|Matt Wieters - C||Hanley Ramirez - 1B|
|Pedro Alvarez - DH||Travis Shaw - 3B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Brock Holt - LF|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Blake Swihart - C|
|Ryan Flaherty - LF||Jackie Bradley - CF|
|Mike Wright - RHP||Clay Buchholz - RHP|