Not to get too carried away or anything, but the Orioles absolutely need to win tonight's game, as well as tomorrow's game. They have no business losing any baseball games to the Padres at home. The Padres are a bad team. Their starting pitcher has an ERA that is closer to 9 than it is to 8. That's no joke.
There's no such thing as a must-win game in June, but a team that wants to remain in first place needs to be winning games like this against struggling teams. There are some real who-dats in this Padres lineup. Some of not knowing these guys is surely because the Padres toil in obscurity, perennially the least interesting team in their division, not even failing in a noteworthy way. But also: Who the heck is Travis Jankowski or Ryan Schimpf? Did they sign these guys out of the stands?
Not that it's perfect circumstances for the O's tonight. They're probably still suffering some residual effects from all of the traveling of the past couple of days. They'll be without Manny Machado for tonight and tomorrow. And looking ahead to tomorrow, there's still no inkling of who is going to start that game. Mike Wright? Ubaldo Jimenez? It may not be pretty. All the more reason they really, really need to win tonight.
|SAN DIEGO PADRES||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Travis Jankowski - CF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Wil Myers - 1B||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Matt Kemp - RF||Mark Trumbo - RF|
|Yangervis Solarte - 3B||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Melvin Upton Jr. - LF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Ryan Schimpf - 2B||Pedro Alvarez - DH|
|Derek Norris - C||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Christian Bethancourt - DH||Ryan Flaherty - 3B|
|Alexei Ramirez - SS||Francisco Pena - C|
|Luis Perdomo - RHP||Tyler Wilson - RHP|