The Orioles managed to win a series opener against a somewhat soft-tossing right-handed pitcher. They will next face the hard-throwing righty Reynaldo Lopez, who happens to be the #43 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com - and still just the third-best prospect for this Walgreens franchise.
What do you think it's like to have prospects like that? As long as the Orioles don't make a serious effort internationally, we'll never know about that. This will be Lopez's fifth ever MLB start. He's struck out 26 batters in his first 22.2 big league innings and his fastball averages 96.4mph, according to Fangraphs.
Lopez has been better against lefty batters than righties both in the minors and in the majors, so the Orioles are deploying what seems at first glance like a weird lineup for facing a righty, with Steve Pearce in there instead of Hyun Soo Kim. If Nolan Reimold was able to hit anything right now, he might play instead of Pedro Alvarez, as well.
Is it going to work? That is always the mystery. And there's always the chance that the Orioles could blast Lopez and have their own starter, Kevin Gausman, get blasted for even more runs. That very scenario happened to the O's, with different pitchers of course, in the disastrous game on Friday night.
|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Trea Turner - CF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Jayson Werth - LF||Steve Pearce - LF|
|Daniel Murphy - 2B||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Bryce Harper - RF||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Anthony Rendon - 3B||Mark Trumbo - RF|
|Wilson Ramos - C||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Ryan Zimmerman - 1B||Pedro Alvarez - DH|
|Clint Robinson - DH||Matt Wieters - C|
|Danny Espinosa - SS||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Reynaldo Lopez - RHP||Kevin Gausman - RHP|