And so the Orioles return to the scene of their lamentable season-ending defeat. Things will look familiar in some ways in that they will be facing Francisco Liriano, who was the pitcher who (being a lefty) shut them down in the wild card game and led to the infamous you-know-what that I promised not to mention again by name.
The Orioles, at least, will have a better pitcher on the mound than they did that fateful October in extra innings, with Kevin Gausman starting the game. Not that Gausman has been great shakes so far this season, with poor command up until now and not so great results. Small sample size and all that. He will probably, hopefully not continue to walk one out of every seven batters he faces.
I'm nervous about this series, which surely doesn't surprise you, what with my reputation for pessimism and all. But the Blue Jays are 1-7 and their offense has basically been trash so far other than bad haircut Josh Donaldson and to a lesser extent Kendrys Morales. They are last in batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored and 14th in the AL in on-base percentage. That's not going to last forever and they now have the Orioles pitching staff for four games to try to break out of the team-wide slump. Hold on to your butts.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Craig Gentry - LF||Ezequiel Carrera - LF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Josh Donaldson - DH|
|Mark Trumbo - RF||Kendrys Morales - 1B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Troy Tulowitzki - SS|
|Welington Castillo - C||Russell Martin - C|
|Trey Mancini - DH||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Darwin Barney - 3B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Devon Travis - 2B|
|Kevin Gausman - RHP||Francisco Liriano - LHP|