It's easy to feel like the last week of Orioles baseball has been bad, largely because it has, but for all of that, the Orioles come into tonight's game against the Blue Jays just a half-game behind the division-leading Yankees. That ugly road trip could amount to nothing more than a bump in the road, if they're able to put together some solid games heading forward.
You would think that tonight's game should be smooth sailing for the Orioles since they're facing a crummy replacement starting pitcher, namely Mike Bolsinger. However, you've probably noted an occasional tendency for the Orioles to stink against these sorts of pitchers in recent years, even ones where the team has otherwise been good. There are no sure things. After all, as we learned in the series against Washington, sometimes in the matchup between Ubaldo Jimenez and Max Scherzer, the Jimenez team ends up winning the game.
And it's not like the Orioles are starting a great pitcher of their own - much as that pains me to write about Kevin Gausman. Is he on the Jake Arrieta path of waiting for a trade to achieve greatness, or the Brian Matusz path of a once-good pitching prospect not amounting to a whole heck of a lot? Hopefully he's on neither path and is instead heading towards success in an O's uniform as a starting pitcher. Maybe he could look like that a little bit tonight. The Orioles could sure stand to have him figure out whatever the problem is with him.
Hyun Soo Kim is starting for the second game in a row, so maybe all the people who are upset about his frequent absences can be happy about that. Seth Smith is back in the lineup after having fouled a ball off of his face in Detroit.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Seth Smith - RF|
|Ezequiel Carrera - LF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Justin Smoak - 1B||Mark Trumbo - DH|
|Devon Travis - 2B||Welington Castillo - C|
|Russell Martin - C||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Darwin Barney - 3B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Ryan Goins - SS||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Michael Bolsinger - RHP||Kevin Gausman - RHP|