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Friday night Orioles game thread: at Astros, 8:10

The Orioles are losers of four in a row and they're in Houston for another three games against a different first place team, the Astros. Maybe Kevin Gausman can turn things around?

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Every five games or so, Orioles fans go through one of the stages of grief about Kevin Gausman. Maybe you're still in denial about his 2017 struggles; that's OK, I don't want to acknowledge his 6.65 ERA either. You could be working through the anger, perhaps at him, perhaps at the Orioles for allowing him to deteriorate in this fashion. Bargaining might entail a thought like, "If he can just throw a quality start tonight, everything will be OK..." although we both know that there won't be a quality start tonight and everything won't be OK.

Depression is pretty self-explanatory, and really, after a 3-10 stretch, totally understandable as a reaction. As for the last phase, acceptance, you're probably feeling that one if you have been thinking for a while that only after Gausman is traded to the Cubs will he reach his true potential. We've seen this story before. But hey, if you haven't noticed, Jake Arrieta's not so good this year, so that trade really only hurt the Orioles for three years! That could be worse.

The good news, such as it could be, is that one of the struggling Astros starters, Joe Musgrove, is taking the mound in Houston tonight, so if Orioles hitters don't appear in this series looking to break their own record for most strikeouts in a three-game series that they set in Houston last year, good things could happen.

Basically, the Orioles need to do tonight what they did to Kyle Gibson on Monday, except without the part where their entire pitching staff lights itself on fire and burns down to ash in a gruesome conflagration from which young children should avert their eyes. I won't be holding my breath.

Today's Lineups

Seth Smith - RF George Springer - RF
Adam Jones - CF Josh Reddick - LF
Manny Machado - 3B Jose Altuve - 2B
Chris Davis - 1B Carlos Correa - SS
Mark Trumbo - DH Evan Gattis - C
Welington Castillo - C Carlos Beltran - DH
Hyun Soo Kim - LF Yulieski Gurriel - 1B
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Alex Bregman - 3B
J.J. Hardy - SS Jake Marisnick - CF
Kevin Gausman - RHP Joe Musgrove - RHP