The Orioles have an appointment to keep with history. They have now given up 5+ runs in 16 consecutive games, which is an American League record, and although they may not exactly have their sights set on breaking the MLB record of 20 consecutive games that has stood since the Calvin Coolidge presidency, that's where they appear to be headed.
With starting pitcher Chris Tillman's career being what it has been even in years where he's pitching well, it's quite possible that the Orioles will be on their way to keeping that appointment with history by the end of the second inning. And of course, this is not a season where Tillman is pitching well. In fact, he looks like a real disaster out there, perhaps because his shoulder isn't healthy.
Through eight starts, Tillman is in 2011 Brian Matusz territory of an ERA that increases nearly every start. He's getting to a point where the level of failure required to have a continually increasing ERA is impressive in its own way. Going from 8.01 to 8.07, as he did in his last start, takes some work. To pass the Matusz Test tonight, all Tillman will have to do is pitch more innings than he gives up earned runs. Is he up to that task? Surely he must be.
Cleveland starting pitcher Josh Tomlin also enters the game with a high ERA, though his is "only" 5.83. Tomlin almost never walks a batter, so that could be good news for the Orioles, who don't walk much anyway. They can come up hacking, fairly confident that the ball will be in the zone. Tomlin has already given up 11 home runs in 71 innings this year. In short, if the O's offense can't look good against this guy, it's even more panic time.
On the out-of-town scoreboard, we may have to root for the Rangers to beat the Blue Jays. The O's are tied with the Jays for last place in the AL East. An Orioles loss and a Jays win would mean the O's have the cellar of the division all to themselves. Yikes.
|CLEVELAND INDIANS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Francisco Lindor - SS||Seth Smith - RF|
|Jason Kipnis - 2B||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Jose Ramirez - 3B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Edwin Encarnacion - DH||Mark Trumbo - DH|
|Lonnie Chisenhall - RF||Trey Mancini - 1B|
|Carlos Santana - 1B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Yan Gomes - C||Welington Castillo - C|
|Bradley Zimmer - CF||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Austin Jackson - LF||Ruben Tejada - SS|
|Josh Tomlin - RHP||Chris Tillman - RHP|