It’s now been more than two months since the Orioles have won a game on a Friday night. That seems absurd, but it’s true. Why is it Friday night in particular that vexes them? I do not have an answer. It makes no sense.
They take the field on this Friday night with a chance to get back to .500, which they need to do if they are ever going to get back above .500 and eventually, perhaps, claim one of the American League wild card spots. The first step for that, tonight, is to beat the Athletics.
It’ll be a bit of a different look for the Orioles lineup to do so. Facing Paul Blackburn, the 23-year-old Oakland pitcher who’s making his eighth ever MLB start, the O’s lineup will have Mark Trumbo batting sixth and Chris Davis batting seventh. That’s weird, and surely not the ideal set of circumstances for where to bat two highly-paid sluggers. But then again, having them batting fourth and fifth the way they’ve been hitting lately wasn’t any good, either.
Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for the O’s. He’s had three straight non-horrible starts. Maybe he can continue that in a pitcher-friendly environment in Oakland? Well - it’s friendly if you have an outfield that can run. The Orioles have Trey Mancini in left field. So I don’t know how much the pitcher’s park will help Ubaldo. I guess we’ll find out.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||OAKLAND A'S|
|Tim Beckham - SS||Matt Joyce - LF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Jed Lowrie - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Khris Davis - DH|
|Trey Mancini - LF||Chad Pinder - RF|
|Mark Trumbo - DH||Matt Olson - 1B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Matt Chapman - 3B|
|Seth Smith - RF||Bruce Maxwell - C|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Boog Powell - CF|
|Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP||Paul Blackburn - RHP|