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Thursday night Orioles game thread: at Indians, 6:10

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Dan Straily is pitching for the Orioles tonight. Please don’t run away from our little game thread as a result.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

One of the mysteries of our universe is why an MLB team would choose to schedule a weeknight game for 6:10pm local time. There is not an obvious answer. The Orioles and Indians will begin their game at the strange time of 6:10 Eastern nonetheless - barring some unforeseen delay.

Another, smaller mystery is why the Orioles still have Dan Straily in the starting rotation. I know the obvious answer: Because they don’t really care about winning games this season and nothing matters, so why not have a guy who’s not too great as a placeholder.

Maybe that’s a valid answer for the big picture of the Orioles, but that doesn’t make it any more fun to face down the idea of continuing to watch Straily pitch for my favorite baseball team. He was a mediocre starter, at best, the last two years facing NL East teams, and his old team, the Marlins, the only team worse than the Orioles, decided to part ways with him in spring training. That he has arrived here and struggled is no shock.

The struggle is significant. ERA doesn’t tell us all there is to say about a pitcher, but a guy with an 8.23 ERA after seven starts, well, that tells us he’s sure not doing well. Straily is averaging fewer than four innings per game, has struck out just 15 batters in 27.1 innings, and has issued 10 walks in the same amount of time. Oh yeah, and he’s given up nine homers, too. He is 30. He is not a guy to wait around in hope of upside.

I’m rooting for him to turn it around, as I root for every struggling Oriole to turn it around. I’ve just seen enough to feel like it’s not very likely. I wonder when GM Mike Elias will decide the same, and who will take Straily’s place in the rotation if that happens.

Tonight’s lineup:

  1. Jonathan Villar - SS
  2. Dwight Smith Jr. - LF
  3. Trey Mancini - RF
  4. Chris Davis - 1B
  5. Stevie Wilkerson - CF
  6. Renato Núñez - DH
  7. Rio Ruiz - 3B
  8. Pedro Severino - C
  9. Hanser Alberto - 2B

This is the 43rd game of the season, and I haven’t gotten over the feeling of looking at a given night’s lineup and thinking, “This is not the Orioles lineup.” I think the Talking Heads wrote a song about that.

The Indians are one of a handful of teams that has been worse, as a group, at hitting than the Orioles have so far. They are 15th in slugging percentage among AL teams. Maybe it’s just because they haven’t played the O’s yet. Here’s their lineup:

  1. Francisco Lindor - SS
  2. Jason Kipnis - 2B
  3. Carlos Santana - 1B
  4. Carlos González - DH
  5. José Ramírez - 3B
  6. Jake Bauers - LF
  7. Jordan Luplow - RF
  8. Leonys Martin - CF
  9. Roberto Pérez - C

Pitching for the Indians is Trevor Bauer.