Many days of the 2019 season, the Orioles have taken the opportunity afforded by a baseball game to demonstrate their unique lack of skills relative to their competition. Today, they’ll have twice as many opportunities to do this because a rainout back in May set up a day-night doubleheader today.
The signs are all there for some kind of disaster. The day game, after all, will be “started” by Aaron Brooks, a newly-arrived Oriole who started the season in Oakland’s rotation, was kicked out of that role after having a 5+ ERA over the first month, then eventually landed on the waiver wire despite a 2.77 ERA as a multi-inning reliever in June. The O’s, as the worst team in the AL, get first dibs on all waived AL players, and so here he is.
If Brooks is able to go three innings at most, who will follow him? With Dylan Bundy’s disastrous, possibly injury-aided (knee tendinitis) short start last night blowing up the possibility of Gabriel Ynoa serving a long relief role today, options could be more limited. There is the 26th man, David Hess, though he hasn’t pitched more than 3.1 innings in over a month.
The first game could be interesting for a chance to get to see Rays hitting/pitching prospect Brendan McKay, who will be the starting pitcher for Tampa. McKay, the #4 overall pick from the 2017 draft, has started two games as a big leaguer and sports a 2.45 ERA, 3.56 FIP, and 0.727 WHIP so far. He’s not exactly drawing a tough assignment in the O’s offense here.
Those hardy souls who show up for the second game of the doubleheader will at least be rewarded by getting to see O’s All-Star John Means start the game. Hopefully it’s a reward, anyway: There’s never a guarantee that anyone will pitch well. They, or at least the first 30,000 of them, will also be rewarded by the third edition of the Birdland Hawaiian Shirt giveaway.
The Game 1 Orioles starting lineup:
- Hanser Alberto - 3B
- Trey Mancini - 1B
- Renato Núñez - DH
- Pedro Severino - C
- Jonathan Villar - 2B
- Anthony Santander - RF
- Keon Broxton - CF
- Stevie Wilkerson - LF
- Richie Martin - SS
With Aaron Brooks as the starting pitcher, though as mentioned, he’s not too stretched out and probably won’t go more than three innings.