For anyone who is superstitious about such things, there’s a lot lining up pointing towards strange occurrences as the Orioles play the Tigers tonight. It is Friday the 13th and there is a full moon, after all, and these are two very, very bad baseball teams, so anything is possible. They might even surprise us and play something resembling competent baseball.
According to STATS, baseball has not seen a matchup between two teams who are more than 50 games below .500 since an August 29, 1969 game between the Expos and Padres. That’s where the O’s and Tigers are tonight. They’re doing something that hasn’t been done for just a little bit more than 50 years.
It’s only the fourth time that this has ever happened. The first two times were in the 1800s, and some of the teams involved were the Kansas City Cowboys, the Washington Statesmen, and the Louisville Colonels. So that’s your 2019 Orioles for you, reminding us all of the proud lineage of the 1886 Kansas City Cowboys.
The Tigers, as you probably know, have a worse record than the Orioles, and their worse record probably makes them a worse baseball team the O’s by virtue of their playing in an easier division. If the Orioles are swept in this series, they will fall back into the #1 draft pick for 2020. They are bad, but I don’t think they are bad enough to get swept over four games by the 2019 Tigers.
Here is the lineup the Orioles will send out as they try to pick up win #48, a meaningless number except that it would make it official that this team will win more than last year’s loser Orioles:
- Jonathan Villar - SS
- Mason Williams - CF
- Trey Mancini - 1B
- Dwight Smith Jr. - LF
- Mark Trumbo - DH
- Rio Ruiz - 3B
- Stevie Wilkerson - 2B
- DJ Stewart - RF
- Chance Sisco - C
Aaron Brooks is the starting pitcher for the Orioles. I approach every game that he is starting with a sigh of resignation. There will be no improvement for the 2019 Orioles rotation by year’s end. Most are probably not even auditioning for a spot in next year’s rotation, because the way they’ve pitched already suggests they should have already failed any audition.
The only thing that fans can hope for is that next year’s isn’t quite as bad as this, or if it is as bad, that it’s bad with several different pitchers being involved, rather than just watching the same guys getting lit up night in and night out. Rebuilding sucks.