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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: at Phillies, 7:05

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Who’s ready to go another ten innings?

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know about you, but after last night’s joyride, I wouldn’t mind a quick-and-breezy nine innings of defensive brilliance and lockdown pitching by the bullpen. I’d love to see Miguel Castro bounce back from his two-homer inning last night, or Cole Sulser turn in a clean low-leverage appearance.

Most especially I’d like to see Wade LeBlanc return to form after a rough outing against the Marlins last week where he got roughed up for six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Before that, he turned in a gem against Tampa Bay on August 1 (5.1 IP, 1 R, 4 H) and a decent effort against the Red Sox (5.2 IP, 4 R, 4 H) on July 26. LeBlanc hasn’t been walking a lot of guys—he has just two BBs on the season—but last time out, he caught much too much of the plate. If he does that again, a hard-hitting Phillies lineup should have little problem taking him deep.

Phillies starter Zach Eflin (not to be confused with the star of the future remake of “Three Men and a Baby” on Disney+) has made only one start this season, but it was a good one. In four innings against the Yankees, Eflin allowed just four hits and no runs while racking up five K’s. In his fifth MLB season, the 6’6” righty has been polishing a sinking fastball that comes in at 94-95 mph and which strongly resembles his 88-mph changeup. Against New York, it looked like a pretty lethal combo. But if the Orioles can time Eflin up, it’s the sort of stuff that a hot-hitting Renato Núñez could dump into the stands.

José Iglesias is back at shortstop after some rest for an achy quad. A lot of fans will be glad to see him out there.

A quarter of the season in, the Orioles have the 4th-best OPS and OPS+ in the MLB at .788 and 120. (FYI, the Phillies are No. 1 and 4, respectively.) For that small stretch of success, thank the first five names in the batter order, who have a combined OPS of .927 and OPS+ of 157.

Let’s hope the Orioles continue to take good swings and make their in-game adjustments!

Orioles lineup

  1. Hanser Alberto 2B
  2. Anthony Santander RF
  3. José Iglesias SS
  4. Rio Ruiz 3B
  5. Renato Núñez DH
  6. Dwight Smith Jr. LF
  7. Austin Hays CF
  8. Chris Davis 1B
  9. Chance Sisco C

Phillies lineup

  1. Andrew McCutchen LF
  2. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. J.T. Realmuto DH
  5. Jean Segura 3B
  6. Didi Gregorius SS
  7. Phil Gosselin 2B
  8. Andrew Knapp C
  9. Roman Quinn CF