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Thursday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs. Yankees, 1:05

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The Orioles can still pick up a series split with the Yankees if they win today. It may be an uphill battle with Jorge López pitching for the O’s.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

One necessity of your favorite baseball team being in the middle of a multi-year rebuilding effort is that you have to be numb to the accumulation of losses. Down any other path lies a probably unhealthy disappointment. With how the Orioles have played through their first 24 games, especially with the poor hitting of several young-ish position players, they’re heading towards this territory for 2021, other than maybe when John Means starts.

John Means is not starting today, because he last pitched on Sunday and it is not his turn. It is Jorge López’s turn to pitch. This is where the numbness is important. López is 13 games into his Orioles career and 73 games into an MLB career dating back to 2015. He has a 6.18 ERA as a big leaguer and 6.91 ERA as an Oriole. Those numbers are higher than the ERAs that any of David Hess, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Wright had in MLB.

López is 28 years old. He does not have the prospect shine that might keep you hoping for good performance, like with last night’s starter, Dean Kremer. He is not an interesting enough veteran with past success where you can root for a turnaround, like Matt Harvey. He’s just a longshot reclamation project who has yet to give any reason to believe he will be anything other than a placeholder until a real prospect arrives. I wonder why Mike Elias chose and stuck with him over any number of other waiver wire dudes.

Add to this that the last time the Orioles saw today’s Yankees starter, Jordan Montgomery, they were shut out, with Montgomery himself pitching six innings and striking out seven batters. These things in conjunction do not make for a recipe for excitement for a baseball game.

The Orioles might well win anyway. One thing about baseball is that even bad teams tend to not go 0-19 against their better divisional opponents. Weird things can always happen. But most often the most likely thing happens and today, the most likely thing are that López will keep pitching poorly, the Orioles offense will keep hitting poorly, and the Orioles will lose.

Orioles starting lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Austin Hays - LF
  3. Trey Mancini - DH
  4. Maikel Franco - 3B
  5. Pedro Severino - C
  6. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  7. DJ Stewart - RF
  8. Ramón Urias - SS
  9. Pat Valaika - 2B

You may have noted the absence of Freddy Galvis from the lineup for the third straight game, after he suffered the adductor strain in Monday’s game. Manager Brandon Hyde told Orioles reporters before the game that he would like to “stay away” from Galvis today. Hopefully he’s well enough to play when the Orioles get out to Oakland. He is hitting just a bit better than his replacements.

Yankees starting lineup

  1. DJ LeMahieu - 1B
  2. Giancarlo Stanton - DH
  3. Gleyber Torres - SS
  4. Gio Urshela - 3B
  5. Rougned Odor - 2B
  6. Aaron Hicks - CF
  7. Gary Sánchez - C
  8. Clint Frazier - RF
  9. Brett Gardner - LF