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Friday night Orioles game thread: at White Sox, 8:10

This losing streak has to end SOMETIME, right?

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The Orioles trudge into this one in the grip of a ten-game losing streak. It’s sucky. Tonight, they face the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox in Game 2 of a three-game series in Chicago. Looking at the Orioles’ recent stretch of opponents, it never seems to get easier.

Then again, that’s what you say when your team is not very good.

Last night, lefty Bruce Zimmermann pitched a credible five innings against the Sox. It was great to see the rookie, who’s struggled this year in a starter role, put things together against a dangerous offense. That is, it was good to see until a wild Dillon Tate, an ineffective Tanner Scott, and a hapless César Valdez combined to blow it in the late innings. We’ve seen this one before.

There’s not a ton of reason to think things will go differently today—well, there’s always the chance that tonight’s starter Matt Harvey doesn’t even pull off Zimmermann-like efficiency. I’m kidding. But even if Harvey does regain his early-season form, this bullpen—with an MLB-worst 6.11 ERA in the month of May—seems ready to throw wrenches into the gearbox at every turn. It’s treacherous.

Harvey had a strong month of April, with wins in three of six starts (and scanty run support in the rest). But his May, like that of the team at large, has been a mess: he’s lost four straight and owns an 8.85 ERA in the month.

The good news, such as it is, is that Harvey’s stuff looks better than the results indicate, and certainly better than it did at the nadir of his pitching career in 2019. Again, a FIP of 4.25, two full runs less than his 6.31 ERA, suggests that luck is part of the story. That said, a 1.577 WHIP is very high. Can Harvey—and the Orioles right the ship?

Against the 2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, well, who can say. Keuchel’s 4.28 ERA is the highest it’s been in five years, and he’s given up three or more runs in four of his last five starts. His K/9 rate of 4.6 is almost a career low. So, it’s a scary matchup. But the hope is that this is not the Dallas Keuchel of 2015.

Please join me in welcoming first baseman Tyler Nevin for his MLB debut. The son of Yankees’ hitting coach Phil Nevin, Nevin, called up today, comes with a great pedigree, and apparently, the dude can mash. Maybe Trey Mancini’s elbow contusion and Ryan Mountcastle’s sore hand aren’t the way we would have wanted to see Nevin’s debut, ideally, but maybe the dude will add some thump to the lineup. Welcome, Tyler!

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Anthony Santander DH
4. Pedro Severino C
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Pat Valaika 2B
7. DJ Stewart RF
8. Tyler Nevin 1B
9. Ryan McKenna LF

White Sox lineup

1. Tim Anderson SS
2. Yasmani Grandal C
3. Andrew Vaughn LF
4. José Abreu 1B
5. Yermín Mercedes DH
6. Jake Lamb RF
7. Leury García CF
8. Danny Mendick 3B
9. Nick Madrigal 2B