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

The Orioles get ready to throw a bullpen game as the struggling Kyle Bradish is out with right shoulder inflammation.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox
Adley might need to keep hitting bombs because tonight the Orioles will have to go nine innings with a bullpen crew headed by Austin Voth.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Welp. We were all set to fret about Bradish’s recent command problems and hope for a turnaround in his fastball, which, as our John Beers pointed out in his series preview, grades out right now as the worst pitch in all of baseball in terms of Run-Value.

Today, however, the Orioles announced that Bradish has been moved to the 15-day IL, retroactive to June 21, for inflammation in his right shoulder. It’s hard out there on pitchers’ bodies.

In his place, we’ll have Austin Voth (0-0 with an 8.39 ERA in 23 games—have we really seen that much of him?) and some motley combo of relievers probably also featuring Marcos Diplán, recalled from Triple-A Norfolk today. Hardly glowing numbers so far for Voth, a June 7 waiver pickup from the Nationals, but in his last 7 outings, Voth has an ERA of 3.00. And he saved the Orioles’ tails on June 19 when Jordan Lyles was scratched from his start with a stomach bug, going 2.2 scoreless against Tampa Bay.

Voth has barely seen any of the White Sox, save for AJ Pollock, Reese McGuire, and Adam Haseley, all hitless against him in a handful of at-bats. Luis Robert, the 2020 runner-up for Rookie of the Year, is back in the lineup after missing 10 days with lower-leg soreness. Show them no mercy, Austin (& Company)!

Supporting a bullpen game could be a tall order for Orioles hitters tonight, since the White Sox’s Michael Kopech has been stellar so far. The 6’3” righty missed all of 2019 and 2020 with Tommy John and an opt-out, and he spent most of 2021 in the bullpen, but as a starter this season he’s 2-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 12 games. Kopech has a deceptive, spin-heavy fastball, which he throws 64% of the time, to go with a slider and a curveball, the latter his best pitch in terms of opponent average (.091).

There is no Oriole hitter who has faced Kopech more than twice, and none has a hit off of him. That could change tonight, though, with the sizzling Adley Rutschman hitting .353 with four extra-base hits over the last week. According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, Adley joins Trey Mancini, Curt Blefary and Manny Machado as the only Orioles in history with at least 12 XBH in their first 27 career games. Between that and Austin Hays’ on-field heroics, the limelight is somewhat crowded these days, but don’t forget Ryan Mountcastle’s .375/.400/.542 slashline over the last seven games too.

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Trey Mancini DH
3. Anthony Santander LF
4. Austin Hays RF
5. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
6. Adley Rutschman C
7. Tyler Nevin 3B
8. Jorge Mateo SS
9. Richie Martin 2B

White Sox lineup

1. Tim Anderson SS
2. Andrew Vaughn DH
3. Luis Robert CF
4. José Abreu 1B
5. AJ Pollock LF
6. Gavin Sheets RF
7. Jake Burger 3B
8. Leury García 2B
9. Reese McGuire C