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Tuesday night Orioles game thread, vs. Cubs, 7:05

Kyle Bradish was trending up as of last week’s successful start against Seattle. Will the Cubs push back his progress?

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Bradish made his MLB debut in late April, a strong six-inning outing where he allowed just two earned runs. Then he had an interesting month of May to put it nicely, going 1-2 with an 8.46 ERA in five outings. The hits rained down—his WHIP jumped up to 1.66 — and noisily, with a homer or more surrendered in every game he’s pitched.

But the 25-year-old is still way early in his MLB career, so he deserves a little time to figure stuff out. Last week, he pitched really well against Seattle, throwing 4.2 innings with six strikeouts, and he looked even better than that stat line to be honest, drawing tons of foolish-looking swings.

Bradish’s stuff is electric and exciting, and he’s talked about how the mental side of the game has been the toughest for him so far, staying competitive and in the game and all of that. So tonight will be a mini litmus test of sorts.

On the hill for the Cubs is their surprise best starter right now, the second-year righty Keegan Thompson (6-0, 1.99 ERA). A third-round draft pick in 2017, Thompson debuted in 2021 and made 32 appearances for Chicago as a reliever, going 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA. He started 2022 in the bullpen, but due to a combination of starter injuries and not-goodness, Cubs manager David Ross & Co. have started stretching him out as a starter.

Just under four starts in, that experiment seems to be working, judging from a 3-0 record with a 2.79 ERA. Thompson has a five-pitch mix: he leans mostly fastball, works in the cutter and curveball about equally, and sprinkles in a changeup and slider every now and then.

Will the Orioles’ limp offense wake up against a young righty enjoying some recent success? We’ll see. Neither lineup has seen the opposing starter before, so at least there’ll be plenty of suspense!

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins CF

2. Trey Mancini DH

3. Anthony Santander RF

4. Austin Hays LF

5. Ryan Mountcastle 1B

6. Adley Rutschman C

7. Rougned Odor 2B

8. Ramón Urías 3B

9. Jorge Mateo SS

Cubs lineup

1. Christopher Morel CF

2. Willson Contreras C

3. Ian Happ LF

4. Frank Schwindel 1B

5. Patrick Wisdom 3B

6. Rafael Ortega DH

7. Nico Hoerner SS

8. Jason Heyward RF

9. Nick Madrigal 2B