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Friday night Orioles game thread: @ Atlanta, 7:20 pm

Here it comes. The first game of the 22-game gauntlet. Are the Orioles up to the task?

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Here we go, Dean. Let’s do this.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

On Opening Day in Washington, D.C., starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, Max Fried, gave up a run in the second inning to the Nationals. Since then, he has pitched 18.2 more without giving up another. This is, you might say, very good. Fried is an outstanding pitcher, which is pretty scary when your favorite baseball player is playing him.

But let me tell you something I learned about many years ago from former Orioles’ broadcaster Jim Hunter: Due is due. Hunter loved saying that a bad player on the Orioles was due for a big hit, or that a good player on another team was due to be bad. This was all part of Hunter’s relentless optimism, which was both endearing and frustrating to hear when watching the horrid Orioles teams of the early 2000s. I want to call on it today.

I’m with Jim! Nobody believes that Fried is going to give only one run this entire season. And nobody believes that he’s going to pitch to a 0.45 ERA either. Eventually, he will regress to the mean, or get what he’s due. Due is due!

So why not tonight? Why not against the Orioles, who are second in MLB in walks, sixth in runs scored, and fifth in OPS+? These Orioles are not slouches! Jim Hunter and I know they can do it.

I’m not sure what Hunter would say about Dean Kremer’s chances against the Braves. I surely want to believe that, just as Fried’s true ERA is not 0.45, neither is Kremer’s true ERA 6.67. But just doesn’t look like he’s got it this year, as sad as it makes me. However, he did spend 2022 looking a lot better than he has this year, so we just have to hope. Hope that Kremer is due for some success.

Orioles lineup

1. Jorge Mateo (R) SS

2. Adley Rutschman (S) C

3. Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B

4. Anthony Santander (S) RF

5. James McCann (R) DH

6. Ramón Urías (R) 2B

7. Cedric Mullins (L) CF

8. Ryan McKenna (R) LF

9. Gunnar Henderson (L) 3B

SP: Dean Kremer (RHP)

Braves lineup

1. Ronald Acuña Jr. (R) RF

2. Matt Olson (L) 1B

3. Austin Riley (R) 3B

4. Sean Murphy (R) C

5. Eddie Rosario (L) LF

6. Ozzie Albies (S) 2B

7. Marcell Ozuna (R) DH

8. Sam Hilliard (L) CF

9. Braden Shewmake (L) SS

SP: Max Fried (LHP)

Let’s go O’s!