clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wednesday evening Orioles game thread: vs. Cardinals, 6:35 ET

Let’s try that again. The Orioles look to take the series with a bounce back game tonight.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles need a fired-up Kyle Gibson tonight in the series finale.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

It would have been poetic if Orioles bats had lifted John Means to a win in his first start since April 2022 last night. They didn’t, but they have the chance to better themselves tonight.

Another near-miss of poetry: tonight’s game will not see former Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty facing off against Drew Rom, one of the pitching prospects traded to St. Louis to bring Flaherty here. Perhaps that’s better, as Flaherty has been flat-out bad as an Oriole, with a 7.16 ERA in six starts. Suffice it to say, Birdland’s odds for a win are slightly better with veteran Kyle Gibson on the mound to close out the series.

True, Gibson has a 6.04 ERA over his last eight starts. But he seems to be dedicated to mixing the good with the bad: his earned runs per start in that stretch are two, one, three, nine, four, three, seven, and three. Let’s avoid a stinker and take this series, OK?

Gibson has only faced St. Louis three times in his career, and of the current lineup, only Paul Goldschmidt (2-for-5) and Nolan Arenado (1-for-8) have more than four AB’s against him. My guess is that the matchups will be of less relative importance than whether he can locate his pitches, especially his breaking pitches, which have had a tendency to hang in the zone when he’s throwing a clunker. As John Beers pointed out in his series preview, Gibson’s best pitch of late has been his sweeper, against which opponents are hitting .155. Look for more of those as an early-count weapon tonight.

As for Drew Rom, I wish him well in his career, but not tonight. The former Orioles farmhand has made four MLB starts, not to great success: he’s 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA in that stretch. He allowed six earned runs over 3.2 innings to the Pirates in his first career start, but two, three, and four against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in the starts after that. His longest outing was 5.1 innings against the Phillies on August 27. The good news for the Orioles is they have pretty good splits against left handers this season, with a .265 average, .448 slugging and .782 OPS. Let’s see if the bats get fired up again tonight.

Orioles lineup

1. Adley Rutschman DH
2. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
3. Anthony Santander RF
4. Austin Hays LF
5. Jordan Westburg 2B
6. Gunnar Henderson 3B
7. Aaron Hicks CF
8. James McCann C
9. Jorge Mateo SS

Cardinals lineup

1. Lars Nootbaar CF
2. Paul Goldschmidt DH
3. Alec Burleson 1B
4. Tyler O’Neill LF
5. Richie Palacios 2B
6. Jordan Walker RF
7. Andrew Knizner C
8. José Fermín 3B
9. Masyn Winn SS