Hello there. I'm Matt. You may remember me from Daily Links, or more Daily Links, or that longish article you didn't read, or "Matt loves Nicole" scratched on that park bench by the big tree. You remember, the one fittingly covered in pigeon poop. I noticed we weren't previewing serieses (Really? "Serieses?") around here so I thought I'd add Series Previews to my list of unpaid duties. Soon, I'll make enough money to [counts fingers] nope, never mind.
In all seriousness, let me know what you think, what you like and don't (just say it nicely so my poor ego doesn't rupture) and we'll see if we can make this better and better going forward. I'll say of the bat that I want some more easy to read stats and team comparisons up here, but I'm still familiarizing myself with SBN's interface. Hopefully I can do that for you all next series.
- The Red Sox starting pitchers are three guys who, if all things went as planed, wouldn't be within spitting distance of the starting rotation. Yet due to injuries the Sox have Tim Wakefield, Andrew Miller, and Kyle Weiland going.
- The Orioles, if I am permitted to cherry-pick a time period, are 3-16 over their last 19 games. There's very little chance that Buck Showalter will permit that to continue. Of course, there is also very little chance that Buck Showalter can do anything about it. Shhh! Don't tell Buck Showalter!
- In contrast, the Red Sox come into the series on a 12-2 run. But Theo Epstein is stupid. (No he isn't! Shh! Don't tell Buck Showalter!)
- Last year plus with BS: 72-76. Year and a half prior to BS: 96-171. Progress? World Series 2017!
David Ortiz will likely miss the whole series, punishment for attempting to prevent himself from becoming Kevin Gregg’s personal pincushion. I'd say the Sox will miss Big Papi in the lineup, and they probably will, but if there was ever an ideal time to give the big man a rest, it's after a 16 inning game against the worst team in the American League. About the only thing that will really suffer is Papi's counting stats.
- The Orioles pitching as a whole has provided less value on the season than Roy Halladay. At least some part of that comes from their Major League worst defense.
- Good news for the Orioles: Vlad Guerrero’s broken hand and accompanying DL stint aren’t likely to hurt his bat speed.
- With the trade deadline coming up, there have been rumors the Orioles may be looking to deal some of the letters in reliever Chris Jakubauskas's name.
Individual game notes after the jump!
Game 1 Notes
-The Orioles will be starting Brad Bergesen in this game. When I started writing this it said, "TBD". So I wrote, "TBD has been the Orioles best pitcher this year." Thank you, don't forget to tip your waitress. Bergesen isn't the kind of pitcher who makes you quake in your bright yellow duck boots, the ones your mom got you that you hide in the closet but like to wear around the house when nobody else is around. And you thought nobody knew. Bergesen's strike out rate is roughly the number as a 30 year fixed mortgage. He's not a guy who's going to keep the ball out of play by striking hitters out, which is an unfortunate style what with the Orioles wretched defense.
-The Orioles best hitter this year, Mark Reynolds suffered a bruised hand after being hit by a pitch on July 10th. He's listed as day to day, meaning he may not play, meaning he's unlikely to strikeout but a few times this game.
-The Red Sox will no doubt be somewhat slumbery when they touch down in Charm City, USA at what will likely be an ungodly hour. Like noon. Noon is usually a perfectly fine time to land in Baltimore but less so when you haven't slept since the day before and you have to be at the ballpark in five hours. Fortunately, Brad Bergeson:Jeff Neimann::caramels:day old steak. If that wasn't clear, one if 'em is much tougher.
-Tim Wakefield will be aiming at career win number 199 though, by obscure rule that I just made up, if the Red Sox win by twenty runs or more he could get credit for two wins.
Game 2 Notes
- A player's first major league game is the stuff of dreams. It's something little kids dream about from the moment they can understand what major league baseball is. Against amazing odds, Kyle Weiland realized his dreams. Then he got his butt kicked. Then he got thrown out of the game. Mulligan?
-Despite the icky stats, Weiland wasn't that bad. If you can somehow avert your eyes and look past the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of a second inning, Weiland faced nine total batters in the first, third and fourth innings, retiring them all. Yes, he hit a couple guys, walked one and got a fortuitous double play, and yes he started the fifth by giving up a triple and hitting the next batter, and yes... wait, where was this going with this?
-With the trade deadline fast arriving, Guthrie may find himself in another team's garters in a week or so. It's unclear what he might command in trade, but he has another year of team control after this one though he's not much of a bargain now at $5.75 million. Still, he could slot in well at the back end of some contending team's rotation... Now I ain't say'n, I'm just say'n, ya know?
Game 3 Notes
-Miller has 13 Ks and 16 BBs in 25.1 innings since coming up from AAA. He hasn’t struck out anyone out since J.A. Happ in the fourth inning of the July 2nd game at Houston. Since Miller made Happ look like the pitcher he is, he's faced 49 batters and not struck a single one out. Put another way, Miller has 10 swinging strikes on 267 pitches over his last three starts. This is not cause for celebration.
-The Andrew Miller Experience is unlikely to sober up after one more start, but if it's along the lines of his last two efforts the team may have to start examining how much more they can stand. He's young, strong and the sheen from his high draft status has yet to wear off entirely, but this may be an important start for Miller's future with the Red Sox organization as pennant contending teams with high payrolls aren't the best proving grounds for guys trying to find themselves. Young, promising pitchers are worth holding on to, like the Red Sox have with Miller, but young, bad pitchers are a dime a dozen.
-An anagram of Arrieta is Rate Air which is fitting since he's given up 17 home runs on the year so far.