This morning I likened the Orioles’ come-from-behind win in Chicago last night to Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On. Of course I’m using that reference because the team seemed to take that kind of attitude towards the end of the improbable victory, however in truth the Birds don’t head to Motown until the middle of August. Let’s put that aside for the time being; one of the harder parts of winning in dramatic fashion like that is moving onto the next game. In reading a few Chicago columns and message boards this morning, a lot of White Sox fans are worried that a loss of that magnitude will send their team into a tailspin. I might sound like I’m warning against the same thing for the O’s, but in reality I’m not. I’m just saying that they need to bring those good feelings and looseness from last night forward with them, however not to the point to where it becomes distracting.
Wei-Yin Chen goes to the mound this evening for his second big-league start. Buck Showalter pushed him back a day (plus an off day) due to the fact that he was previously used to pitching once a week. Honestly, I’m not sure how good of an idea that is given that he does need to acclimate himself to the big leagues. However who am I to question an accomplished big league manager like Buck Showalter over something so trivial? Chen struggled in the first inning of his first start, giving up a homer and a double before recording an out (on a long fly ball at that). However Chen proceeded to retire the next 12 Yankee batters and it became evident that he had pin point accuracy.
I’ll be interested to see once the lineups are posted later today whether or not Chicago slugger Adam Dunn is in the lineup. Dunn, a lefty, is struggling mightily right now. Last year, Dunn hit only 11 home runs while hitting .159 (a career low) with 177 strikeouts. Previously Dunn had averaged over 40 homers per year over seven seasons. Dunn has started slow out of the gate this year as well; he’s currently hitting .206 with nine strikeouts. Will manager Robin Ventura opt to sit the struggling lefty bat against a southpaw (Chen)? Chicago’s second baseman Gordon Beckham is currently hitting .115 for the season, so the White Sox do have a lot of guys that are on the ropes a bit. On the other hand, the Birds have Adam Jones who currently has a 13-game hitting streak (which dates back to September 26th of last season), and Nolan Reimold has a 7-game hitting streak.
The O’s will be opposed by John Danks, who’s 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in his career against the Orioles. It’s supposed to be another cold night in the windy city; that cold seemed to bother the Orioles last night at first, however once they got acclimated to it they may as well have been hitting in the hot Baltimore summer. One can hope it continues.