It’s probably a good thing that the Baltimore Orioles were off yesterday. The fact is that the series with New York (especially the tail end of that last game) was emotionally draining – in a good way. So often we see teams play in games like that only to come crashing back to earth the next night. So having an off day (and one in which they travel at that) is probably a good thing to allow them to recharge themselves.
The O’s of course head to Cleveland for a three-game weekend series starting tonight. Wei-Yin Chen will get the start for the Birds tonight,
and he’ll be opposed by Corey Kluber of Cleveland. These games are big for Cleveland as well, given the fact that they’re only 5.5 games back of the final wild card spot in the American League. Keep in mind that they took three-of-four from the O’s at Camden Yards earlier this season, so even though they’re only a .500 team they could give the Orioles problems.
The Birds are expecting to get J.J. Hardy back tonight after he suffered the effects of a sprained thumb all week, however we won’t know for sure until the lineups are posted later this afternoon. It’s always interesting to me to see the O’s play at Progressive Field in Cleveland; it’s a park that was directly modeled after Oriole Park at Camden Yards, so it would stand to reason that many Orioles might hit very well there. And if you’ve never been to a game there, take my word for it – the two parks are very much alike.
The Orioles had to shut down pitcher Dylan Bundy yesterday after he strained his lat while running. This probably isn’t a crushing blow in the sense that according to Roch Kubatko of masnsports.com, the Orioles weren’t planning on bringing Bundy up this season anyways. September call-ups might have been a possibility, however the fact is that it takes a year to get back from the surgery that Bundy had. In many cases it takes another year (or part of one) for the player to get back to where he was before in terms of command. So it’s probably good that Bundy is working his issues out down on the farm, and in truth he’ll only miss about two-and-a-half weeks worth of games with the season being nearly complete at single-A Frederick.