Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals
By Editorial Staff
This won’t be an as detailed series preview as the past ones because I am doing this one on my own. However, I will try and give you guys as much information as possible so you have things to watch for tonight!
The O’s continue their road tour after finishing up their 4 game set with the White Sox 3-1. Unfortunately for our team, they travel to KC with a loss despite having a 3-game winning streak going for them on the road against the struggling Sox. Now they have to go and face the Royals who are magnificent at home.
2011 Regular Season Record: 13-14, 3rd in AL East (4.5 GB)
112 Runs Scored/121 Runs Allowed
Kansas City Royals:
2011 Regular Season Record: 15-13, 2nd in AL Central (4.5 GB)
145 Runs Scored/127 Runs Allowed
Tuesday May 3 (8:10 EST): RHP Brad Bergesen (0-3, 4.76 ERA) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (0-3, 5.03 ERA)
Both of these pitchers are looking for their first win of the season and obviously, one of them is going to get it (unless we get a no decision). Jeff Francis is coming off a terrible last outing where he went just 3 innings giving up 10 hits and 6 runs. However, at home he has a low ERA of 2.70 with only 6 runs scored over 20 innings pitched.
Bergy is coming off of his best start of the season that, unfortunately, still resulted in a loss against the Red Sox. He went 6 innings giving up only 2 runs on 6 hits and registering 5 strikeouts. Away, he has given up 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of work. In his two games against KC last season, he lost both (both had a score of 4-3). He went 13.2 innings combined, giving up 6 runs on 15 hits, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts. Both games he pitched were good games which seems to be the running trend for the starters this season. Bergy really needs a win.
Wednesday May 4 (8:10 EST): RHP Jake Arrieta (3-1, 5.01 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Davies (1-3, 7.98 ERA)
On paper and on film, this match-up favors the Orioles decently. Davies is also coming off a terrible start, going only 3.1 innings giving up 9 hits and 8 runs. Hopefully, the O’s can take advantage of his and Francis’ terrible starts. In his two starts against the O’s last year, he split them. In his loss, he went 5.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 6 hits and striking out 3 along with walking 4. In his win, he pitched 6 innings giving up 7 hits with only 2 runs, 2 strikeouts and a walk.
Arrieta has become a lot more consistent and is starting to really get in his groove. His last outing was a good one, going 5 innings (could of gone more) and giving up only 3 runs on 5 hits with 2 strikeouts to get the win against the White Sox. Arrieta’s only game against KC came last season in which he got a loss. He went 4.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits with 4 strikeouts and, read it and weep, 5, yes 5 walks. Let’s hope he doesn’t go down that road again.
Thursday May 5 (2:10 EST): RHP Chris Tillman (1-2, 5.25 ERA) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (3-1, 4.04 ERA)
Chen is coming off a 5.1 innings start where he gave up 3 runs and 8 hits with one strikeout. In his one start against the O’s last season, he got the win going 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 7 hits with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. So, not a dominant start, but enough for the win.
Tillman is coming off of his first win of the season against the White Sox in which he pitched 5 innings and he gave up only one run on 6 hits with no strikeouts. His only start against KC was actually his first start with the Orioles ever in which the team won, but he got the no decision. He pitched 4.2 innings giving up 3 runs on 7 hits with one walk and 2 strikeouts. My guess as to why they took him out so early is because he was young, a rookie, and his pitch count was at 93 because, besides that, he had a solid start against them.
Adam Jones: Though his batting average is still pretty low at .228, he has 5 HRs and 14 RBIs this season. In last night’s game, he went 3 for 5 with a double. In the last 7 days, he’s gone 5 for 22 (.227) with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, 2 walks, 3 RBIs, and a homer.
Nick Markakis: He’s had a slow start to the season (.217, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs), but is finally heating up. He went 2 for 4 in last night’s game and 1 for 4 the night before, a 3 RBI double with the bases loaded. In the last 7 days, he’s gone 7 for 29 (.241) with 3 runs scored, a double, 2 walks, and 3 RBIs.
Kansas City Royals:
Wilson Betemit: He’s hitting .333 with 1 HR and 14 RBIs. He’s gone 1 for 4 in his last four games but with 2 runs scored, a double, and 3 RBIs.
Alex Gordon: He’s currently hitting .339 with 2 HR and 20 RBIs. In his last 7 days, he’s gone 6 for 22 (.273) with 2 runs scored, 3 doubles, a triple, one HR, and 6 RBIs.
Mark Reynolds His current batting average is .176 with 3 HRs and 15 RBIs. In his last 7, he’s gone 4 for 24 (.167) with 4 runs scored, 2 doubles, a homer, and 3 RBIs. He has not been what the O’s have expected him to be and we really need him to get with it and start getting some hits.
Kansas City Royals:
Alcides Escobar: He’s currently batting .222 with no homers and 8 RBIs. In his last 7, he has batted .238 going 5 for 21 but he only has one double and one RBI and like I said, no HRs.
P Justin Duchscherer: He’s on the 60-day DL with lower back discomfort and threw a bullpen session on April 30. He is expected back in May.
SS J.J. Hardy: He’s on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain and is expected to begin his rehab assignment May 6-8. He is expected back mid-May.
P Brian Matusz: The ace was placed on the 15-day DL at the beginning of the season with a intercostal strain. He said he felt great after he threw a 45-pitch session on May 1. He is expected back mid-May.
Kansas City Royals:
CF Jarrod Dyson: His status is day-to-day and may play in tonight’s game. He sprained his left ankle when sliding during a game on May 1.
C Jason Kendall: He’s on the 15-day DL with right shoulder surgery and is expected back before the All-Star Break. He started a shoulder strengthening program on April 30.
P Robinson Tejada: Placed on the 15-day DL, his return is to be determined. He is out with a right shoulder inflammation and threw a successful BP session April 30.
Like I said, I did not collaborate on this one so there are no questions for this series. Let’s hope the O’s can get the win tonight to swing the momentum in their favor and cause some confidence decline in these Royals who win, win, and win at home (12-5). The O’s are 6-6 on the road. Let’s get back to .500 tonight boys!