Game Preview 06/21: Orioles vs. Pirates


After a great win last night, the O’s have won 2 in a row, which they haven’t done since June 8-10. Let’s hope they can make it 3 tonight. You know you can expect a good outing from the pitcher because Guthrie is on the mound but can we expect to see some offense? Not only does Guthrie not get run support, the team also had a huge offensive game last night so it’s very doubtful to see it happen again twice in a row. If Guthrie can keep the Pirates to 1 or 2 runs, his team should be able to get the win for him. Let’s take a look.

For the Pirates, it’s righty James McDonald on the mound. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2002 out of high school and made his first major league outing as a member of the bullpen against the Pirates in 2008 where he pitched an inning of scoreless relief. He became a part of their starting rotation in 2009 but was demoted back to the pen after 4 outings and an ERA of 6.75. He was traded to the Pirates in July 2010 and made his first start with them pitching 6 innings of shut-out ball with 8 strikeouts against the Rockies. He then pitched 2 consecutive shutouts against the Braves and Mets. His streak of 20 straight scoreless innings was ended by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but that was still the longest of any Pirate pitcher since Zach Duke threw 22 straight scoreless innings in 2005. This season he’s 5-4 with a 4.80 ERA. He’s coming off of two consecutive win decisions. His last outing came against the Houston Astros where he pitched 5 2/3 innings giving up 7 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He hasn’t had much run support this season either getting 5 runs at the most in a game. However, he hasn’t had any real bad start at all except a 5-run outing in May.

Most of us know the deal with Guthrie. He’s a very smart guy and attended BYU before transferring to Stanford and becoming their ace. He was drafted by the Indians and pitched in their pen in 2006. He was designated for assignment in 2007 and the O’s picked him up. He started in the pen but made his way to the starting rotation and had a breakout year. Through June 21 2007, he ranked 2nd in ERA in the league and had allowed more than 2 earned runs in just 1 of 10 starts. Since 2008, he has been the ace of the O’s starting rotation and has been the one consistent guy we could count on. He has a terrible season record of 2-8 this year but that tells nothing because he’s been pitching decently all season. His ERA is at 3.56 and he’s coming off a great start. He went 5 innings against Toronto giving up only 1 hit but was taken out of the game with a back strain. He is day-to-day but is obviously ready to go for tonight’s start.