Game Preview: July 4th: O’s Happy to Celebrate Holiday with Familiar Texas Rangers


The O’s have a bitter Interleague Play taste left in their mouth as they head to Arlington, Texas. They’ve gone 7-11 during that stretch and have won only 5 of the last 19 on the road as well as a 6-13 mark in the last 19 games. That’s not good. At all. Though Interleague Play hasn’t been kind, the pitchers, while not doing well on the mound, love the plate as they went 9 for 21, batting .429. Those 9 hits (including a home run by Britton) weren’t enough to cancel out the many poor starts as of late. In the last 19 games, the starting pitching has been awful. Only one time, yes ONE time, has a starter gone into the 7th inning (that was Jeremy Guthrie on Friday against Atlanta) and they’ve compiled a 5.57 ERA. In the last 9 games, the starters have a 9.00 ERA and only Guthrie has pitched 6 innings once.

Tonight, Chris Jakubauskas is attempting to break the starting pitching/road game woes for our boys. This is start number 6 for the former reliever who’s been promoted to the starting rotation due to injuries/poor performances. He’s actually been decent in the starting role as the O’s have won 3 of the 6 games he’s started, though he’s only pitched into the 6th inning once. His last outing was his worst, as he got his first loss since becoming a starting pitcher. He pitched just 5 innings giving up 7 hits and 5 runs while walking 3 and striking out 2. This came against the Cardinals (who swept the O’s). He did give up 5 runs, which is bad, but the Orioles only scored 1 run to support him. He has a 5.68 ERA right now.

On the mound for the Rangers is righty Colby Lewis. His season record is sitting even at 7-7 with an also not-great ERA of 4.32. He’s coming off a win but has recorded 3 straight quality starts going 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA and a .184 batting average against. In all 3, he’s also gone into the 7th inning and has struck out 24 batters in 20 1/3 innings. His last start came against the Astros where he gave up 6 hits and only 2 runs along with no walks and 6 strikeouts. This season, Lewis pitched against the Orioles on April 9th where he earned a loss pitching 6 innings, giving up 6 hits and 5 runs (4 earned). In his career against Baltimore, the Orioles have a .289 batting average against him with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs. In his career, he is 0-2 against the Orioles with a 5.30 ERA in 3 starts.

Worth Noting:

Nick Markakis had a career-high 5 hits against the Braves yesterday. He’s had a hit in 21 of his last 22 games and is hitting .436 in that span.

Mark Reynolds is hitting .338 in the last 23 games with 4 doubles, 9 home runs, 17 RBIs, and 19 walks in that span. DAMN.

In the month of June, Josh Hamilton (who did not receive an All-Star Game bid this year) is hitting .287 with 9 homers and 27 RBIs.

The last time the O’s visited the Rangers was last year from July 8-11th where they swept them in the 4-game series. A sweep would be SO nice right about now.

Just so you know, the Orioles are currently sitting at 36-45 and are far back of first place at 13.5 games (even though that no longer matters).

Also, after Brian Matusz’s HORRIFIC start against the Cardinals in which he went 3 1/3 innings giving up 9 hits and 8 runs, he was sent down to Triple-A with a 1-4 record and 8.77 ERA. With that said, tomorrow’s starter has not yet been reported. Possibly Alfredo Simon?