Hardy goes down. Tonight, Robert Andino is playing short and batting lead-off while Cesar Salad (Izturis) has been activated from the DL and is playing second.
Hardy left last night’s game early (after hitting his 100th career home run) with some ankle soreness that he says started bothering him on Wednesday during batting practice. He’s currently listed as day-to-day but Hardy doesn’t think it’s anything serious. Hopefully he just gets tonight off or the next few days to rest and let his ankle heal.
We know the Orioles are done for the season, there’s no point in being hopeful for anything…even a .500 season but without Hardy, we lose almost any bright spot we can find out of this team.
Tonight, the newly-acquired pitcher Tommy Hunter makes his first start as an Oriole after coming to the team in the Koji Uehara trade with the Texas Rangers. Like I said in yesterday’s post, he hasn’t started a game this season (his last start came in the World Series) due to a crowded starting rotation and groin injury. Lucky for him, the O’s don’t have the privilege of having too many starting pitchers and not enough spaces on the rotation so he is immediately put into the starting rotation. I’m excited to see what he can do at home against the Blue Jays. I think he goes out there tonight, throws 5 maybe 6 innings and gives up 3 or 4 runs but gets the no decision because the offense has been decent as of late and I don’t think it’ll slow down too much tonight (but maybe I’m wrong with the absence of Hardy, who is 2nd on the team in homers).
On the mound for the Canadian version of the Birds is Brad Mills who is 0-1 this season with a 2.57 ERA. He’s only started and pitched in one game this season which came July 30th against the Rangers where he went 7 innings of 6-hit, 2-run ball. However, Texas shut-out the Jays so the team, and Mills, got the loss. This game is looking to be a pretty decent match-up and I’m hoping the O’s can go out there and get ahead 1-0 in the series to try and finally win a series.