Big Series Starts Tonight


Orioles fans finally have something to look forward to. The Orioles finally have a purpose in a series, they finally have a reason to win.

Tonight marks the first game of the last series of the 2011 season for the Baltimore Orioles. Sad.

It’s been a long and rough ride with a few of highs (aka April) and the rest lows (aka May-September). Though the Orioles have been hot lately, this last series will help them make a statement. If they win (and the Rays win), they will deny the Red Sox a chance to get to the World Series. The O’s hold the upper hand and determine their fellow AL East competitors future this season.

Though it is sad that I’m excited for this series to keep the Red Sox out, at least I’m excited about an Orioles game, right? I just hope the Orioles go out with a bang and that I don’t have to see any red in the playoffs (except my other favorite, the Phillies).

Pitching match-up and analysis for tonight after the jump.

This feels like deja-vu. Just a week ago, this same game was played but in Boston. Tommy Hunter took the mound for the O’s and faced Josh Beckett. Tonight, we have the same match-up. In that game 5 days ago, Beckett earned the loss after giving up 6 runs in 7 1/3 innings. Hunter got the no decision in his 6 2/3 innings outing of which he gave up 4 runs. In that game, Hunter came out grabbing at his groin, and I said that would be his last start of the season. Clearly, I was wrong. He has been listed as day-to-day since then so it wasn’t a fake to allow the relief pitcher as much warm-up time as he wanted, but he’s fine since he’s starting tonight.

5 days ago, Mark Reynolds hit two home runs and Guerrero had 2 RBIs. Reynolds needs 3 to hit the 40-home run mark this season. He has 3 more games to do it. Let’s hope he can get that done. He also has exactly 200 strikeouts on the season. Can he play three games without striking out again? Doubtful, but it’s something to watch for.