Finally! A game day with no rain in the forecast.
In this, the 12th year of interleague play, the Orioles finally complete the AL circuit of Wrigley Field -- up to tonight, they are the only AL team to have not played at Wrigley since interleague play began. And considering how many former Cubs have traipsed through Baltimore in the last few years, with the recent DFA of Freddie Bynum, the number of ex-Cubs on the Orioles' active 25-man roster is... zero. The closest to an ex-Cub they have is Alex Cintron, who was in spring training with the Cubs this year, and who replaced Bynum as their starting SS. (Although there are many Orioles who have been rumored to be coming to the Cubs in recent years, from Jay Payton to Aubrey Huff to ... well, you know who, the second baseman.)
Just the fact that Freddie Bynum was Baltimore's starting SS ought to tell you a lot, although they are still hanging around the fringes of the AL wild-card race (5.5 games behind as of today). However, they have done this before in recent years, most notably in 2002, when they were 63-63 on August 23 and went 4-32 the rest of the way. (No, that's not a misprint. They lost 10 straight, won one, lost 8 more in a row, won one, lost one, won one, then finished the 2002 season with an 11-game losing streak. Think about that the next time you think the Cubs are going through a tough stretch.)
Andy MacPhail's coming to Chicago with the Orioles, but he doesn't really want you to notice:"I'm really not looking for that," MacPhail said about the unremitting media spotlight, which he knows will likely find him. "I've thought about it, and I would try to lay low as much as I can, but obviously, you're going to face more of an issue if you're going to duck the media. [The Cubs] have the White Sox on both ends of us, so it should be fairly quiet."OK, Andy, you got a deal. That's the last mention I'll make of him during this series.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Sean Marshall||0-0||13||0||0||0||1||0||8.2||8||4||4||2||7||5||4.15||1.73|
|2008 - Jeremy Guthrie||3-7||16||16||0||0||0||0||102.2||94||44||40||13||30||68||3.51||1.21|
Neither of these pitchers has ever faced tonight's opponent. Jeremy Guthrie has one career relief appearance against the Cubs, a poor two-inning stint when he was with Cleveland in this June 19, 2006 game, one of the few the Cubs actually played well that year. Guthrie's decent ERA and poor W-L record suggests low run support, and his gamelogs bear that out: the Orioles have scored only 55 runs in his 16 starts, 3.44 per game. Guthrie's also allowed 13 HR in those 16 starts. The Cubs have had their HR shoes on lately -- light him up!
Oddly, the only current Oriole Sean Marshall has faced is a pitcher, Lance Cormier; that was June 8, 2007, when Cormier started a game for Atlanta against Marshall and the Cubs.
The game's on MASN, the Baltimore/Washington cable channel, so it should be on EI; it's also on WGN and at MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's overflow comment thread will post at 7:30 pm and 8:45 pm CT.
And I ask of you again: please, PLEASE try to be nice to each other in the game thread. We are all passionate about baseball and the Cubs and have strong opinions. But we don't have to be nasty to each other. Thanks.
Discuss amongst yourselves.