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Orioles to visit both Chicago teams

Posted: 8/18/2014 6:11 AM

Orioles to visit both Chicago teams 

3 games against the White Sox Monday through Wednesday nights, and 3 day games against the Cubs Friday through Sunday.

Orioles come in after salvaging a game against Cleveland, who pretty much held the Orioles in check, taking two of three, by keeping the team with the most home runs in baseball in the yard. The Orioles don't do small ball, and when teams can keep them from hitting home runs, they really struggle. With Sale and Quintana pitching the first two games, it won't be easy for the Orioles.

The Orioles run to the largest lead among division leaders has been led by pitching. Since early June, the starters have really been good. Bud Norris and Chris Tillman will start the first two games - Norris has really had success against left handed hitters with a change up low and away. Tillman had slow start problems early in this year where he'd give up a lot of runs early before remembering how to pitch. Likes to work low and will go for the strike out with a high fastball.

The Orioles come in a little banged up. Adam Jones and JJ Hardy have had thumb problems, and  I wouldn't be surprised if Jones drops a bunt during this series. Manny Machado strained a ligament in his left knee and is out; you may see Chris Davis or Ryan Flaherty play third during this series.

I know the White Sox have this years best first baseman in Abreu. The Orioles had last years best first baseman in Chris Davis, and he has had a miserable year, hitting below the Mendoza line. He has been pull happy and upper cutting badly, plus there have been rumors that he has had lingering oblique problems beyond what took him to the DL in May. The key for Davis is making contact - he is so strong, he can hit the ball out to all fields. He had two opposite field doubles yesterday against Cleveland, which may be taken as an abberation or an encouraging sign.

I don't think any one thought that Davis was going to hit another 50 homers this year, but for him to play so poorly has been eye opening. If he can regain his form heading into the playoff season, that would be huge for the Orioles. But it wouldn't surprise me to see him get a day off against one of the White Sox lefties this series.

Anything this ex-Chicagoan should know about the Sox play as of late?

Lets have some good, well-played games.
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Posted: 8/18/2014 8:17 PM

Re: Orioles to visit both Chicago teams 

oltrex wrote: 3 games against the White Sox Monday through Wednesday nights, and 3 day games against the Cubs Friday through Sunday.

The Yankees had a similar schedule earlier this year... 2 @ Wrigley, followed by 4 @ The Cell.

Anything this ex-Chicagoan should know about the Sox play as of late?

Our bullpen still sucks.
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Posted: 8/19/2014 7:11 AM

Re: Orioles to visit both Chicago teams 

A bullpen is usually an easy fix, and inexpensive, too, so there is hope. The Orioles best reliever this year has been right hander Darren O'Day, who has given up runs once in his last 25 or 26 appearances. He was signed when Texas released him.

The questions about who the White Sox might re-sign or let go will be made later, but I suspect that this years team will be much changed by next April.

I was surprised the White Sox didn't move Adam Dunn to Toronto at the deadline for prospects, but they didn't.

I was somewhat surprised when Ventura went to the mound in the sixth and didn't pull Sale last night.  It sort of looked like Sale talked him out of it. Is there a sense that Ventura is in over his head as a manager on this board, or is it a case of who can win with the guys he has?

Back after game 2. Tillman has been very good of late - I hope I'm not jinxing him - after some bad starts in May. In fact, on the Orioles board then, there was a thread that was titled,"Starting pitching is killing us." But Tillman goes for his tenth tonight and the Sox only got 3 his last night, but we'll have to see what happens. And there was a stat that said since June 30, the Orioles have the best ERA in the league. So they are a good team - can beat opponents with pitching, defense (Markakis' catch last night, eg) and power hitting.

But Quintana - can they beat him?
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