It feels like it was just last weekend that the Orioles were facing their AL East rivals in Boston. That’s because it was last weekend that the Orioles were facing their AL East rivals in Boston. They’ll host the BoSox at Baltimore’s Camden Ya..I mean Fenway South this weekend for their second series of the year.
The Birds have yet to win a series in 2010, limping to an abysmal 4-18 record as April concludes. Boston, too, has had a disappointing start by their standards. They’re currently 11-11. They’ll look to move over the .500 mark this weekend against the woeful O’s.
Let’s take a look at this weekend’s matchups
Friday, April 30 at 7:05 pm: Hernandez (0-3, 4.84 ERA) vs. Lackey (2-1, 5.09 ERA)
Hernandez started for the O’s in their matinee win over Boston last Sunday. He has had a decent year to date and does well against AL East competition. The Orioles will have to give him some run support if he’s going to earn his first win. Thus far in 2010, John Lackey hasn’t looked like the ace the Red Sox need him to be. His ERA is more than a full run higher than his career average. The O’s knocked Lackey around for 10 hits last week. I’m guessing history repeats itself.
Bold Prediction: Orioles 6, Boston 2
Bonus Prediction: Manny Ramirez won’t be high-fiving the fans in the bleachers tonight. And you can take that one to the bank!
Saturday, May 1 at 7:05 pm: Bergesen (0-2, 12.19 ERA) vs. Matsuzaka ( 2010 Debut)
The good news is Brad Bergesen is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. The bad news is that those are his AAA Norfolk stats. Bergy struggled in three starts for the Orioles before getting sent down to find his mojo. The twenty-four year-old hurler doesn’t have overpowering stuff. He works fast and relies on pitch placement for his success. When his placement is off, he gives up runs in a hurry. Dice K Matsuzaka is making his first start for the Red Sox this season. He’ll probably do what he always does: walk a ton of players but not give up many runs. Coincidentally, getting on base but not scoring is the Orioles’ specialty. It’s a perfect storm.
Bold Prediction: Boston 5, Orioles 1
Bonus Prediction: The bottom of the lineup will load the bases against Dice K in the second inning. With two outs, Adam Jones will come to the plate with an opportunity to knock in several RBIs. After working the count to 2-0, Jones will strike out swinging on three consecutive pitches low and out of the zone.
Sunday, May 2 at 1:35 pm: Millwood (0-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (1-0, 722 ERA)
My guess is Kevin Millwood would easily win an arm wrestling match against Josh Beckett. Beckett has a poet’s goatee, and Millwood is a grizzled veteran who looks like he eats nails for breakfast. Unfortunately, they will be pitching rather than arm wrestling on Sunday afternoon, and though Millwood has pitched significantly better than Beckett thus far in 2010, Beckett plays for the better team. Look for Beckett to put his terrible April behind him with the help of the Red Sox bats.
Bold Prediction: Red Sox 7, Orioles 3