The Orioles bounced back in a strong way yesterday against the Twins’ ace, Carl Pavano. They face Nick Blackburn in the third game of this four game series. If they can score 11 in the next two games combined, they have a strong chance of winning both.
The Twins bring a very battered lineup to Baltimore today, without their top two hitters. Joe Mauer is still on the DL and Morneau is out of today’s game because of the flu. Delmon Young also is out with the flu. Much of the Twins struggles have been because of either the absence or lack of production from these top guys on their squad.
Blackburn enters with a 1-2 record, getting knocked around in his previous start. His numbers aren’t bad, just ran into some bad luck last time out.
Blackburn doesn’t have real hard stuff – only topping out in the upper-80’s, but his change-up is rather good especially to complement his curveball.
The offense has picked up a bit this week, and with the win yesterday the O’s were in the win column for the first time in over a week. Not enough walks though, need to keep working on that.
Britton has (possibly) been the best pitcher for the Orioles so far. Though his walk count is a little high(er) than I would like, a 2:1 K:BB ratio isn’t too bad. He’s been able to keep guys off balance, and aside for a rough start last outing against the Indians, he’s been pretty solid.
Relies heavily on the two-seamer with a good change and slider mixed in there. He keeps the off-speed low, which helps him keep the ball in the yard.
Stats: UZR, WAR, ERA, FIP, xFIP, K/9 & BB/9, GB%, PitchFX