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snakes versus birds... the end of a season edition

Thus we get thee hence unto the fair city of Baltimore, where awaiting us is a desperate ball club, floundering, hoping to bail enough water to eke into the postseason, where anything can happen. They hold a precarious lead over four other teams that are less than 3 games back and the O's are still in the throes of trying to defeat the BoSox, who themselves have suddenly pulled away into the division lead. Perhaps our squad will be just what Orioles ordered or will the sense of "who ARE these guys" have the effect of our lads being taken too lightly?

oh yeah, so THAT's what a home run feels like!!!!!!
oh yeah, so THAT's what a home run feels like!!!!!!
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The View from the Crows Nest

It's difficult to say if this team is playing for pride or tankapalooza.  Since the possibility of getting a higher draft slot became a thing, naturally the D'Backs go 6-4 over their last 10; and yet they've lost 2 of 3 to the Padres, who were the team that essentially traded half of their roster over the last three months.  I would read the entrails, but the cat's gotten to them and she has assured me that it tasted like chicken.  The Orioles are in a semi-free fall.  They had a chance to challenge Boston for the division lead at home and have essentially crapped the bed.  At the time of writing this, they've essentially handed them the division and are just about out of the playoffs altogether.

There will be a LOT of scoreboard watching of this game/series, as the erstwhile fans of the Tigers, Rangers, Mariners and maybe even the Yankees are suddenly D'Backs fans (albeit temporarily) hoping that we continue to show flashes of competency.  As a counterpoint... Baltimore is most likely looking at our pitching staff with all of the hunger of a contestant at a hot dog eating contest.  This could be the kind of series where we see a lot of patooties, mainly comprised of outfielders sprinting to the gaps and warning track.

Pitching Matchups

Shelby Miller (2-12/6.90/1.74) vs. Yovani Gallardo (5-8/5.77/1.63)

The guy that some people wanted and the guy we got.  It will be interesting in an intellectual way to see just how many total runs are offered up here, I would put the betting line at Over 15.

Robbie Ray (8-13/4.66/1.43) vs. Wade Miley (1-5/7.73/1.70)

Wade has had an issue this year, that issue is that he's sucked. Robbie might try the experiment this time out of giving up the big hit first and then walking dudes, just to see if the outcome is the same.

Braden Shipley (4-4/5.49/1.56) vs. Dylan Bundy (9-6/4.13/1.40)

In a way it's a shame we're not getting a Bradley/Bundy match up here because then the announcing team could focus solely on the draft and how guys are doing rather than speaking to our record and performance... who knows, maybe that'll be the narrative anyways, its not like Steve and Bob have anything truly important to document here for our viewing pleasure.

WAR party

Birds hurlers - Chris Tillman - 4.3, Kevin Gausman - 4.2, Zach Britton - 3.9, Brad Brach - 2.9

Birds stickmen - Manny Machado - 5.1, Adam Jones - 2.6, Chris Davis - 2.4, Jonathon Schoop - 2.2, Mark Trumbo - 2.1

DBacks arms - Zack Greinke - 2.3, no one else above 1.2

DBacks  sticks - Jean Segura - 4.9, Paul Goldschmidt - 4.3, Jake Lamb - 3.3

Taco Time

yes, there will be tacos, heck I fully believe that we'll be graced with tacos twice and an equal amount of jumbo jacks too.  If nothing else, maybe we'll only have to see Tomas at the plate this series while our youngsters get to soak in the ambiance of playing in BaltimoreCamden Yards and enjoying the day (weather permitting).  Plus, also, too... remember, east coast games, means east coast starting times.  Plan your drinking accordingly.

New faces to watch out for... Brad Brach.. had an awesome string of appearances this season  (1.69 ERA and a WHIP of 0.99) and he isn't even their most valuable reliever.  Hyun Sun Kim leads all AL rookies in BA (.304) and should be a solid ROTY candidate.

Authors Note:

Just a brief shout out to Jim for the opportunity to write, and to you the 'pitters for reading and commenting.