Kevin Gausman heads to the mound tonight for the Baltimore Orioles as they open a two-game set with Pittsburgh. I’m not a fan of these two-game series’, be they interleague play or not. In my view they just don’t make much sense. I suppose that we condition ourselves to believe that series’ are supposed to be three games, and in some instances four. But…two?!
However in terms of balancing an otherwise unbalanced schedule, this is what the Orioles have to do. For what it’s worth, they’ll make a two-game swing through Pittsburgh to complete a home-and-home this year during the final week of the season. Perfect time for interleague play, right?
Speaking of which, the Birds were supposed to have two days off this week, however that’s been trimmed to one (that being yesterday). On Thursday they’ll head back down the pike to take on the Washington Nationals in a makeup game rescheduled from last month. The red-hot Washington Nationals, I might add.
Pittsburgh’s struggled this year, and Washington has thrived – all of that is unimportant for the most part. You still have to play the games in a sense. However the difficult part for the Orioles is having to condition themselves to play one floating game this week under National League rules. It appears that Bundy will get the start on Thursday, and he’ll be hitting in the order as well.
At least if you’re looking at an entire series or even a stretch of games where you’re playing under National League rules, you can perhaps better condition your lineup to deal with the loss of a Mancini, Trumbo, etc. for a game. But one game makes it tough to do – you almost have to just sweat through it and hope for the best.
Of course tonight and tomorrow night’s games against Pittsburgh will be played under American League rules since the games will be at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. So no problem there. It’s just that one floating NL game on Thursday night which will pose an issue. But the Orioles will deal with it – they always do.
Of course there is one way around this type of thing in the future. The American League could outlaw the DH and go back to pitchers having to hit in the order just like everyone else. Yes folks, I recognize that there’s next to no chance of that happening, and that at some point the NL will probably adopt the DH instead. But I’ve always preferred the National League game because I believe that pitchers should in fact take a turn at the plate while they’re in the game. It also provides for more strategy late in games. But that’s another story for another day.
The aforementioned Kevin Gausman starts tonight for the O’s in game one of two against Pittsburgh at Camden Yards. He’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Ivan Nova. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.