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Game 127: Baltimore Orioles @ Minnesota Twins

First Pitch: 7:10pm CDT
TV: FS-N
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Camden Chat

My pick to click tonight: Cuddles

  • Cuddyer was gushing about Delmon after the game last night. Let's hope a little public confidence from a team leader can lay a little ground work and help him boost his game long-term.
  • Cuddyer, in his last 94 plate appearances, is hitting .303/.340/.562 with give homers and eight doubles.
  • Cuddyer's nickname is Cuddles. It should make you feel warm inside.
  • The Twins are currently riding a season-best five-game winning streak, and are now tied for second place in the Central. It can't stop now--it's time to rack up number six.

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Nick Blackburn 8-8 25 25 3 0 0 0 156.0 186 84 74 19 36 68 4.27 1.42

Since lowering his ERA to sub-3.00 when he tossed a complete game against the Tigers, Blackburn's last eight starts have seen him boast an ERA of over 8.00. Hitters have shelacked him, with a triple slash of .375/.399/.625. That's just ridiculous. Hopefully he's getting back on his game, since his last time out he pulled seven innings and just three runs against. Nick isn't an ace, we know this, but don't forget that he was the stopper in the rotation for a long time earlier this season. When he pitches to his ability, inducing contact and keeping the ball in the park, he can be an efficient out machine. That's what the Twins need him to be tonight.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Jeremy Guthrie 8-12 27 25 1 0 0 0 147.0 163 95 89 29 47 82 5.45 1.43

A 15th-round pick by the Mets in 1997. A 3rd-round pick by the Pirates in 2001. A 1st-round pick by the Indians in 2002, after being high on Billy Beane's draft board as noted in Moneyball. He was 23 when he was drafted, so it should be no surprise that the Indians tried to move him quickly in spite of underwhelming numbers in the minors. Brief appearances in a Cleveland uniform in '04, '05 and '06 didn't show anything better, and when the Orioles claimed him off waivers in January of 2007 it was a relatively quiet maneuver. A good slider and fastball helped him to consecutive seasons with ERA's in the 3's, but this season he's fought a viral infection for much of the season. Whether that's had a direct affect on how he pitches, his slider and fastball haven't been anywhere near as good as they were in '07 and '08. He's averaging less than six innings per start for the first time as an Oriole. He's a talented pitcher, but he's having a down season. Opposing batters are making more contact this season, so look for Guthrie to succeed the same way Blackburn does--by inducing contact and letting the defense take care of the rest.

Lineups

Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B
Cesar Izturis, SS
Luke Scott, 1B
Nick Markakis, RF
Nolan Reimold, LF
Michael Aubrey, DH
Ty Wigginton, 3B
Felix Pie, CF
Chad Moeller, C

Twins
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick Punto, 3B
Alexi Casilla, 2B

Big game tonight, WIN TWINS!!