Game 41 Open Thread - Baltimore Orioles (21-18) vs. Kansas City Royals (20-20)

Ed Zurga

How does the team cope with the retirement of Chris Getz and the dumping of Justin Maxwell?

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The Baltimore Orioles have always seemed to have the Royals number, from the time both teams were lousy this decade, to the times both teams were good back in the 1970s. Four times the Birds have swept us, including 1970 (12-0), 2002 (7-0), and 2007 (7-0). The club actually lost 23 of their first 24 games against Baltimore back when the Royals were just starting out and the Orioles were a juggernaut. Kansas City has swept Baltimore just once, when the O's had their disastrous 1988 season that began with 21 losses to begin the year.

Things have evened out a bit more recently with the Royals going 25-26 against Baltimore since getting swept in 2007, and KC actually won the season series last year 4-3. The two clubs are in the same place as far as development. After years of losing, they've both built a mediocre team with some homegrown talent and decent mid-tier free agent pickups, but have lacked that extra oomph to become a serious contender. The Orioles at least have made the playoffs (losing the ALDS in 2012) and even followed that up with a successful 85 win season. It remains to be seen whether the Royals can make the playoffs, or even follow up last year's 86 win season with another winning season.

Jeremy Guthrie goes tonight against the team that employed him for five seasons. He allowed just two runs in seven innings in a no decision against them a few weeks ago and has a 1.89 ERA against them in three career starts. Chris Tillman goes for the Orioles. Tillman is a nice young right-handed pitcher who finally turned a corner and put up 16 wins for the O's last year, and comes into tonight with a 3.97 ERA. Weird how that happens for other teams. He has had trouble his last few starts going deep into games, so if the Royals take a patient approach.....HA HA HA, just kidding, Tillman will cruise into the 8th with just 80 pitches.

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