The Orioles are coming off their second series win of the season in the Beltway Series this year, taking two of three from the Washington Nationals. They still trail the AL East leading New York Yankees by 2.5 games.
They host the red-hot Los Angeles Angels in their next series, who have won 11 of their last 15 games. Can the Orioles keep ground with the Yankees two weeks before the All Star break?
Tuesday, June 26th, 7:05pm ET- Brian Matusz (5-8, 5.00 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (8-4, 2.44 ERA)
After starting the season 5-5 with a 4.41 ERA, Brian Matusz has stumbled in his last three. He has given up 11 earned runs while only pitching 12 1/3 innings. He has dealt with poor defense (the Birds lead the MLB in errors with 63) and high pitch counts due to his lack of control. In 20.2 career innings pitched against the Angels, Matusz has a 6.10 ERA, 18 Ks and a 1-6 record. Angel center fielder Peter Bourjos has had much success against Matusz with a .600 average, one home run, and three RBIs.
C.J. Wilson has been as sharp as the Angels anticipated when they signed him in free agency in the off season. But history has shown he has had trouble with Orioles. He is 2-3 with a 5.17 ERA in 31.1 innings pitched against the Birds. He has played to a higher level as of late, going 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA over his last three starts.
Wednesday, June 27th, 7:05 ET- Jason Hammel (8-2, 2.61 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (7-1, 2.40 ERA)
Wednesday’s matchup pits two of the AL’s top pitchers against each other. Jason Hammel missed a beat all season. His last loss was way back on May 30th against the Blue Jays. Since then, he is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA and 22 strikeouts, including a complete game one-hitter at Turner Field against the Atlanta Braves on June 16th. Hammel has thrown 19 straight innings of unearned-ball. He’s only faced the Angels once in his career, lasting 6 2/3 innings in a loss.
Jered Weaver returned Wednesday from the disabled list (lower back spasms) throwing six shutout innings against the Giants, and only left the game because he was on a pitch limit. He has pitched fairly well against the O’s over his career posting a 4-3 record with a 3.42 ERA. Weaver posted his lone loss against the Rangers way back on May 13th, where he only lasted 3 1/3 innings while allowing 10 hits and eight earned runs.
By the Numbers:
- Rookie Mike Trout most certainly isn’t playing like one. The 20 year old leads the Angels in batting average, hitting .338, and runs with 43.
- Albert Pujols has been hot as of late as he’s hitting .300 over the last week with six RBIs and one home run.
- Matt Wieters is hitting in .316 June following a .188 performance in May. He hit the game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Nationals Sunday.
- Adam Jones is about 38,000 votes behind the third and final starting spot in the outfield for the AL All-Stars. J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters rank third in their respective positions.