Sunday Afternoon Orioles Game Discussion: vs. Texas, 1:05

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It proves is pretty cool to choose teams of your size. Against the uncompetitive Rangers, the Orioles have managed to take two of three in this four-game streak so far, and it could well have been three if the Orioles box hadn’t allowed five runs in the ninth inning on Thursday. . As bad as this team is, it turns out that a soft Texas attack has even more trouble scoring points.

In Game 4, Texas sent right-hander Dane Dunning (5-8, 4.34 ERA) up the hill. In 23 starts (25 appearances) for Texas this season, Dunning, who has to shop in the same place as Zac Lowther for glasses, has a WHIP of 1.43 and 106 strikeouts in 110 innings. He hasn’t been used more than 2.2 innings since August, however: it could be Texas deciding Dunning to have value as an opener or it could be a season-ending warning by a team that, like the Orioles, has a lot of pitchers on the IL right now. (CC’s Drew Bonifant, in his series preview, called this series the “Oh, my God, is this season still going?” Classic, what if any AL teams need a mercy kill until ‘in 2021, it is these.)

The Orioles faced Dunning once this season, on April 17, when Dunning pitched six innings of one-run baseball in a game where his team still lost 6-1. For what it’s worth, Dunning won’t be taking on DJ Stewart, Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis or Rio Ruiz (all of which started April 17) today. Meanwhile, two of the unlucky arms of the Texas relievers’ pen, former Oriole farm worker Joely Rodriguez and Brett de Gues, who missed that game in April, are no longer on the squad. Lots of roster turnover for bad teams.

It’s great news for John Means that his latest rebirth coincides with a start against AL’s worst offense in Texas. The last time Means faced this team was on April 18, when he pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine. In his last six starts, Means has a 2.70 ERA and he’s silenced better attacks than this – Tampa Bay, New York, Atlanta, Philly. With a 3.68 FIP in that streak, he’s enjoyed some good fielding, but his strikeout numbers are gradually rising to where they can and should be.

The range of orioles

1. Ryan McKenna CF
2. Ryan Mountcastle DH
3. Austin Hays LF
4. Anthony Santander RF
5. Trey Mancini 1B
6. Pedro Séverino C
7. Pat Valaika 2B
8. Kélvin Gutiérrez 3B
9. Richie Martin SS

The range of Rangers

1. Yonny Fernandez 2B
2. Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
3. Adolis García RF
4. Nathaniel Lowe DH
5. Andy Ibáñez 1B
6. José Trevino C
7. Willie Calhoun LF
8. Charlie Culberson 3B
9. Léody Taveras CF

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