The Orioles are off on their first West Coast road trip and that means they'll be playing their first Pacific Daylight Time night game of the year tonight at Overstock.com Coliseum. Hopefully, they won't be so busy laughing at that ridiculous name that they're unable to pick up where they left off at their fifth straight victory on Thursday afternoon.
The O's continue to swing the bat inconsistently, so this series could be very problematic. The A's have a very strong young pitching staff that is pitching very well right now, as evidenced by their major league-leading 2.87 ERA. The fact that they are 24-27 while holding the opposition to less than three earned runs per game is also a testament to their soft offensive attack, so it'll be interesting to see how the two clubs match up.
It's a very large ballpark, which advantages fly ball pitchers and teams with speedy outfielders, so manager Buck Showalter will have a decision to make in left field. Does he go with the fleet Felix Pie or the suddenly red-hot Nolan Reimold?
If it's a straight righty/lefty platoon, you would think he'd go with Reimold against left-hander Gio Gonzalez (5-2, 2.20 ERA), but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes with the guy who can cover the most ground out there with Chris Tillman on the mound.
This could be a good ballpark for Tillman because of all the foul territory, since he does not have a nasty finishing pitch and opposing hitters often push up his pitch count fouling balls off late in the count. We'll know soon enough.