5/6 pre-game report- O’s vs Twins

The O’s are back home. They are taking on the Minnesota Twins today and tommorow for yet another 2-game series. The first game will be the Orioles Mark Hendrickson versus the Twins Kevin Slowey. The O’s are 10-17 and 8 games back from the lead in early May, and are trying to get back on track after losing 7 of our last 8 games. Now that you have the breakdown, i will give you the keys to the game.

#1- Shut down Slowey- The 25 year old Texan is doing well again in 2009. He is 4-0 with an unspectacular 5.17 ERA. He can eat innings, averaging about 6 a game, and you have to hit him hard and early to beat him to the punch. He also has 23 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. Actually, this isnt the biggest concern, ill show you why he is 4-0 despite the 5.17 ERA, and thats the Minnesota offense, as they have scored 35 runs for him in 5 starts. let me explain.

#2- Slow down the Twins offense- like i just said, the Twins are tearing the cover off the ball lately. They are averaging 6.8 runs scored a game in their last 5 games and the Minnesota Twins have six hitters over the .300 mark, and have 19 homeruns in the early season, if Hendrickson can hold these guys in check in the littlest bit, our offense can jump on Slowey.

#3- Hendrickson has to pitch decent- That brings me to my next point. Hendrickson is 1-1 and has a 4.97 ERA in two career starts versus the Twins. If he can just throw strikes and avoid getting hit with the longball, he should be good for 5 or 6 innings. The longball has been a problem for Hendrickson in 2009, as he has allowed 7 in 23.1 innings. He needs to let the defense, which has been great lately, exept for last night, to make the plays when they come to them. Hendrickson is trying to improve on his 1-4 record and his 5.79 ERA, and his 4 start losing streak.

#4- top of the line-up needs to stay hot- Espically Brian Roberts, who is hitting .313 in 2009,   is 3 for 8 after an 0-18 slump. He hit .423 in 26 at-bats versus Minnesota in 2008, and needs to keep that success. Adam Jones (.350 AVG) and Nick Markakis (.356 AVG) also need to stay hitting for the O’s to have a chance in this game.

Prediction- It will be a high scoring game today. Both offenses are very potent, and can put up runs in a hurry. It all depends on which pitcher controls the damage the most, and what offense strikes hard first. My projected socre, Orioles 7- Twins 5.

Thats it for now, check back tommorow for a new article.

                                                        Logan Quick

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