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Pirates Vs. Orioles, 13 June 2012

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June 3, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE
June 3, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jake Arrieta (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE

The Pirates' lineup:

Alex Presley LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones DH
Casey McGehee 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Jose Tabata RF
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C

Kevin Correia SP

Orioles:

Brian Roberts 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Wilson Betemit 3B
Steve Pearce LF
Ryan Flaherty RF

Jake Arrieta P

Brian Matusz was supposed to start this one, but his outing has been pushed back a couple days due to a nose bruise suffered while trying to bunt. (That sounds pretty familiar.) Jake Arrieta will start instead.

It's not exactly a scintillating pitching matchup, in either case. Both Matusz and Arrieta were supposed to be part of a core of good young starting pitching that might lead to a resurgence in Baltimore; that hasn't really happened, and most of the success the O's have had this year has come due to Jones, Wieters, Hardy, some decent performances by veteran pitchers, and a fair bit of luck.

That said, the BABIP gods have smacked Arrieta pretty hard this year, probably camouflaging some real improvements -- his K/BB ratio keeps improving, and he's throwing a bit harder this year than in the past.