Looking back and ahead

It would be nice to wake up to sunshine just once more before winter.

The forecast is ominous again tonight. I've started to get used to it.

How does "a chance of showers and thunderstorms" work for you? I hope it's OK because that's what you've got.

So you're saying there's a chance?

Yes.

We'll talk about a "window" for getting in the game. There's always a window. And we'll keep an eye on the grounds crew and hope that it doesn't move behind the tarp during an inning. That's usually a bad sign.

Alfredo-Simon_Home-Pitching.jpg

It feels like Monday morning to me, and I'm sure it's because the Orioles played in the afternoon yesterday. Throws off my entire schedule. My body clock is out of whack.

Almost lost in the excitement of that win was Mark Hendrickson's contribution after replacing starter Kevin Millwood. Hendrickson picked up his first victory with 1 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings.

"That's good for Hendrickson," manager Dave Trembley said. "He needed to pitch well and get some time out there. Pitched better, pitched better."

Alfredo Simon pumped his fist while backing up home plate on the final out. He was spared a blown save after allowing a hit and walk, and hitting a batter, in the ninth inning. He should have done a cartwheel and promised to name his first born "Corey Matthew."

The Orioles need more 1-2-3 innings out of their closer. I've counted two in eight appearances. It's not cute anymore.

After facing Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez in the Mariners series, the Orioles will take their swings tonight against the Indians' Justin Masterson. Sounds like a reprieve, since he's 0-3 with a 5.23 ERA, but he's allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his six appearances. He's struck out 39 in 32 2/3 innings.

Luke Scott is heating up, and he'll most certainly stay in the lineup tonight. He's 3-for-7 lifetime against Masterson, with two doubles, a walk and two RBIs.

Ride that hot streak as far as it will take you, then be prepared to jump off.

Cesar Izturis is 2-for-6 with an RBI against Masterson. Matt Wieters is 2-for-5 with three strikeouts. Ty Wigginton is 2-for-5 with one strikeout. Nick Markakis is 1-for-8 with two strikeouts.

The Indians have scored three runs or fewer in half their games this season.

I'm predicting a low-scoring affair tonight. And a window.

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