Grand east station

You people are impressive.

I posted an entry at 1:45 a.m. that attracted more than 40 comments before I finally shut off the laptop around 2:30 a.m. and stumbled upstairs to bed.

I wondered if I was the only person still awake and interested in the outcome of a game involving the team with the worst record in baseball. Silly me.

The Orioles will face newly acquired Cliff Lee tonight, and they'll be packing a short bench. Catcher Matt Wieters isn't available after straining his right hamstring, though he's hoping to avoid a trip to the disabled list. Outfielder Felix Pie reportedly told interim manager Juan Samuel that he could play after leaving last night's game with a strained left quad, but he's been told to rest.

Jake Fox is the backup catcher today, but he also figures to be in the starting lineup against a left-hander. And he's earned it.

You don't want to DH him, in case he needs to replace Craig Tatum - and I'm just assuming that Tatum starts tonight. Maybe Fox plays first base and Ty Wigginton shifts to second or serves as the DH. Corey Patterson, who should have devoured a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's after the game, returns to left field while Pie nurses his latest injury.

Lee is 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles. Wigginton is 1-for-9 against him. Fox is 1-for-7.

Miguel Tejada probably celebrated yesterday's trade. He's 6-for-19 with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs.

The bullpen deserves a lot of credit for last night's win, allowing only two unearned runs over seven innings. Matt Albers held the Rangers to one hit in three innings after replacing starter Brian Matusz and cooling off the Rangers' offense.

Errors by Tejada (No. 14) and Wigginton (No. 13) in the eighth inning led to the unearned runs and appeared to put the game out of reach before Patterson jacked one into the second deck with the sacks full and two outs in the ninth.

Samuel tried to squeeze one more batter out from Koji Uehara after a scoreless seventh, but Nelson Cruz reached on Tejada's wild throw and Will Ohman entered the game.

I guess it's a good sign that Uehara had enough left in the tank to keep pitching. He's been restricted to one inning.

Did you watch Wieters limp off the field after he tripped over second base and wonder who would replace him if he required a stop on the disabled list?

Good question.

Michel Hernandez: .243 average, two homers, 13 RBIs, .619 OPS in 33 games at Triple-A Norfolk.

Adam Donachie: .204 average, three homers, 19 RBIs, .573 OPS in 51 games at Norfolk.

Caleb Joseph: .241 average, nine homers, 38 RBIs, .704 OPS, seven errors in 73 games at Double-A Bowie.

Steve Lerud: .208 average, two homers, four RBIs, .691 OPS in 24 games at Bowie.

I think Tatum and Fox could shoulder the load.

Like I wrote last night, the All-Star break is coming at the right time - though Patterson and Fox might disagree.

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