I need to feel better about the cavalry tonight, so I’m counting on rookie right-hander Jake Arrieta.
No pressure, kid. Just give me somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball.
Will Ohman retires a left-hander to carry the game into the eighth. David Hernandez serves as the bridge to closer Alfredo Simon, who locks up a 4-2 victory.
Nothing to it.
Mark Hendrickson still isn’t available after throwing a season-high 4 1/3 innings on Sunday. Matt Albers also can’t be used after logging 3 1/3 innings last night.
The exits are closed to Arrieta in the early innings tonight. He needs to stay on the mound and stay effective. If he doesn’t bring his best stuff, he’ll have to figure out how to minimize the damage, with the help of his catcher and pitching coach Rick Kranitz.
So how’s that bullpen looking tonight?
“Koji (Uehara) could probably give us something tomorrow if we need to,” interim manager Juan Samuel told reporters after last night’s game. “We did not use Jason (Berken) tonight. Hernandez could probably give us something tomorrow. He only went one inning.
“Hopefully, we’ll get some innings tomorrow.”
Berken will probably serve as the long man if Arrieta is knocked out early, but that’s not going to happen.
Arrieta will pitch into the seventh and outduel Matt Garza, who’s 8-1 with a 2.48 ERA lifetime against the Orioles.
It has to be done.