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MatchUp Interleague Game Thread

Brandon Backe   Hayden Penn
6 - 3, 4.31 0 - 0, 3.52

The hero of Galveston, Texas will be facing a rookie tonight, one Hayden Penn. A mere 20 years old, Penn was called up by the Orioles from AA Bowie a couple weeks ago when Erik Bedard went on the DL. Penn began the year rated number four on John Sickels' list of Orioles prospects and everyone is crazy about his makeup, which was forged, it seems, in a truly terrible crucible.

The good people over at Camden Chat had this to say about Penn after his first start, vs. Detroit:

"93-95 on his fastball, which is what he mostly threw. Decent curve, best one he threw was around 79 to White. Changeup was 85, one got away from him at 87. Fastball runs away from lefties. He's got good stuff, clearly."
For some reason, the Orioles had Penn throw 101 pitches in a mere 4-2/3 innings during the Tigers start. I guess I'll defer to Ray Miller there. The Camden Chat denizens went on to say
". . .He's clearly not ready, but has some good stuff."
during Penn's second start vs. the Red Sox.

The Orioles braintrust were a little more conservative with their 20-year old phenom the second and third times around: he threw 82 in 5-1/3 vs. the Sox, and 73 in 5-1/3 during his last start, a road loss at the Pirates.

Looks like the walks are high and the hits are low for Penn, but it all adds up to a pretty respectable 0.84 WHIP.

Series preview table tonight will be plain old batting average, cyphered during the month of June:

in June
Astro Player Pos Oriole Player AVG
in June
.095 Brad Ausmus C1 Geronimo Gil .194
.091 H. Quintero C2 Sal Fasano x .273
.297 x Lance Berkman 1B Rafael Palmeiro .255
.229 Craig Biggio 2B Brian Roberts x .361
.282 M. Ensberg 3B Melvin Mora x .304
.343 x Adam Everett SS Miguel Tejada .325
.586 x Willy Taveras OF1 B.J. Surhoff .301
.379 x Jason Lane OF2 Sammy Sosa .251
.273 Orlando Palmeiro OF3 Ramon Nivar x .308
.171 Chris Burke OF4 David Newhan .190
.143 Mike Lamb Util/DH Jay Gibbons x .263