Colon takes aim at Orioles

Originally Published: August 24, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 2:20 p.m. ET: With Mike Hampton scratched because of injury and on the disabled list, and Jorge Sosa working for the Braves and Mark Prior pitching for the Cubs, all logic points to a Chicago victory, making the Braves The Reverse Lock of the Day.

Erik Bedard
Bedard

Bartolo Colon
Colon

• 7:05 p.m. ET: A talent evaluator laughed at the idea this week that anyone would pitch to the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero. "Not with Garret Anderson out," he insisted. "What's the point?" We'll see if Erik Bedard of the Orioles pitches to Vlad tonight, and we know the Angels' starter will challenge anybody; Bartolo Colon could become a Cy Young Award front-runner should he pick up win No. 17 tonight.

• 7:05 p.m. ET: Toronto has given everybody fits in the AL East this year, except the Yankees, and Dave Bush might be looking at a very short start; in his last two appearances, Bush has allowed six runs in six innings, surrendering seven hits.

• 8:05 p.m. ET: A.J. Burnett has won every start since the Orioles turned down a deal to get him, seven wins in his last seven starts. The Marlins' right-hander matches up against the Brewers' Tomo Ohka tonight.

• 8:10 p.m. ET: Since the All-Star break, Mark Buehrle has not been throwing like a Cy Young Award candidate, going 3-3 with a 4.53 ERA, and he's got a tough matchup tonight in the Metrodome, against the charging Twins and Joe Mays. The Most Likely Guy To Go Deep is Carl Everett, who is 4-for-4 in his career against Mays, including a bomb.

Kip Wells
Wells

Chris Carpenter
Carpenter

• 8:10 p.m. ET: The Pirates' Kip Wells might not reach double digits in victories this year, but he has done something that few pitchers have this season -- he's tamed the St. Louis Cardinals. He's allowed just four earned runs in 14.1 innings over two starts against the Cardinals, for a 2.51 ERA, and in spite of that, he's winless. He's got a tough matchup tonight, too, facing 17-game winner Chris Carpenter, in The Best Pitching Matchup of the Night.

• 10:05 p.m. ET: San Diego plays in baseball's worst division, but at some point, the Padres need to start winning games with some consistency to ensure themselves of the NL West title. They play wild-card contender Houston in the final game of the three-game series, with Ezequiel Astacio working against the Padres' Chan Ho Park, in the Must-Watch Game of the Night.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is available in paperback and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine