The announcement that Chuck Finley will pitch for the California Angels tonight means one thing: trouble for the Orioles.
It is troublesome enough that the 6-foot-6 lefthander has 13 victories, tying him with teammate Mark Langston and the Minnesota Twins' Scott Erickson and Jack Morris for the American League lead.
Worse, he has been death on the Orioles ever since he joined the Angels in 1986. He is 5-1 lifetime, losing once in the long ago of 1987. He is seeking his sixth straight victory over the Orioles.
Expect him to hang around until almost the end. In eight straight starts against the Orioles, he has pitched into the seventh inning or later.
The reports on Finley are similar, whether you're listening in the Angels' clubhouse or the Orioles'.
California pitching coach Marcel Lachemann: "He has three quality pitches -- fastball, curve and forkball -- and a lot of heart."
Orioles hitting coach Tom McCraw: "Overpowering stuff. Command of his pitches. The forkball appears to be a fastball, but drops out of the strike zone at the last second."
Orioles manager John Oates: "Nasty split-finger [forkball], tough pick up. Sometimes it stays in the strike zone, sometimes not."
ZTC Finley (13-4, 3.88) will oppose Bob Milacki (5-4, 4.16). The Orioles are in danger of losing only their second season series to the Angels in 12 years. With two games remaining, tonight's and tomorrow night's, California leads, 6-4.
The only year the Angels had the Orioles' number was 1988, when they won seven out of 12.