Ecstatic Schilling set to face O's

Ecstatic Schilling ready for his second start

The last few days have likely gone slowly for Red Sox ace Curt Schilling. When he pitches like he did in Monday's opener against the Rangers, all Schilling wants to do is take the ball again.

He'll get that chance on Saturday when he faces the Orioles.

While Schilling, as the stopper, is often called on to halt a losing streak, this time his job is to keep the momentum on Boston's side. The Red Sox have come out of the gate strong, winning three of their first four.

The Orioles counter with left-hander Bruce Chen, who spent part of the 2003 season with the Red Sox.

Schilling is ecstatic with the way he feels, both from a physical and mental standpoint.

"This has been almost two years since I've felt even remotely close to this," Schilling said. "This is what I felt like in 2002."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
Schilling, who stifled the Rangers in a 7-3 win on Opening Day, says that he feels like it's 2002 again. That's how good he feels. The ankle that plagued him for the last couple of seasons is no longer an issue. Believe it or not, Schilling didn't face the Orioles in 2005. In his career against the Birds, Schilling is 2-4 with a 3.96 ERA. At Camden Yards, he is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in three outings.

BAL: LHP Bruce Chen (13-10, 3.83 ERA in 2005)
Chen set career bests in wins, starts (32), innings (197 1/3) and strikeouts (133) last season, setting up a guaranteed rotation berth for 2006. The southpaw has never made even 20 starts in back-to-back seasons, so it's impossible to assess whether he's established a new level of performance. The O's are willing to find out.

Player to watch
David Ortiz has been surprisingly quiet with the bat the last two games, going hitless in eight-bats. That can only mean that Big Papi is about to get hot again.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Red Sox (RHP Tim Wakefield, 0-1, 17.18 ERA) at Orioles (RHP Rodrigo Lopez, 1-0, 6.43 ERA), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Blue Jays (RHP Josh Towers, 0-1, 7.71 ERA), 2:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Red Sox (LHP David Wells, 15-7, 4.45 ERA in 2005) vs. Blue Jays (LHP Gustavo Chacin, 1-0, 4.05 ERA), 7:05 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.