I have waited the entirety of my adult life to experience this moment.
The Orioles are back. Best-of-five against the Yankees for the Division Series. You know this. As Buck Showalter said on Friday, you play all season to get a chance to roll the dice in October. Admiral Adama reminds us that sometimes you have to roll the hard six. Matrim Cauthon reminds us that it's time to toss the dice. He might say it in the Old Tongue, which I shall not utter here I am nervous beyond all capability of expression, so of course I am returning to my nerdy comfort zone. Let's move on.
Storylines are out in force for this series. Is it the Buck Showalter revenge tour? Is it time for the demonic presence of Jeffrey Maier to be exorcised from Orioles history? On the podcast last night, Andrew told me that anyone who hasn't gotten over Jeffrey Maier yet is never going to. He might be right. I still contend that I will get over it when the Orioles in the World Series. They are eleven wins away. The Yankees are also eleven wins away.
Anything can happen in one game, and anything can happen in a five-game series too. It is a little more predictable, but not entirely. One fluke game can turn into one fluke series, and who could say what would count as a fluke anyway? The Yankees are a good team, but so are the Orioles. Their record proves it. They earned their way here, and if they go further they will earn their way there as well.
Emotions will be running high tonight. Let's hope it goes better than the last time a Baltimore team tried to exorcise demons from a past decade in the playoffs. You know of what I speak.
Your starters tonight are Jason Hammel and CC Sabathia. Hammel is coming back from his latest knee issue. He says he feels great and he is supposed to have on a full knee brace while pitching today. You might be a little worried if he's on a short leash, but it's the playoffs, anyway. Who cares about burning the bullpen? They'll worry about that tomorrow if it saves them for today. But hopefully Hammel will be healthy, working the sinker that got him such great results early in the season, and leave the Yankees asking where that truck came from.
As for Sabathia, he had a 3.38 ERA - the highest in his four seasons for the Yankees. That's pretty good. No surprise, because he is a good pitcher. The O's beat a good pitcher to get to this series. They beat plenty of good pitchers during the course of this year. Will they have a good game plan today, go out and take pitches and make good swings?
I don't know, man. I'm not drunk enough for all this as of this writing. You can be sure I will have rectified that at Pickles Pub by the time the thread goes live.
The pressure is a bit less tonight. If they lose tonight, the season is not over. We'll all be happier if they win, though. Go Orioles!
P.S. Where's your Yankee pride at now? (NSFW)
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Derek Jeter - SS|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Ichiro Suzuki - LF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Alex Rodriguez - 3B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Nick Swisher - RF|
|Chris Davis - DH||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Lew Ford - RF||Curtis Granderson - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Russell Martin - C|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Raul Ibanez - DH|