Hope for the playoffs is essentially gone. The Orioles needed to be hot in September and instead they have gone 10-10 so far. They may end up worse than that, or slightly better, but not good enough. There are too few games left, too much ground to make up, too many teams to pass. The end has found us, my friends. At least it was mid-September before we had to say, "Well, there's always next year."
With one more win, the O's will have secured back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996-97. For as long as this was a losing franchise, that isn't a bad thing to hang their hats on, even if it's not nearly as fun as playoff games in Camden Yards.
Today, the Rays are starting Enny Romero, who is a left-handed pitcher who has made one start above the Double-A level. He will be making his major league debut. So basically you already know what level of hope you should have for this game.
It's Scott Feldman for the Orioles, who has, to my surprise, not been too bad in his time in an O's uniform. The trade that netted him was the least annoying of the trades that Dan Duquette made this season, because they gave up the least, and in terms of results for this year, got the most. What do you say you give us two more decent-or-better starts just for the heck of it, Scott?
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Manny Machado (R) - 3B||David DeJesus (L) - LF|
|Adam Jones (R) - CF||Desmond Jennings (R) - CF|
|Chris Davis (L) - 1B||Ben Zobrist (S) - 2B|
|Danny Valencia (R) - DH||Evan Longoria (R) - 3B|
|Matt Wieters (S) - C||Matt Joyce (L) - DH|
|J.J. Hardy (R) - SS||Wil Myers (R) - RF|
|Nick Markakis (L) - RF||James Loney (L) - 1B|
|Michael Morse (R) - LF||Jose Lobaton (S) - C|
|Brian Roberts (S) - 2B||Yunel Escobar (R) - SS|