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Gameday Thread: O's at Rays, last day of September

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     John Maine, RH                Doug Waechter, RH
     (2-3, 5.54)                   (5-11, 5.41)

Game time is 7:15 on WNUV and FSN Florida. This will be the last O's game I see this season, and I'll have to put up with Tampa Bay's awful commentary.

This will probably be the final series of Lou Piniella's stint with the Devil Rays, but there's no doubt in my mind that Lou wants to go out a winner somewhere. It could also be Sam Perlozzo's swan song as manager of the Orioles.

The good news? Even if the Rays were to sweep, the O's can't quite finish in last place, as they have a four-game cushion for fourth.

John Maine has auditioned for the 2006 rotation during the stretch run, but he's been obliterated in his last two starts, giving up 11 earned runs in 4.1 innings against New York and Boston, seeing his ERA go from 3.27 to 5.54.

Waechter has also been awful of late, giving up 13 earned in 12 innings, three of which came before he could get an out on September 13 against the Yankees (five runs overall that start).

Neither of these teams are playing for a damn thing. They're the cream of the crap in the AL East. They square off to end the 2005 season, but what does it mean? Probably more than what meets the eye to a lot of the players, to Sam Perlozzo, to the O's front office, to whatever fans are left standing on both sides. Play ball.