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Game 133: Orioles (73-59) @ Yankees (76-56), 1:05pm

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On the very edge of the sharpest of knives rest the hopes and dreams of the Orioles and their fans. On one side, elation and triumph; on the other, what may eventually be acceptable defeat but would right now amount pretty much to a punch right in the kidneys. The fate of this game thread, too, rests on the edge of that knife. Will your game thread correspondent approach this game, featuring a pitching matchup of Chris Tillman against Phil Hughes of the Yankees, with the panic button firmly depressed, or will it be full of swagger, of piss and vinegar and righteous Baltimore indignation?

Let us find out together, my friends, because that answer lies in the toss of a coin. Heads and elation will rain; tails and depression will fall. And now let's just... flip... this... coin...

(The coin twirls end over end through the air as your appropriate choice for a soaring movie soundtrack plays in the background. As the coin approaches the ground, time seems to slow. The coin bounces once on the ground, bounces a second time, and then, improbably, lands on its side and begins spinning perfectly, unceasing fluid and beautiful motion.)

Well, uh... okay, let's try this again. I am going to take this coin and place it in this here slot machine, which appears to be a very special, new-model, 2012 Major League Baseball slot machine. So we'll just drop this coin in here, like so, give a tug on the arm over here (ka-chink) and then...

(The slot reels spin and spin. They spin and spin some more. Then they keep on spinning and spinning. You cannot bear the tension. You haven't even bothered to look at what is a winning spin on this machine. You can barely see any of the numbers. Then - after an eternity, they come into place.)

Birdlandslot_medium

That looks like the jackpot to me. May it come true in this game as well.


Lineup

BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
Nick Markakis - RF Derek Jeter - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Nick Swisher - 1B
Nate McLouth - LF Robinson Cano - 2B
Adam Jones - CF Eric Chavez - 3B
Matt Wieters - C Raul Ibanez - RF
Mark Reynolds - 1B Russell Martin - C
Chris Davis - DH Ichiro Suzuki - LF
Manny Machado - 3B Chris Dickerson - CF
Robert Andino - 2B Jayson Nix - SS