One day removed from an unorthodox lineup finally breaking the Orioles offensive doldrums - at least for one game - manager Buck Showalter returns with another strange starting nine:
#Orioles 9/26 lineup vs #Jays: Roberts DH, Markakis 9, Valencia 5, Jones 8, Wieters 2, Hardy 6, Pearce 3, Pridie 7, Schoop 4, Gonzalez 1— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) September 26, 2013
There are things to like about this and things not to like, and you know which is which already. Steve Pearce, Jason Pridie, and Jonathan Schoop are all starting for a second consecutive day. They acquitted themselves well enough in Wednesday's game.
In a past life, namely one where he had an OPS over .700, Nick Markakis had good numbers off Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, batting .444/.500/.694 in 40 plate appearances. Match-ups aren't everything, though, because Chris Davis is on the bench even though he has two home runs off Buehrle in 15 plate appearances.
Actually, MASN's Roch Kubatko reports that Davis is out of the lineup with a sore right foot. He has a screw in there from a 2007 fracture and it seems that the 18-inning game on the Trop carpet may have aggravated the foot.
Some guys playing for the Blue Jays, all of whom will be facing Miguel Gonzalez for as long as he is in the game:
1. Jose Reyes (S) SS
2. Munenori Kawasaki (L) DH
3. Brett Lawrie (R) 3B
4. Moises Sierra (R) RF
5. Anthony Gose (L) CF
6. J.P. Arencibia (R) C
7. Ryan Langerhans (L) 1B
8. Ryan Goins (L) 2B
9. Kevin Pillar (R) LF
Maybe the Orioles can actually win a series when facing a lineup like that. I guess, technically, the Orioles probably "should" lose the remaining four games now that they've sealed a winning season, to improve their draft position and bonus pool or some such, but I think that's loser talk. It's fun when the Orioles win games. Maybe they will win Thursday night.