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ALCS Game 4 Game Thread: Orioles (0-3) @ Royals (3-0), 4:07

Do or die for the Orioles on Wednesday afternoon in Kansas City. One last chance to stave off the sweep for good and at least not go down in history as another team that got itself swept in the ALCS.

Tom Szczerbowski

A lot of the time, the label "must win" is placed on a particular game that is not, in fact, must win. The Orioles are in an honest-to-goodness must win situation on Wednesday afternoon. They've fallen into a 3-0 hole. Even if they win today to avoid being swept, tomorrow will be another must win game, and if they were to manage to win that one too, each of the next two games would still be must win.

The formula to do so is simple enough, although they've yet to follow it in any of the last three games: Pair a good starting pitching performance with the Orioles scoring just enough runs against the Royals starter, then have the bullpen hold on for dear life. They're plenty capable of doing this. It's a tall order to ask them to do it four games in a row, but they don't have to worry about four games at once. All there is to do is win today and then deal with tomorrow when it gets here.

It's partly up to Miguel Gonzalez and it's partly up to everybody else. They're good enough that they can do it. Whether or not they will is another story, which is what makes baseball such a beautiful and completely terrible thing.

Today's Lineups

Nick Markakis - RF Alcides Escobar - SS
Steve Pearce - 1B Norichika Aoki - RF
Adam Jones - CF Lorenzo Cain - CF
Nelson Cruz - LF Eric Hosmer - 1B
Delmon Young - DH Billy Butler - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Alex Gordon - LF
Caleb Joseph - C Salvador Perez - C
Ryan Flaherty - 3B Omar Infante - 2B
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Mike Moustakas - 3B
Miguel Gonzalez - RHP Jason Vargas - LHP