This is it, friends. This is why they play 162 games, all to get here. Now, here the Orioles are, facing off against last year's AL Cy Young winner in Game 1 of a best-of-5 series. The winners of the 2012 and 2011 Cy Young Awards loom afterwards. The two-time reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera sits third in the Tigers lineup.
Winning the division for the first time since 1997 was nice and all, but it's still going to feel like a total letdown unless the Orioles also win their first multi-game playoff series since 1997. That is the last time that they made it to the ALCS. I was 13 years old. Soon I will be 31 years old. It's been a long time. It could all be over until next year by Sunday evening. Maybe it will last longer than that, on into another series and beyond.
No one knows. It's terrifying, not knowing. That's what nobody ever could have warned us about with the Orioles being good. When the games matter, it's kind of nerve-wracking. They're good enough that they could win. The Tigers are also good enough that they could win, and probably should win. But anything can happen from here on. It's only the small sample size that matters from now on.
The game has long since been sold out. The stadium will hopefully be rocking either because the Orioles are hanging in there or blowing out Max Scherzer somehow.
|DETROIT TIGERS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Ian Kinsler - 2B||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Torii Hunter - RF||Alejandro De Aza - LF|
|Miguel Cabrera - 1B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Victor Martinez - DH||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|J.D. Martinez - LF||Steve Pearce - 1B|
|Alex Avila - C||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Nick Castellanos - 3B||Ryan Flaherty - 3B|
|Andrew Romine - SS||Nick Hundley - C|
|Rajai Davis - CF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Max Scherzer - RHP||Chris Tillman - RHP|