It is tough to wake up today as an O's fan and not feel good. Sure, you could easily dwell on the fact that Chris Davis was just slapped with a 25 game suspension for amphetamine use. On top of that, Matt Wieters has been out most of the season and Manny Machado is lost as well.
The Orioles sent five players to the All-Star game in 2013. Three of them are out for the remainder of the season with Davis eligible to return if/when the team makes a lengthy postseason run. Add to that J.J. Hardy's iffy back and you are left with just Chris Tillman from that crop of all-stars who doesn't have an issue at the moment.
So, why feel good today?
Because despite all of that, this team has the largest division lead in baseball. In a year where the black and orange were nearly universally selected to finish fourth in the division WITH all of the guys mentioned above.
It just has the feeling of a magical season. The offense and pitching have reversed roles. The pitching has gone from mediocre to the driving force of this team. And what rules all in the cold of October? A hot pitching staff.
Perhaps the hottest of the batch takes his turn today.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - DH||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Derek Jeter - SS||Alejandro De Aza - LF|
|Brett Gardner - CF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Martin Prado - 2B||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Brian McCann - C||Steve Pearce - 1B|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Chris Young - LF||Jimmy Paredes - 3B|
|Antoan Richardson - RF||Ryan Flaherty - 2B|
|Zelous Wheeler - 3B||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Shane Greene - RHP||Miguel Gonzalez - RHP|