It's possible that you've noticed a theme this week of the Orioles not particularly seeming like they care whether they win or lose a given baseball game. This theme continues with such things as #5 hitter Kelly Johnson and first baseman Ryan Flaherty. And this lineup, paltry as it looks, will go up against Brandon McCarthy, who's done so well since being traded to the Yankees that our counterparts at Pinstripe Alley are regularly hoping that McCarthy will return to New York next year.
Leadoff hitter Nick Markakis is batting .183/.264/.195. It's nice that he'll be able to end his drought of never playing in playoff games - something Brian Roberts never could - but if he's going to keep hitting like that, he might as well not play. If it's "just" a slump, maybe he'll bust out in the next week. More likely there's some underlying reason for why he is terrible and it goes beyond needing a few days worth of rest.
They're all going through the motions. Maybe they can go through the motions in a way that doesn't make you (OK, mostly just me) nervous that they're going to be swept out of the ALDS on a wave of poor hitting. Actually, the Orioles have the 4th-best September OPS in the American League with a .731, but the #1 team is probable ALDS opponent Detroit, hitting to an .803 OPS in this month.
Oh, and Ubaldo Jimenez is your starting pitcher tonight. He last pitched in the division clinching game, which was pretty cool.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Brett Gardner - CF|
|Alejandro De Aza - LF||Derek Jeter - SS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Brian McCann - C|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Kelly Johnson - 2B||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Chris Young - LF|
|Jimmy Paredes - 3B||Stephen Drew - 2B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 1B||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|Nick Hundley - C||Jose Pirela - DH|
|Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP||Brandon McCarthy - RHP|