It's raining in the Bronx, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi is already telling reporters that they're going to be there a while. The circumstances of what the last home game of their season means for the Yankees will probably necessitate playing a rain-soaked game until midnight or later if necessary. It's unfortunate for the Orioles to be caught in the grip of this timing. It had to be this weather and it had to be tonight? Oh well.
RHP Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
2014: 31 GS, 191 IP, 3.77 ERA, 137 SO, 35 BB, .254 BAA, 1.17 WHIP
Last start (vs. Blue Jays): 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 7 SO
Kuroda, who may retire following the season, could be playing his last game in pinstripes. It's awfully nice of the franchise to throw him such a party. Here's hoping the start isn't interrupted by rain. The forecast is ever changing. In four starts against the Orioles this year, Kuroda has gone at least six innings each time and allowed only a total of seven runs across all of those games. Most recently, he shut them down back on September 14, pitching seven innings of one run ball in Baltimore.
RHP Kevin Gausman, Orioles
2014: 19 GS, 108.1 IP, 3.57 ERA, 83 SO, 37 BB, .259 BAA, 1.34 WHIP
Last start (vs. Red Sox): 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 3 SO
For Gausman, this start represents one last chance to audition for a spot in the postseason rotation, although he's probably going to be on bullpen duty even if he throws a perfect game - which he won't because he walks too many guys if nothing else, and also probably because the rain will cause a delay that will take him out of the game. That's life.
In terms of the standings, the game is meaningless for both teams. The Yankees have been eliminated and the Orioles chances of taking the top record in the AL are slim, as they sit two games back in the loss column with only four games to play. The O's do hold the tiebreaker against the Angels, but they'd have to go 3-1 over their final four games and hope that the Angels lose out - not impossible, but not likely either.
Steve Pearce is back in the O's starting lineup. It wouldn't be surprising to see this lineup subject to change depending on the conditions. No point running out the A-team on a rain-soaked field and risk possible injury to someone who matters.
|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||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||Chase Headley - 3B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Chris Young - LF|
|Kelly Johnson - 2B||Stephen Drew - 2B|
|Jimmy Paredes - 3B||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Jose Pirela - DH|
|Kevin Gausman - RHP||Hiroki Kuroda - RHP|