My dear Camden Chatters. My dear (here there is a long, rambling list of every Camden Chatter - yes, even you). Also my good lurkers that I welcome back at last to Camden Chat. Today is the one hundred sixty-second game of the season. It is one hundred sixty-two today! I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am.
I shall not keep you long. I have called you all together for a purpose. Indeed, for three purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that one hundred sixty-two games is too short a time to blog among such excellent and admirable Orioles fans. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. Secondly, to celebrate my final regular season game thread of the year. I should say, OUR final regular season game thread of the year, for it is, of course, also the last regular season Orioles game for you as well.
It is also, if I should be allowed to refer to ancient history, almost five years and two months anniversary since the arrival of Buck Showalter as manager - though the fact that would be so significant slipped my mind at the time. We were 32-73 then, and individual game threads did not seem so important. The game thread was very splendid, however, though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say 'thag you very buch'. I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to our little game threads, night in and night out.
Thirdly and finally, I wish to make an announcement. I regret to announce that - though, as I said, one hundred sixty-two games is far too short a time to spend among you - this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. Good-bye!
No, not really. I'm just a nerd who ends every regular season with that extended quote paraphrased from The Fellowship of the Ring. It is the end of the regular season for real, though. Unlike last year, there won't be any postseason games coming for the O's. This is it. One shot to go .500 for the year.
It's going to be the end of some other things too, although we won't know it's officially the end of those until the free agency period gets underway. Namely, this could be the final Orioles game for a number of players, including Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Steve Pearce, and Gerardo Parra. Wei-Yin Chen may have already pitched in his final game as an Oriole. So might have Darren O'Day. And that's not even counting potential non-tenders, as there are probably more than a few people out there who might prefer the Orioles not extend another contract to somebody like Brian Matusz or Ryan Flaherty.
The Orioles find themselves again on the last day of an odd-year season with a chance to do some torpedoing of their postseason hopes. They can't knock the Yankees out of the picture entirely, but an Orioles win combined with an Astros win would flip the American League wild card game, to be played on Tuesday night, from being hosted in New York to being hosted in Houston. Not quite as exciting as the Curse of the Andino, but it would still be something - if they win today.
The O's have faced Yankees starter Michael Pineda four times already this year. He was brilliant against the O's in May, striking out 16 batters in seven innings of one run ball. He was not so brilliant in his other three starts against the O's, most recently giving up four runs in six innings on September 7 - a game the Yankees still won because Chen was not good and neither was the Orioles bullpen.
As for the O's, they're getting one last start from Chris Tillman this year. He can avoid ending the year with a 5+ ERA if he pitches more than five innings while allowing two runs or fewer, or if he pitches more than seven innings while allowing three runs or fewer. He has done so in only 12 of his 30 starts this season.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Nolan Reimold - CF|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Gerardo Parra - RF|
|Alex Rodriguez - DH||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Carlos Beltran - RF||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Brian McCann - C||Matt Wieters - C|
|Greg Bird - 1B||Steve Pearce - LF|
|Chase Headley - 3B||Steve Clevenger - DH|
|Dustin Ackley - 2B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Ryan Flaherty - 2B|
|Michael Pineda - RHP||Chris Tillman - RHP|