The Orioles are a team that's going around telling themselves and others that they're buyers at the trade deadline. They are five games out of first place in the division. Nine days shy of the trade deadline, Ryan Flaherty is the starting first baseman in a real baseball game that counts. These are hard things to reconcile with one another.
Yet if the Orioles win this game tonight the picture will look bright again. Let's say something crazy happens and Kevin Gausman turns in a good-to-great outing against the Yankees in his return to the big league rotation. Maybe the Orioles will make the return from Tommy John surgery uncomfortable for Ivan Nova. Then they'll be only four games out, with a chance to make it three games tomorrow afternoon. Three games isn't so many games to surmount in late July, is it?
It's just one game, but it's an important game. They're all important games as the number of games remaining starts to shrink. Alright, so we're clear on that. Now don't suck tonight, Orioles!
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Travis Snider - LF||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Alex Rodriguez - DH|
|Matt Wieters - DH||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Chris Davis - RF||Brian McCann - C|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Carlos Beltran - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 1B||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Stephen Drew - 2B|
|Kevin Gausman - RHP||Ivan Nova - RHP|