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The Labor Day afternoon Orioles game thread: at Yankees, 1:05

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Their own postseason hopes dashed, the Orioles can only really play spoiler - or not - for their remaining opponents. They helped Toronto get a leg up. Will they help New York by losing, or impede the Yankees by winning?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Hope of something greater has fled from this Orioles season. Now all we can do is hope for 81 wins - not a losing season. Even that seems unlikely. The Orioles must go 16-10 to reach such a point, this while facing an assortment of the playoff-bound teams throughout most of September. It can be done, certainly, if defects are remedied. Namely, the starting pitchers need to not suck.

Today it is Wei-Yin Chen's turn, and the truth is that Chen, the best of the O's starters this year, could have a good game and still lose. Michael Pineda is the Yankees starter, and who ever knows how the Orioles will do against him? They have already faced him three times this year, and in two of those starts they tagged him for five earned runs. That's pretty good, although they actually lost one of those two games, and certainly they lost the one where Pineda pitched seven innings and gave up only one run.

In any case, the most recent of those games came in June, and a lot has happened to the Orioles since June 12 - little of it good. Actually, they were 30-30 after winning that game against Pineda and the Yankees, so really for a while they kind of muddled along in there and ground out a few games over where they were before... at least until the late August tailspin. The Orioles are losers of 15 of their last 19 games. Had they merely managed to lose 10 of those games instead of 15, they'd sit 1.5 games out of the wild card spot.

Instead, well, you know. Watch out for Greg Bird.