It would be just like the Orioles to win the game where the other team had Masahiro Tanaka starting and then lose the game where the other team has CC Sabathia starting. That's who will be getting the ball for New York tonight. Sabathia has a 5+ ERA and is making his first start after being activated from the disabled list. These two facts do not line up very well in the Orioles' favor, given their performance (or at least what we remember of it) this year.
But really, it will probably come down to how well the O's own starting pitcher does. Tonight, that's Ubaldo Jimenez. It's now been ten games in a row that an Orioles starter has failed to pitch at least six innings and it has been 12 games without a quality start (6 IP or more, 3 ER or fewer). No wonder the Orioles have lost a whole lot of those games. That is a hard way to go out and try to win.
They won on Tuesday without Adam Jones. They'll have to do it again tonight. He'll be out for a second straight game due to some shoulder issue and maybe some other stuff. Combined with the Orioles' off day on Thursday, he'll have had three days to rest whatever is ailing him. Hopefully that's enough to get him back closer to full strength. Without him, the lineup is looking, let's just say, sub-optimal.
By now there's little to play for except for pride and, for some, the next contract. Chris Davis is doing a good job of playing for his next contract. Matt Wieters, again absent from the lineup, not so much. If the Orioles are going to finish above .500 they need to go 16-8 from here on - a .667 winning percentage over the last few weeks of the season. If they finish merely .500 they would need to go 15-9. All of this against the teams who have beaten them again and again this year.
Like Kevin Garnett, anything is possible.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Nolan Reimold - LF||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Gerardo Parra - CF||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Carlos Beltran - RF|
|Chris Davis - DH||Brian McCann - C|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Alex Rodriguez - DH|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Greg Bird - 1B|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Dariel Alvarez - RF||Stephen Drew - 2B|
|Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP||CC Sabathia - LHP|