For quite a while there, Rays starter Drew Smyly was one of those personal Orioles destroyer pitchers. He must be of that brand of lefty. The Orioles broke this trend earlier in the season, though, hanging eight runs on Smyly in five innings in late June. They could definitely use some more of that today. At this moment, Smyly has won his last four decisions and hasn't lost a game since July 18.
The lineup that faces Smyly today will not look much like the one that hit three homers against him in Camden Yards in June. New-to-the-team outfielders Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs are getting starts out there, Chris Davis has the day off to rest his sore left palm, and Caleb Joseph gets a start to extend his RBI-less plate appearance streak.
Dylan Bundy pitched in relief of Tyler Wilson on that day. Bundy gets the start in this game. I'm at the point where I hold my breath every time he pitches, not because I think he's going to do badly - he's acquitted himself well since getting into the rotation - but because I don't know if anyone knows if this is the right thing for his health. His velocity has slightly but noticeably declined. They say they'll keep pitching him for as long as he feels good. I hope it works.
With a day game while most teams have night games tonight, there's not much during the game scoreboard watching to do, though the Tigers, now a game behind for the second wild card spot, are in action in Chicago at 2:10.
Later in the night, the Yankees take on the Blue Jays again - if the Orioles win and Jays lose, the O's will be tied with the Jays. The Red Sox again play the Padres, and if the Orioles win and Boston loses, the O's will also be tied with the Sox. There could potentially be a three way tie atop the AL East tonight.
Elsewhere in the wild card race, the Astros continue to play the Indians, while the Royals get to feast on the pathetic Minnesota Twins. It'd be nice if every one of these teams could lose, but it'd be nicer still if the Orioles can just win and let the rest sort itself out.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Logan Forsythe - 2B|
|Michael Bourn - LF||Kevin Kiermaier - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Mark Trumbo - DH||Brad Miller - 1B|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||Logan Morrison - DH|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Mikie Mahtook - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Nick Franklin - SS|
|Drew Stubbs - RF||Corey Dickerson - LF|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Luke Maile - C|
|Dylan Bundy - RHP||Drew Smyly - LHP|