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Thursday night Orioles game thread: vs. Rays, 7:05

The Orioles season limps towards its end with the start of the last home series of the year on Thursday night. They turn to Gabriel Ynoa to try to halt the latest losing streak.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

It’s been eight years now since there’s been a season where the Orioles slogged through September and I wondered why I even like them or baseball in general.

Even in the early Buck Showalter year and a half where things didn’t finish with a good record, there was at least stuff to be excited about as the season moved towards the end. And even in the disappointing odd years between 2012 and now, things were never THIS bad. There was more hope for next year and the year after that, at least - and at least the Orioles weren’t limping to a losing season.

Now, here we are. They have to run the table to be above .500. They have to go 8-1 to finish with a .500 record. Another five O’s losses or Twins wins and they will be mathematically eliminated from the postseason. It could happen as soon as Saturday.

Manny Machado may or may not be back in the lineup after having last night off. He has, according to Buck Showalter, been sick for about two weeks. This story checks out when you look at his last 14 days splits on Baseball Reference, a truly putrid .178/.224/.244 batting line in 12 games.

The decision on whether to play Machado was described as 50-50 as of this writing. The below lineup may yet be subject to change. What is the point of rushing to try to play Machado if he’s still sick and it’s questionable whether he will play at all? I do not have the answer to that.

Is the whole rest of the Orioles offense also sick with the flu or whatever? Weren’t they all sick in April or May? I’m getting a different kind of sick from watching them. The fact that only nine games remain feels like a relief.

I say that, but by mid-November I’ll be wishing there was some Orioles baseball, any Orioles baseball to take my mind off a winter of boring sports that are barely worth paying attention to more than one day a week, if even that.

Today's Lineups

Mallex Smith - CF Austin Hays - RF
Lucas Duda - DH Manny Machado - 3B
Evan Longoria - 3B Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Logan Morrison - 1B Adam Jones - CF
Steven Souza - RF Trey Mancini - LF
Corey Dickerson - LF Chris Davis - 1B
Jesus Sucre - C Mark Trumbo - DH
Brad Miller - 2B Welington Castillo - C
Daniel Robertson - SS J.J. Hardy - SS
Matt Andriese - RHP Gabriel Ynoa - RHP