It’s been nine years now, minus a few months, since the Orioles and Mariners played their bonkers 18-inning game that finally concluded after Taylor Teagarden broke a 2-2 tie. The game ended at nearly 4 o’clock in the morning on the east coast. When I think of the Orioles playing in Seattle, that’s what I’ll always think of - that delirious night, ending with the Orioles tied for first place in the AL East, after the O’s bullpen somehow stitched together 12.2 scoreless innings.
As long as the extra innings ghost runner rule endures, a game like that will almost certainly not happen again. Things just won’t get to 18 innings when teams begin with a runner on second base. If you are on the east coast and planning to stay up late watching this game tonight, you can probably count on it going until at least 1am, maybe 1:30 if it’s slow, but not too much farther than that. That’s not so bad. I’m too old for that 4am stuff now. Still, the lost potential for crazy magic is a little sad.
The Orioles have managed to slip in a bit of an unexpected roster move prior to this game. The team optioned Baltimore’s own Bruce Zimmermann to the minors. This is a bit like how the O’s optioned tonight’s starter, Dean Kremer, to take advantage of an extra roster spot in a time where they would not need five starters. Off days this Thursday and next Thursday leave the O’s able to get away with a four-man rotation, mostly.
In the process, the Orioles recalled reliever Isaac Mattson, who was one of the players received in the Dylan Bundy trade. His first appearance will be his MLB debut, and he’d be the first prospect acquired by Mike Elias in a trade to debut for the Orioles.
The O’s are 1-3 against these Mariners after playing a pair of seven-inning doubleheaders against them in Camden Yards last month. They were close games, all decided by two runs or fewer. The offense was not good. If that happens again over the next couple of nights, you can go to bed without feeling like you’re going to miss much. So that’s probably worth something. Not to me, because I have to write about this game upon its conclusion.
Strap yourself in and get ready for a Kremer outing tonight. In his four starts so far this season, he has not gone deeper than 4.2 innings into any game. He is averaging a WHIP of exactly 2.
That’s a small sample. It’s also a bad sample. If he stays on that trajectory much longer, fans will be eyeing the next wave of guys at Triple-A. Maybe you’ve even started doing this already. I haven’t quite given up on Kremer just yet. It’s tomorrow’s starter I’ve seen enough of. But I’m ready to see something good from Kremer. I hope tonight is the night.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
- Cedric Mullins - CF
- Austin Hays - RF
- Trey Mancini - 1B
- Maikel Franco - DH
- Ryan Mountcastle - LF
- Pedro Severino - C
- Freddy Galvis - SS
- Rio Ruiz - 3B
- Pat Valaika - 2B
This lineup was shuffled significantly about 90 minutes before first pitch. DJ Stewart had been in the original lineup but is now out of there. Manager Brandon Hyde told Orioles reporters before the game that Stewart is “kind of day-to-day right now” resulting from lower back stiffness.
Some scuffling Orioles have had some signs of life lately. Mountcastle is working on a seven game hitting streak that’s raised his batting average by 47 points and his OPS by 75 points. He’s needed the improvement, but it’s still only got him up to a .547 OPS. He has not homered since April 8. Today would be a great day to change that.
- Mitch Haniger - RF
- Ty France - DH
- Kyle Seager - 3B
- Kyle Lewis - CF
- Jose Marmolejos - 1B
- Dylan Moore - 2B
- J.P. Crawford - SS
- Tom Murphy - C
- Sam Haggerty - LF
That doesn’t look like a very threatening lineup, and indeed to date this season it’s not. The top three hitters are the best hitters so far in 2021, and after that the results have been not very good. Unfortunately for the Orioles, they are one of two teams with a worse OPS than the Mariners batters. That’s rough! And hopefully it will change soon.