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Saturday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs. Yankees, 1:05

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The O’s attempt to play spoiler, Take Two.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

“If they couldn’t do it last night with Means, how are they gonna do it today with this other guy?” If this captures your attitude toward Saturday’s afternoon’s Game Two against the New York Yankees, I mean, that’s fair. On Friday night, with their ace on the mound and the bullpen pitching as well as we’ve seen it for a long time, the Orioles had a great chance—a bunch of great chances, actually—to stick a fork in the Yankees and mess up their wild card quest. And, of course, they blew it.

So if you’re feeling pessimistic at the thought of yet another matchup between “Other Team’s Established Pitcher with a Track Record of Success” vs. “Orioles No Name”, all I can say is, at this point in the season you know what you’re getting, right?

At least Chris Ellis has been good for the Orioles since they acquired him a week-plus ago off of waivers from Tampa Bay. He hung in there against Shohei Ohtani and a stacked Los Angeles Angels lineup in the game the Orioles finally broke their losing streak (Aug. 25) and then threw an impressive 4.2 innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays (Aug. 30).

On the other hand, while no one in Birdland wants the Ellis magic to run out, but he wouldn’t be the first random pitcher to land a spot in the Orioles rotation, look good for a few games, and then tank. For now, Ellis is 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA, 4.36 FIP and 12 strikeouts in 11.2 IP with the O’s and Tampa Bay combined. It’ll be a tough task facing the Yankees at home. Fingers crossed.

In his fourth year, Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery is trying to return to the impressive form he showed in his rookie season in 2017, which was cut short by an elbow strain that ended up requiring Tommy John surgery early in 2018. Montgomery didn’t pitch again for the Yankees until late in 2019 and he had a rough 2020 season, with a 5.11 ERA in 10 starts. But he’s looked better in 2021, with a 5-5 record and 3.52 ERA in 24 starts totaling 130.1 innings. This will be Montgomery’s fourth time facing the O’s. The first time around (Apr. 5) he shut out the Birds over six innings. The second (Apr. 29), he allowed two runs in five innings. He got hit up pretty hard the third (May 16), going just three innings with five runs allowed. More of that last, please.

Austin Hays gets the start against the lefty, against whom he’s 2-for-6 this season. All the other Orioles who have hit Montgomery hard this year are in the lineup: Trey Mancini, hitting .368 with a homer and 2 RBI against the lefty, Ryan Mountcastle (.375 average with 3 RBIs), and Pedro Severino (3-for-9, one RBI).

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
3. Austin Hays RF
4. Trey Mancini DH
5. Ramón Urías 3B
6. Pedro Severino C
7. Jorge Mateo SS
8. Ryan McKenna LF
9. Jahmai Jones 2B

Yankees lineup

1. DJ LeMahieu 2B
2. Joey Gallo LF
3. Aaron Judge RF
4. Giancarlo Stanton DH
5. Anthony Rizzo 1B
6. Brett Gardner CF
7. Kyle Higashioka C
8. Andrew Velazquez SS
9. Tyler Wade 3B