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Sunday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Yankees, 1:35

Day games haven’t gone great for the Orioles this year.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Kyle Bradish will be making his final start of the season this afternoon.
Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

As far as the standings go, Sunday afternoon’s finale between the Orioles and Yankees is not very meaningful. Neither team can do anything to improve on its position. The O’s are eliminated. The Yankees are locked in to being the #2 seed in the AL, with a first round bye and home field advantage in the ALDS.

Other potential milestones are up in the air. We have all heard enough about Aaron Judge’s twin pursuit of the single-season AL home run record as well as a Triple Crown. Judge has fallen behind Minnesota’s Luis Arraez by .002 in batting average. He will not be passed in home runs and is highly unlikely to be passed in RBI. The entitlement of Yankees fans about all of this is making them more annoying than usual.

One way you know this game doesn’t mean much to the Yankees in the win column is they’ve done some slight juggling to their starting rotation to have Chi Chi Gonzalez start the game in these cold and potentially wet conditions. Gonzalez has already been dumped by three different organizations this season and has yet to pitch for the Yankees. They literally only announced his signing about two hours before the scheduled first pitch. Dropping in a guy like that on October 2 doesn’t exactly scream “must win.” Gonzalez certainly ought to be an easier matchup than Nestor Cortes was yesterday, not that this guarantees anything for the O’s.

The Orioles are still playing to try to lock down a winning season. It’s hard to know how much anyone on the team actually cares that much about this. They’re not in the playoffs. A number of them weren’t even involved in last year’s 52-win affair. They have no demons to exorcise. It means something to me, though. After the 1998-2011 stretch of losing seasons, I’m glad to see any winning season come along. And every win they get to close out this season makes the leap they need to take next year that much smaller.

Complicating this quest is that the Orioles have not been great on the road this season, with a 37-43 record heading into their final away game. They’ve also really sucked in day games. After yesterday’s loss, they’ve got a 23-34 record in the daytime. If there is anything that can be done to improve this for next season, I hope the O’s do that.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Adley Rutschman - C
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  5. Gunnar Henderson - 3B
  6. Austin Hays - LF
  7. Terrin Vavra - 2B
  8. Kyle Stowers - DH
  9. Jorge Mateo - SS

This is the lineup people want to see, with both Vavra and Stowers getting chances in there. I might rather see Stowers in right field and Santander as the DH, but hey, at least he’s going to get some ABs here. With yesterday’s game being a day game also, the O’s kind of already got the “forfeit lineup” out of the way there. So hopefully that means something better for today.

It will help if starting pitcher Kyle Bradish can do well in his final outing of the year. The people interested in Judge pulling into 7th place in MLB history for single season home runs may be salivating over Bradish having allowed 17 home runs in 112.2 innings this season. Bradish was wrecked by the Red Sox in his last time out. He’d been doing well since returning from the injured list.

Yankees lineup

  1. Aaron Judge - DH
  2. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
  3. DJ LeMahieu - 2B
  4. Josh Donaldson - 3B
  5. Oswaldo Cabrera - RF
  6. Harrison Bader - CF
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa - SS
  8. Jose Trevino - C
  9. Aaron Hicks - LF

In order to get Gonzalez on the roster for the game, the Yankees designated reliever Jacob Barnes for assignment. Barnes pitched 1.2 scoreless innings against the Orioles yesterday.