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Orioles doubleheader vs. Blue Jays game thread: Game 2, 5:05

The Orioles probably need to go 6-3 or better against the Jays to have postseason hopes. They already lost one today.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles
No, Gunnar, we’re clapping for YOU.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Orioles Game 2 lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Adley Rutschman - DH
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  5. Gunnar Henderson - SS
  6. Ramón Urías - 3B
  7. Rougned Odor - 2B
  8. Kyle Stowers - LF
  9. Robinson Chirinos - C

Jordan Lyles had been scheduled to start today. However, he was pushed back from Game 1 due to being under the weather, according to manager Brandon Hyde. Keegan Akin has taken the mound for the second game instead.

Blue Jays Game 2 lineup

  1. George Springer - DH
  2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - 1B
  3. Bo Bichette - SS
  4. Matt Chapman - 3B
  5. Teoscar Hernández - RF
  6. Cavan Biggio - 2B
  7. Raimel Tapia - LF
  8. Danny Jansen - C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr. - CF

José Berríos is set to start the second game for the Jays.

Note: All of the below was written before the Orioles lost game 1 of the doubleheader.

If the Orioles are going to get from where they are right now to a postseason spot a month from now, they’re going to need to win a bunch of games. Depending on the projection system, it seems like the 87-89 win range is what they think is an average outcome for the third AL wild card spot. The Orioles have 29 games left to play and if they need to get to 88 wins, then they need to go 17-12.

The other thing about this is that the Orioles are chasing the Blue Jays, against whom they have ten games remaining. Two of these games will be played today. The Orioles trail the Jays by 2.5 games in the standings heading into this doubleheader. Every win they get against the Jays is going to be a big help for the wild card math. Every loss will hurt.

With two games set for one day, that makes today have the potential to be crucial. If the Orioles lose both, it’s not officially over, but it’s pretty much over. The Orioles would need to make up 4.5 games in 27 remaining. If they somehow win both, then they only need to win one of the next two games to come away with a win in the four-game series, and they could finish the set a half-game behind the Blue Jays, or even, with an improbable four-game sweep, a half-game ahead.

A split would be okay, though it would still leave the Orioles with wins they need later on, now with fewer games to get them. It’s a huge day! There’s no way around it. This is exciting and nerve-wracking. The exciting part is obvious.

The nerve-wracking part is simple: Are the Orioles up to this huge moment? They’ve had a great couple of months to get to this point. Now we’re down to the last month and against the primary competition for the last playoff spot. They’ve been good enough to get our hopes up such that those hopes could be crushed. We haven’t felt this in five years in Birdland.

Orioles Game 1 lineup

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

The Orioles have summoned Mike Baumann as the extra player on the roster for this doubleheader, and they’re going to use him right away as the starting pitcher in the first game of the set. Baumann has not been up with the MLB team since June. At Triple-A Norfolk since then, he’s pitched in 11 games, with a 2.83 ERA and batters hitting .213/.287/.329 against him. That included six innings with no earned runs allowed and 13 strikeouts in his last start before this. We can all hope he is up to the task against the Jays today.

Blue Jays Game 1 lineup

  1. George Springer - CF
  2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - 1B
  3. Bo Bichette - SS
  4. Alejandro Kirk - C
  5. Teoscar Hernández - RF
  6. Matt Chapman - DH
  7. Cavan Biggio - 2B
  8. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. - LF
  9. Santiago Espinal - 3B

And as if it could be any other way, former Oriole Kevin Gausman makes the start in this crucial game for the Jays. Former O’s relief prospect Zach Pop is the Jays extra roster player for the doubleheader. The Orioles have found ways to come out on top when facing great pitchers during their run over the last two months. They gotta find a way to do it again. Gausman has a 2.12 FIP for the season, and he’s picked up more than seven strikeouts for every walk.