clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Orioles Game #127 Game Thread: vs. Blue Jays, 7:05

The Orioles have a chance for an AL East series win, but Kyle Gibson is pitching

New York Mets v Baltimore Orioles
Kyle Gibson has 12 wins this year despite a 4.97 ERA.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Before the Orioles even take the field on Thursday night, they already know that they must beat the Blue Jays tonight to keep pace with the Rays in the AL East standings. The Rays completed a sweep of the Rockies earlier in the afternoon, a series in which Colorado led two of the games into the eighth inning and the third into the sixth, and ended up losing every game. Thanks for nothing, dudes. Please extend the same courtesy of futility to the O’s this weekend.

The Jays, as we are aware, are not such a futile team as the Rockies. They are engaged in a fight to get back into a wild card spot, which they held for a while but lost to the Mariners. Only a game stands between Toronto and Seattle, the third wild card team, in the standings. They will not be rolling over. They need wins.

It must be nice for the Jays to contemplate getting to face Kyle Gibson in tonight’s game. Gibson has been slid up a day to pitch here in the aftermath of whatever is going on with Jack Flaherty’s “just in general” soreness. Gibson has stunk at Camden Yards this season (5.34 ERA) and has stunk in the second half (5.98) with particularly potent failure in the month of August (.967 OPS allowed in three starts).

It is not as nice, for me, an Orioles fan, to think about Gibson pitching in this one. He has, somehow, won 12 games this season in spite of his poor overall results. A big reason for this is that Gibson has pitched his best when receiving 3-5 runs of support from the offense - a 2.59 ERA and .593 OPS allowed in eight games. You might also say he’s “pitched to the scoreboard” when receiving 6+ runs of support, with a 5.17 ERA and .746 OPS allowed in 12 more games.

Perhaps even more than it would be otherwise, it is crucial for the Orioles to put together a strong effort against Jays starter Jose Berríos. This isn’t an easy task! Berríos has a 3.39 ERA through 25 starts this year. He faced the O’s at Camden Yards back in June and tossed 7.2 scoreless innings. That would certainly bode poorly for Gibson tonight, as well as for the O’s chances of holding their two game lead over the Rays.

Orioles lineup

  1. Adley Rutschman - C
  2. Gunnar Henderson - SS
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle - DH
  5. Ryan O’Hearn - 1B
  6. Austin Hays - LF
  7. Cedric Mullins - CF
  8. Ramón Urías - 3B
  9. Adam Frazier - 2B

I’d rather see Jordan Westburg than Frazier, but it’s hard to quibble with this too much. It’s probably the best lineup that can be fielded by the team right now. We can only hope that shows up with results on the scoreboard - especially if the Jays want to kick the ball around the field tonight as much as they did last night.

If Hays (five game hitting streak) and Santander (two homers last night) are emerging from their second half slumps, that would sure be nice from here on out.

Blue Jays lineup

  1. Whit Merrifield - LF
  2. Bo Bichette - SS
  3. Brandon Belt - 1B
  4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - DH
  5. George Springer - RF
  6. Daulton Varsho - CF
  7. Matt Chapman - 3B
  8. Danny Jansen - C
  9. Cavan Biggio - 2B