It all comes down to this. The Orioles played 162 games just to have to win one more game to move on. They call it the postseason, and it is indeed the postseason even if it is just one game, but there's no time to build up anticipation or even dread. You have to lose three games out of a best of five before it's over. It can go over a whole week. The O's dreams - and fans' dreams - could be snuffed out in the span of three hours tonight.
Or, they could win. You never know. They won a game started by Jays starter Marcus Stroman just last week. They won two of three games in Toronto just last week, games that were crucial for Toronto to win. They won ten of their last 15 road games, most of which were against postseason contending teams. The Orioles were good enough to get this far and they're good enough that they could beat the Blue Jays and move farther.
And it'll all be settled in one game. That's why it's so great and also so horrible. Of course, the O's did win the last time they found themselves in this situation, quite improbably with Birdland hero Joe Saunders triumphing over the Rangers in a game started by Yu Darvish. I watched every second of that game and I still can't quite believe it.
Whatever ends up happening tonight, I'll be happy about this season eventually. The Orioles only won more games than this three times in my life. But if they lose tonight I'll be sad that another special Orioles season is over. So I hope they win.
There are many links today. Prepare yourselves!
Around the blogO'sphere
AL wild-card questions: Toronto Blue Jays must contain Baltimore Orioles' offense (ESPN)
Or, better yet, the Jays must NOT contain the Orioles offense.
Showalter on the "good, tough" decision picking a starter - School of Roch
Buck on why he picked Tillman. Do you agree with his reasoning?
Can winning 2012 wild card game help O's now? (Trumbo on home run title) - Steve Melewski
No. Why would this question even be asked? Next!
Ubaldo Jimenez may be key for Orioles rotation | orioles.com
Aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves here? This article was posted at like 7:30 last night! It was after Tillman had been announced as the starter.
Buck on Wieters: 'Times like this you realize how much Matt means to this club' - BaltimoreBaseball.com
More Buck - this from following Sunday's game when Wieters hit two homers to deliver them to victory. Safe to say that Buck likes Matt Wieters more than you do.
Five reasons the Orioles could win the World Series (Yahoo)
1. Home runs. 2. Dingers. 3. Homers. 4. Zach Britton. 5. DONGS! Those aren't the article's five reasons. You should read it for yourself.
With history of post-season struggles, Jones needs to perform for Orioles (Waterloo Record)
It's a Peter Schmuck hot take being carried in a Canadian paper for reasons unknown.
Orioles notes: Mark Trumbo will make his postseason debut Tuesday - Baltimore Sun
I like when players can break their personal postseason droughts by being on the Orioles.
How Should We Evaluate a Manager? | FanGraphs Baseball
This one does not have so much to do with the immediate concern of the postseason, but I thought it was interesting and I hope you will too. Also, it concludes what we already know: Buck is good.
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 1969, the Orioles beat the Twins, 4-3, in the first game of the first-ever American League Championship Series. Also, in 1993, other owners approved the sale of the Orioles to the group headed by Peter Angelos. And here we are today.
One current Oriole has a birthday today: Drew Stubbs, although he probably won't be playing for the Orioles on his birthday. It's also the birthday of 1992-94 infielder Mark McLemore, 1974-75 bullpen guy Dave Johnson (not that one), and the late Don Lenhardt, who played in 13 games for the inaugural 1954 Orioles.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Let's hope the Orioles give you a win for your birthday. Along with those O's, your birthday buddies for today include: short-reigning Lord Protector of Great Britain Richard Cromwell (1626), President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822), Interview with the Vampire author Anne Rice (1941), media mogul Russell Simmons (1957), and Clueless actress Alicia Silverstone (1976).
On this day in history...
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar, which meant that in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, the date of October 4 was immediately followed by October 15 for that year only.
In 1876, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas - now known as Texas A&M University - opened, becoming the first public institution of higher learning in the state. The first Aggie joke was told the following day.
In 1927, sculptor Gutzon Borglum begins work on Mount Rushmore. The last of the presidents' faces was completed in 1939. The original plan was to sculpt the presidents head to waist, but they ran out of money.
In 1936, in London's East End, a planned march of the British Union of Fascists, which was being escorted by police, was called off after counter-demonstrators fought the police in an attempt to stop the march.
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on October 4 - or at least, until something happens later. Go Orioles!
Oh, and if you have 50 minutes you're looking to kill, you may enjoy this Youtube video consisting of all 253 home runs hit by the Orioles in the 2016 regular season. That's a lot of home runs.