Tag Archive | "yankees"

Hammel confident in taking ball for Game 1 of ALDS

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Hammel confident in taking ball for Game 1 of ALDS

Posted on 06 October 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The last time we saw Orioles starting pitcher Jason Hammel on the mound at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, he was limping off the field with severe disappointment after reinjuring his right knee in his second start back from surgery.

He’ll now take the mound Sunday night in Baltimore’s first home playoff game in 15 years as the Orioles welcome the New York Yankees to town for Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

So, did Hammel ever expect to find himself in this position after hurting his knee again nearly a month ago?

“Honestly, no,” he said. “At that point, I was very disappointed with the way it felt. It was exactly the same feeling. We were a lot slower moving it along this time, very careful with it. … I’m confident that the knee will not be an issue.”

Following that outing on Sept. 11, it appeared all but certain the Orioles’ best pitcher in the first half of the season had thrown his last pitch of the 2012 season. Hammel took his time working his way back into shape, explaining how doctors and the training staff directed him to take an extra week after feeling he was 100 percent again.

After throwing a simulated game in Florida on Monday and a bullpen session Friday in Arlington, Hammel was tabbed the starter in the series opener by manager Buck Showalter just a few minutes before meeting with the media prior to Saturday’s Division Series workout at Camden Yards. He’ll sport a bulky brace on his right knee, but Hammel said it doesn’t restrict his movement despite resembling one a football player might wear.

Hammel wasn’t afforded an opportunity to pitch in a major league game since tweaking his right knee early last month, but the Orioles have expressed supreme confidence in him based on his ability to keep his arm strong while being sidelined after undergoing knee surgery in mid-July. He finished the regular season with an 8-6 mark and a 3.43 earned run average in 20 starts.

The 30-year-old now pitches in one of the biggest games of his career after only making three starts since the All-Star break, with two of those being cut short due to injury. Showalter believes Hammel has finally reached a level of confidence in which he won’t be thinking about the knee and will be focused on a much bigger test Sunday.

“It’s as much mentally, knowing [his health] shouldn’t be a challenge for him,” said Showalter, who confirmed Hammel will not be on a restricted pitch count. “The challenge will be the Yankees, and they’ll let him know how he’s pitching. We’re excited about getting ‘Hamm’ back.”

The Orioles are expressing confidence in Hammel that he will resemble the pitcher they saw in the first half of the season, which landed him on the “Final Vote” list for the 2012 All-Star Game.

Hammel carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his first start with the Orioles on April 8 and pitched a one-hit shutout on June 16 against the Atlanta Braves. The right-hander thrived in the first half of the season despite dealing with a loose piece of cartilage in his right knee that eventually forced him to have the surgical procedure.

Now deeming himself fully healthy, Hammel is hoping to recapture the magic he enjoyed early on that made everyone forget about the unpopular reaction to the Jeremy Guthrie trade that brought the former Colorado Rockies pitcher to Baltimore in early February. But it won’t be easy against the Yankees, who Hammel held to seven earned runs in 16 innings covering three starts this season.

“Jason’s a competitor,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “When he had his time off and came back for his last start, his stuff was right there and his competitive spirit was there until he did have the setback. I know the knee feels good and when he gets out there, that competitive spirit’s going to get going and he’s going to be fine.”

It’s that same competitive spirit employed by the Orioles all season on their way to a 93-69 regular season and a win over the Texas Rangers in the first ever AL Wild Card game.

And much like a plethora of other moves and decisions made by Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, the choice to start Hammel appears unconventional and risky, given the infrequent work he’s received since early July.

“Obviously, I want to be a part of this,” Hammel said. “The guys have done an outstanding job of getting us to this point. I’ve only pitched for half of the season. It shows a lot of dedication from a lot of guys to go ahead and put me out there since I haven’t pitched in a long time. But, I’m a professional and I take care of what I need to do to get ready.

“We’re ready to go.”

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Start spreading the news…WNST is taking Orioles fans to New York for ALDS!!!

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Start spreading the news…WNST is taking Orioles fans to New York for ALDS!!!

Posted on 06 October 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

WNST.net proudly presents a potential series of Miller Lite Roadtrips to The Bronx and Yankee Stadium this week as the Baltimore Orioles will be playing at least one game in New York next week.

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.

WE ARE ONLY DOING A BUS TO GAME 3….the Game 4 & 5 buses are NOT available!!!!

Click here to join us on Wednesday, Oct. 10 for Game 3.

 

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall  seven (7) hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to your game of choice

A limited supply of Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

 

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 4 Thursday)

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 4 Thursday)

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.

THIS IS FOR GAME 4!!! If the game is NOT played, we will issue full refunds!!!

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall  seven (7) hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to THURSDAY, OCT. 11th — GAME 4 if necessary

A limited supply of Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

PRICING:

COMPLETE TRIP (w/upper deck reserved game ticket): $215.70

BUS TRIP ONLY (ride, food, beer, NO GAME TICKET): $115.70

Game 3
Mobile contact #

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 3 Wednesday)

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 3 Wednesday)

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall  seven (7) hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10th — GAME 3

A limited supply of Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

PRICING:

COMPLETE TRIP (w/upper deck reserved game ticket): $215.70

BUS TRIP ONLY (ride, food, beer, NO GAME TICKET): $115.70

Game 3
Mobile contact #

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 5 Friday)

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 5 Friday)

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012.

THIS IS FOR GAME 5!!! If the game is NOT played, we will issue full refunds!!!

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall seven hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to FRIDAY, OCT. 12th — GAME 5 if necessary

A limited supply of cold Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

PRICING:

COMPLETE TRIP (w/upper deck reserved game ticket): $240

BUS TRIP ONLY (ride, food, beer, NO GAME TICKET): $115.70

Game 3
Mobile contact #

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In Orioles’ storybook season, a few stand out for me

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In Orioles’ storybook season, a few stand out for me

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

It has certainly been a “storybook” season for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. No matter how their postseason run ends, there will be memories that will last for a lifetime.

I had an itch this week to compile a list of the top ten storylines for the season. It wasn’t an easy task, but here goes.

10. The ultimate reclamation

It isn’t SO crazy to think a team would have given OF Nate McLouth another chance in 2012. The former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star was at least playing Major League Baseball, even if he hadn’t had a particularly good season since 2009.

Lew Ford was another story altogether. Ford went a full five years between Major League at-bats before being called up to Baltimore after ripping the cover off the ball at AAA Norfolk.

McLouth has been a significant contributor since being called up in August, taking over the every day LF spot and batting leadoff since Nick Markakis got hurt. Ford hasn’t contributed quite as much, but has come up with three big home runs when inserted into the lineup against lefties.

It has also lead to Tweets like this throughout the season…

9. “Why Not Again?”

Perhaps not the most significant story of the year, the story of Steve Johnson has likely been the most heart warming for Charm City in 2012.

I pulled this picture from Steve’s Facebook page…it’s probably three or four years old. I’d be willing to bet that at this point in his life, he’s probably embarrassed by things like this.

A Kingsville native, former St. Paul’s star and son of a former Orioles pitcher (and current broadcast analyst) made some of the more significant starts of the 2012 season. It’s Hollywood quality stuff. Even more amazingly, Johnson picked up his first big league win on August 8, 23 years removed from the exact date his father picked up HIS first victory during the Birds’ incredible 1989 campaign.

The Johnson & Johnson connection wasn’t the only inevitable comparison between the ’89 and ’12 O’s, as the cartoon birds, no name players and general disbelief of the respective campaigns was impossible to ignore. It even had me singing along…

8. What a dumb great trade.

SB Nation compiled reactions to GM Dan Duquette’s decision to deal SP Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for SP Jason Hammel & RP Matt Lindstrom before the season. Here are a sampling…

This from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was perhaps worse…

For what it’s worth, most of us would probably be forced to admit that we didn’t think much of the deal at the time. Guthrie had been the organization’s only quality pitcher for years and was very popular thanks to also being a stand up individual. How were we to know that Hammel was going to put together an All-Star season (when healthy) and Lindstrom would be a reliable option in the back of the bullpen before helping to land veteran Joe Saunders in a trade? And how were we to know that on the other end of the deal, Guthrie would implode in Denver before being sent to Kansas City?

Certainly the deal has turned out to be quite the feather in Duquette’s cap, as has the signing of SP Wei-Yin Chen-who has pitched to a 4.02 ERA and 1.261 WHIP over 32 starts? The only real question mark for Duquette has been Tsuyoshi Wada, who needed Tommy John surgery before he could make a pitch. The way things are going for this organization, you almost assume he’ll be Stephen Strasburg in 2013. (Okay…not really.)

7. I’m not so sure about this.

“Nick Markakis batting leadoff when he returns? I don’t know…”

I probably don’t need to show you August. Ah hell, I’ll show you August.

Markakis’ effort (before being sidelined in September) was especially crucial following the loss of OF Nolan Reimold, who hit .313 in 16 games to start the season in the role. Without Reimold, the Birds attempted to use a group of players including OF Endy Chavez and even briefly a return of 2B Brian Roberts, but none could hold down the role until Markakis. The Orioles are now hoping Markakis can somehow get back before the season ends.

6. These guys…of course!

While Hammel and Chen were obviously “hits” for the Orioles’ rotation, the other 60% didn’t pan out so well. Opening Day starter Jake Arrieta, former #1 overall pick Brian Matusz and veteran Tommy Hunter struggled mightily over the season’s first few months before ultimately finding their way back to the minors for seasoning (all have since returned and offered solid efforts out of the bullpen).

In their place, the Birds turned not only to the aforementioned Johnson, but more importantly gave the ball to two pitchers have provided a level of stability that could have been expected by absolutely no one, perhaps even themselves.

Chris Tillman was at least viewed recently as a significant prospect in the Orioles’ organization. After being acquired from the Seattle Mariners as part of the Birds’ haul (along with Adam Jones and George Sherrill) for Erik Bedard, there was a thought Tillman would ultimately prove to be part of the “cavalry” of young Orioles pitchers former VP of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail regularly spoke of.

But after 2009 (5.40 ERA 1.554 WHIP in 12 starts), 2010 (5.87 ERA 1.528 WHIP in 11 starts) and 2011 (5.52 ERA 1.645 WHIP in 13 starts), it appeared as though Tillman was all but done in Baltimore.

And then this happened.

Of course it did.

Perhaps even more improbable was Miguel Gonzalez, who was all but abandoned by the Boston Red Sox following 2009 Tommy John surgery. Executive Director of International Recruiting Fred Ferreira signed off on Gonzalez to the Birds after seeing him throw just nine pitches (according to SI’s Albert Chen). Perhaps we should have expected the man who discovered Vladimir Guerrero knew what he was doing.

And just like that, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez saved a rotation and very likely a season.

I feel like there’s someone else we should thank…

Of all of the decisions made by Dan Duquette upon arrival, perhaps the decision to make Rick Peterson (a fixture of the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics) the team’s Director of Pitching Development has immediately paid the most dividends.

(5-1 on Page 2…)

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Game times announced for potential AL East tiebreaker and Wild Card game

Posted on 03 October 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 7:15 p.m.)

Major League Baseball has announced times for a potential American League East tiebreaker game on Thursday and the AL Wild Card play-in game on Friday.

A potential one-game tiebreaker between the Orioles and New York Yankees would take place at 7:10 p.m. on Thursday night. Of course, the Orioles must defeat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday and the Yankees must lose to Boston for this game to be necessary.

The Orioles would hold the tiebreaker over New York for home-field advantage due to their superior record against AL East opponents this season.

The AL Wild Card Game will start at 8:37 p.m. on Friday night. Should the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the regular-season finale, they are guaranteed to at least host the wild card play-in game. They would then play the Texas Rangers, who fell in Oakland Wednesday.

If Baltimore falls to the Rays on Wednesday, they would go on the road to play the Rangers in Arlington.

The potential AL East tiebreaker game and the AL Wild Card game are both scheduled to be televised on TBS.

Here’s MLB full listing of postseason schedule:

AL Wild Card Game
Friday, October 5
TBS
8:37 p.m.
NL Wild Card Game
Cardinals @ Braves
Friday, October 5
TBS
5:05 p.m.

American League Division Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
AL Division winner #2 @ Tigers
Saturday, October 6
TBS
TBA
AL Division winner #1 @ AL Wild Card
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
AL Division winner #2 @ Tigers
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
AL Division winner #1 @ AL Wild Card
Monday, October 8
TBS
TBA
Tigers @ AL Division winner #2
Tuesday, October 9
TBS
TBA
Tigers @ AL Division winner #2
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
AL Wild Card @ AL Division winner #1*
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
Tigers @ AL Division winner #2*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
AL Wild Card @ AL Division winner #1*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
AL Wild Card @ AL Division winner #1*
Friday, October 12
TBS
TBA
National League Division Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
NL Division winner #2 @ Giants
Saturday, October 6
TBS
TBA
NL Division winner #1 @ NL Wild Card
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
NL Division winner #2 @ Giants
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
NL Division winner #1 @ NL Wild Card
Monday, October 8
TBS
TBA
Giants @ NL Division winner #2
Tuesday, October 9
TBS
TBA
Giants @ NL Division winner #2
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
NL Wild Card @ NL Division winner #1*
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
Giants @ NL Division winner #2*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
NL Wild Card @ NL Division winner #1*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
NL Wild Card @ NL Division winner #1*
Friday, October 12
TBS
TBA

American League Championship Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
ALCS Game One
Saturday, October 13
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Two
Sunday, October 14
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Three
Tuesday, October 16
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Four
Wednesday, October 17
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Five*
Thursday, October 18
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Six*
Saturday, October 20
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Seven*
Sunday, October 21
TBS
TBA

National League Championship Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
NLCS Game One
Sunday, October 14
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Two
Monday, October 15
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Three
Wednesday, October 17
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Four
Thursday, October 18
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Five*
Friday, October 19
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Six*
Sunday, October 21
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Seven*
Monday, October 22
FOX
TBA

World Series
Series
Date
Match-Up
Network
Air Time (ET)
Game One
Wednesday, October 24
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Two
Thursday, October 25
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Three
Saturday, October 27
NL Champion at AL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Four
Sunday, October 28
NL Champion at AL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Five*
Monday, October 29
NL Champion at AL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Six*
Wednesday, October 31
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Seven*
Thursday, November 1
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA

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Want to see potential Yankees at Orioles game on Thursday for AL East crown? Here’s ticket info…

Posted on 01 October 2012 by WNST Staff

The Orioles today announced that tickets for a possible tiebreaker game to be played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday, October 4 will go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday, October 2, exclusively online at www.orioles.com.

Full and 29-game Season Plan Holders who paid their postseason invoice have already received tiebreaker tickets along with their postseason tickets and will be charged only if a tiebreaker is played.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. until noon, 13-game Plan Holders will receive their first opportunity to purchase tiebreaker tickets and all Full and 29-game Season Plan Holders will have an opportunity to purchase additional tickets. Tiebreaker tickets will be available to Plan Holders at the Season Plan Holder discount only during this exclusive two-hour window. A unique passcode will be required and is being sent via email today.

Beginning at noon, in an effort to maximize the opportunity for Orioles fans to purchase tickets, those fans residing in the MASN broadcast territory (which includes Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware and portions of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia) will have a chance to purchase prior to the general public.

At 2:00 p.m., potential tiebreaker tickets will go on sale to all fans, including those outside of the MASN broadcast territory.

All tiebreaker game ticket sales will take place exclusively online at www.orioles.com

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Orioles clinch first postseason berth since 1997

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Orioles clinch first postseason berth since 1997

Posted on 30 September 2012 by Luke Jones

The Orioles missed their chance to celebrate at Camden Yards Sunday afternoon, but they have officially landed in the postseason for the first time since the 1997 season.

With the Los Angeles Angels falling to the Texas Rangers in the second game of a doubleheader, the Orioles’ magic number for a postseason berth fell to zero as they have assured themselves of at least a wild card spot in the 2012 postseason.

The Orioles will undoubtedly take a few moments to celebrate as they arrive in St. Petersburg for the final three-game set of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Rays, but they remain focused on winning the AL East as they’re deadlocked with the Yankees in first place.

Should they remain tied with the Yankees, the teams would play a tiebreaker game in Baltimore on Thursday that would be considered the 163rd game of the regular season to determine the division champion. The season series was tied 9-9 between the clubs, but the Orioles own the next tiebreaker to host the game by way of their superior division record. Baltimore owns a 42-27 mark against the AL East while New York is only 38-31 as both clubs play their final three games against AL East opponents.

The Oakland Athletics won Sunday to remain one game behind the Orioles in the wild card race. Oakland holds the tiebreaker over the Orioles via their 5-4 record in the head-to-head series this season, meaning they would host the wild card play-in game on Friday should the Orioles not win the division and the teams finish with the same record.

Regardless of how the final three games of the regular season play out, Orioles fans can take satisfaction in knowing their team is heading to a place it hasn’t been in 15 years.

 

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Orioles turn back clock 30 years with win to pull into first-place tie

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Orioles turn back clock 30 years with win to pull into first-place tie

Posted on 29 September 2012 by Luke Jones

Upon completing a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox Saturday night to pull into a first-place tie with the New York Yankees in the American League East, the Orioles are in a position they haven’t faced in 30 years.

The last time the Orioles were tied for first place this late in the season was Oct. 2, 1982 when Baltimore pulled even with the Milwaukee Brewers in the AL East on the penultimate day of the season. Entering that final four-game set with the division-leading Brewers at Memorial Stadium, the Orioles trailed by three games and needed a sweep to win the division in Earl Weaver’s final season as manager (before he returned to manage the club in 1985).

After winning the first three games of the series to pull even with Milwaukee, the Orioles fell short in that final game of the 1982 season as future Hall of Fame pitchers Don Sutton and Jim Palmer squared off in what resulted in a 10-2 win for the Brewers. Of course, the stakes were much higher then with no wild card spots and the Orioles needing to win to keep their season alive.

The Orioles enjoyed sole possession of first place this late in the 1983 and 1997 seasons, with no one challenging them in the final month of 1983 and the Yankees getting no closer than two games behind Baltimore in the final week of the 1997 campaign.

In the famed 1989 “Why Not?” campaign, the Orioles began the final series of the season in Toronto trailing by one game and needing to win two of three to force a one-game playoff with the Blue Jays — or win all three to take the division outright — but dropped the first two at SkyDome to fall just short of pulling off the impossible.

Though focused intently on winning the AL East, the Orioles’ magic number for clinching a wild card spot is down to two with four games to play, all but assuring them of their first postseason berth since 1997. However, the Oakland Athletics’ comeback victory over Seattle Saturday kept them one game behind the Orioles in the wild card race. Oakland holds the tiebreaker over the Orioles via their 5-4 record in the head-to-head series this season, meaning they would host the wild card play-in game on Friday should the Orioles not win the division and the teams finish with the same record.

Should the Orioles remain tied for first with the Yankees, the teams would play a tiebreaker game in Baltimore on Thursday that would be considered the 163rd game of the regular season to determine the division champion. The season series was tied 9-9 between the clubs, but the Orioles own the next tiebreaker to host the game by way of their superior division record. Baltimore owns a 41-27 mark against the AL East while New York is only 37-31 as both clubs play their final four games against AL East opponents.

Regardless of how the next four days play out, the Orioles are tied for first place at the conclusion of play on Sept. 29. They can clinch a spot in the postseason with a win and a loss by the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Even typing those words makes it difficult to believe for a club from which so little was expected.

But believe it.

And buckle up.

 

 

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