Sports

Down the Stretch (Sept. 23)

Baltimore OriolesSportsChicago White SoxOakland AthleticsBaseballChris TillmanBoston Red Sox

[Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming day for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]


About last night

Thome keys 12th-inning rally as O's win, 9-6
O's extra-inning win streak defies probability
Notes: Andino not thrilled by Friday's beaning
Schmuck: Role reversal for Baltimore, Boston
An expert explains Oriole Magic
A win today at Fenway would tie a club record
Saturday's full scoreboard


AL East Standings

NYY       88-63     --
BAL       87-64     1
TB         82-70    6.5

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL        87-64      --
OAK       85-66         --
LAA        83-69      2.5
TB          82-70     3.5
DET        80-70     4.5


Today’s game

Orioles at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m.

RHP Chris Tillman (8-2, 3.22 ERA) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (11-9, 5.08 ERA)

 

Key matchup

Dustin Pedroia is one of the few recongnizable names in the Red Sox lineup these days, and he's 3-for-7 in his career against Tillman with a double. Tillman has been dominant against right-handed hitters, though, holding them to a .198 batting average this year.

 

Other games that matter

Athletics (Griffin) at Yankees (Kuroda), 1:05 p.m.

Twins (Diamond) at Tigers (Smyly), 1:05 p.m.

Twins (Walters) at Tigers (Scherzer), 7:05 p.m.

Blue Jays (Jenkins) at Rays (Cobb), 1:40 p.m.

White Sox (Floyd) at Angels (Weaver), 3:35 p.m.

Rangers (Dempster) at Mariners (Vargas), 4:10 p.m.

 

Thought of the day

Need another reminder how volatile this year's playoff race is?

At this time last week, the Oakland A's were looking like a near shoo-in to host the wild-card game. Reporters who cover a number of teams were looking into hotels in the Bay Area.

Today, Oakland's stock is dropping fast, following two gut-punch extra-inning losses to the New York Yankees, yesterday's coming after they blew a four-run lead in the 13th inning.

Since taking the first two games from the Orioles last weekend, the A's are 1-5 and now sit just 2.5 games ahead of the Angels.

Oh, and when they're done in New York today, they head to Texas for a four-game series.

People have been waiting all year for the Orioles and A's to have their bubbles burst. It doesn't look like that's going to happen to the O's, but Oakland is treading into perilous waters right now.

Seven of their last 10 games come against the Rangers, and the pitching staff that got them into this race in the first place has surrendered at least six runs in four of their last six games.

Our friends at coolstandings.com say the A's still have a 77.3 chance of making the postseason, but if I were to wager, I think my money would be riding with the Angels.

Either way, it's looking more like the Orioles will be hosting that wild-card game (if they don't win the division).

That said, we've seen how much this playoff picture can change in the span of a week.

 

Inside the enemy clubhouses


Oakland's
Josh Reddick continues to struggle

Raul Ibanez turning up the power for Yankees

Angels owner says Scioscia will be back next year

Luke Scott and Carlos Pena heating up for Rays


Tweet of the day

Steve Johnson(@SJohnson831): Awesome to hear a loud "let's go O's" chant in Fenway! One more then back home. Can't wait to see you guys Rock the Yard all week #Orioles

 

Poll question

Twitter.com/DaveSelig
david.selig@baltsun.com

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Baltimore OriolesSportsChicago White SoxOakland AthleticsBaseballChris TillmanBoston Red Sox
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