Down the Stretch (Sept. 30)

[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


AL East Standings

BAL       91-67     --
NYY       91-67     --
TB         87-71     4

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL/NYY    91-67      --
OAK         90-68         --
LAA          87-70      2.5
TB            87-71      3

Today's game

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

RHP Zach Stewart (1-3, 7.91 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Saunders (8-13, 4.09 ERA)

Key matchup

Nobody on the Orioles has more than four at-bats against Stewart, but J.J. Hardy is 3-for-4 against the former White Sox right-hander with a homer and a double.

Other games that matter

Angels (Greinke) at Rangers (Darvish), 1:05 p.m.

Angels (Santana) at Rangers (Holland), 7:05 p.m.

Yankees (Hughes) at Blue Jays (Alvarez), 1:07 p.m.

Rays (Price) at White Sox (Quintana), 2:10 p.m.

Tigers (Sanchez) at Twins (Hendriks), 2:10 p.m.

Mariners (Ramirez) at Athletics (Milone), 4:05 p.m.

Thought of the day


As if an AL East pennant race and a four-way battle for the wild card weren't enough, Orioles manager Buck Showalter mentioned another reason the Orioles felt they needed to win Saturday.

It was Brooks Robinson's night at the ballpark so, as Showalter said, "We had a lot of pressure on us."

This year's six sculpture unveiling ceremonies, held to honor each of the Orioles' Hall of Famers for the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards, were clearly a home run for the fans. And it seemed like they were just as much of a hit in the O's clubhouse.

"We get to see the legends out there, and it's unbelievable," said first baseman Mark Reynolds, who admitted to getting Robinson to autograph a ball for him Saturday. "I went out there to see Brooks today, and I had chill bumps the whole time hearing people talk about him and what a great guy he was.

"It was a fun night."

It was also a successful one, as the Orioles improved to 4-2 in the games following those sculpture ceremonies.

Sure, that's a meaningless stat, but with the playoff race as it stands, every one of those wins counts.

Inside the enemy clubhouses

Dana Eveland (@DanaEveland): Keep it going ! Best team I've ever been a part of. Wish I was there to be part of this magic.

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