Orioles vs. Blue Jays doubleheader game thread: Game 1, 1:05

If the Orioles are going to go from where they are now to a postseason berth a month from now, they’ll need to win a lot of games. Depending on the projection system, it looks like the 87-89 win range is what they think is an average finish for the American League’s third wild-card spot. The Orioles have 29 games left to play and if they need to get to 88 wins, then they need to be 17-12.

The other thing about this is that the Orioles are chasing the Blue Jays, against whom they have ten games left. Two of these games will be played today. The Orioles are 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays in the standings before this doubleheader. Every win they get against the Blue Jays will go a long way toward the wild card math. Every loss will hurt.

With two games scheduled for one day, that makes today have the potential to be crucial. If the Orioles lose both, it’s not officially over, but it’s practically over. The Orioles would need to recover 4.5 games in the remaining 27. If they somehow win both, then they only need to win one of the next two games to clinch a four-game series victory, and they could finish the set a half-game behind the Blue Jays, or even an unlikely four-game sweep. games, half game ahead.

A split would be nice, though it would still leave the Orioles with the wins they need later, now with fewer games to go. This is a good day! There’s no way to avoid it. This is exciting and distressing. The exciting part is obvious.

The harrowing part is simple: Are the Orioles ready for this big moment? They’ve had a great couple of months to get to this point. We are now in the last month and against the main competition for the last place in the playoffs. They have been good enough to raise our hopes in such a way that those hopes could be crushed. We haven’t felt this in five years at Birdland.

Orioles Game 1 lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins – F.C.
  2. Adley Rutschman – C
  3. Antonio Santander – RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle – 1B
  5. Ramon Urias – 3B
  6. Gunnar Henderson – 2B
  7. Jesus Aguilar – DH
  8. Austin Hays – FL
  9. Jorge Mateo – S.S.

The Orioles have called up Mike Baumann as the extra player on the roster for this doubleheader, and they’re going to use him immediately as the starting pitcher in the first game of the set. Baumann hasn’t been with the MLB team since June. At Triple-A Norfolk since then, he has pitched in 11 games, posting a 2.83 ERA and hitters hitting .213/.287/.329 against him. That included six scoreless innings and 13 strikeouts in his last start before this one. We can all hope he’s up to the task against the Blue Jays today.

Blue Jays Game 1 lineup

  1. George Springer – F.C.
  2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 1B
  3. Bo Bichette – SS
  4. Alexander Kirk – C
  5. Teoscar Hernandez – RF
  6. Matt Chapman – DH
  7. Cavan Biggio – 2B
  8. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – LF
  9. Santiago Espinal – 3B

And as if it couldn’t be any other way, former Oriole Kevin Gausman starts this pivotal game for the Blue Jays. Former O’s relief prospect Zach Pop is the extra player on the Jays’ roster for the doubleheader. The Orioles have found ways to come out on top when facing great pitchers during their career over the past two months. They have to find a way to do it again. Gausman has a 2.12 FIP for the season and has gotten more than seven strikeouts for every walk.

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