Tomorrow, it happens.
The first Baltimore Orioles playoff game in 15 years.
For many, like myself, this will be virtually the first Orioles playoff game for them. Ever.
The last time the Birds were in the playoffs, I was 5 years old. I like to think that doesn't count, because what 5 year old knows much about baseball, let alone cares enough to follow the MLB? And in my case, I can hardly remember what I did last week.
So yeah. Five years old doesn't count.
The Orioles are going to Texas to play the Rangers in the one-game wild-card playoff. The game begins at 8:37 p.m., and it's being aired on TBS.
You know what I'll be doing come 8:37 tomorrow night.
These Orioles can do it. This team can beat the Rangers, as imposing of a team as the Rangers are. If anyone can do it, the O's can.
I was thinking about how the O's don't have a true ace to throw out on the bump for the game, and then I realized: That's almost a plus.
You see, every wild-card team is trying to line up their rotation for the American League Division Series, which begins two days after the wild-card game is played.
The O's don't have a true No. 1 or No. 2 starter. In fact, the O's don't really have a starting rotation at all. So the biggest worry of every wild-card team suddenly disappeared for O's manager Buck Showalter, and he can focus on other things like managing his bullpen.
This Orioles team will be getting their first look at Rangers starter Yu Darvish. I have yet to decide whether that is a good or a bad thing. All I know is that if Chris Davis can stay as hot as he has been over the last week, the O's should be fine.
In terms of who's the starting pitcher for tomorrow's game, it's pretty much come down to lefty Joe Saunders or rookie Steve Johnson.
I don't like Saunders starting that game. His career numbers against Texas: 3-7, 6.48 ERA in 11 starts.
His career numbers against Texas at Texas: 0-6, 9.38 ERA.
If I'm Buck, I'm going with Johnson. Granted, it was only 38.1 innings, but Johnson threw to a 2.11 ERA this season in 12 appearances, four of which were starts. He's a rookie, but we all know what we're gong to get from Saunders in Texas.
Not to bash Saunders, because he pitched very well down the stretch, and should the O's advance, he's definitely deserved to start a game in the ALDS. He just shouldn't be the guy to go with in Texas.
The Orioles were 2-7 against Texas this season. They were 1-2 against them in Arlington.
I'd say the O's are due for a win against them. How about you?