The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 behind a brilliant pitching performance from Miguel Gonzalez. Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox blew a lead in the ninth inning and ended up losing to the New York Yankees in extra innings.
Behind 6 1/3 shutout innings from Gonzalez and another perfect performance from the bullpen, the Orioles moved a game closer to their first playoff appearance in 15 seasons. The only question that remains is whether or not the Orioles go into the playoffs the AL East champion or a wild-card team.
Once again the Orioles middle relief did a great job bridging the gap from the starter to closer while holding onto the lead. Jim Johnson shut the door for the 51st time this season.
Chris Davis provided the Orioles sole run on yet another home run. Davis has 33 home runs on the season and now looks to be a big part of the Orioles future in the middle part of their lineup. Can you imagine if Mark Reynolds and Davis both get on a hot streak at the same time? It will be a lot of fun for Orioles fans to watch.
So here we are 161 games into the season. One more game to go. Wednesday night could still turn into an epic night. The Orioles have been going back and forth with the Yankees for the last month, but have yet to take over sole possession of first place. They could; however, still tie the Yankees on the season’s last game. The Orioles would have to win Wednesday night and would then rely on the lowly Red Sox to win a game from the Yankees. If the Yankees and Orioles end the season tied, they will face each other at Camden Yards Thursday to determine the AL East champion.
The Orioles have Chris Tillman, arguably their best starter right now, going against Jeremy Hellickson. Meanwhile, the Yankees will be throwing Hiroki Kuroda against the Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to have any confidence in Matsuzaka and his 7.68 ERA this season. He has been simply terrible as of late, but he could pitch a great game against the Yankees right? Stranger things have happened.