Orioles @ Rays – regular season finale

Updated: The times for games through Saturday have been announced by Major League Baseball with a POTENTIAL Orioles-Yankees tiebreaker game (see below) slated for 7:37 p.m ET. Friday’s American League Wild Card time is 8:37 p.m. with Saturday’s AL Division Series Game 1 at Detroit at 6:07 p.m. ET.

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Orioles will play their final regular season game. What happens from here. I’ve gotten a lot of questions and blogged all the scenarios which you can read here.

I’ve been asked who could start later this week, and the best way to answer that is who can’t. You can eliminate Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Tillman –who is starting tonight–, Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Hammel for any games Thursday and/or Friday.

My best guess is Joe Saunders would be the guy to go on turn on Friday and Thursday would be started by Steve Johnson and have a short leash with a host of bullpen arms available to take over if needed. Although, Saunders on short rest is another option the team has.

Speaking of Johnson, he threw about 10-15 pitches off a mound today with pitching coach Rick Adair watching closely. Johnson, who had some left knee pain after landing funny when taking a comebacker Saturday from Dustin Pedroia, said he didn’t feel any discomfort in his knee and is good to go. Had he not been, the Orioles were debating on holding Tillman out of tonight’s start and going with lefty Zach Britton. They sent two lineups over to the Rays, but Tillman will start because Johnson made it through his session fine.

“I have a Hammel brace,” Johnson said.  “I can feel it here, but it’s only going to help me out there just to make sure I don’t have too many lateral movements with my knee. It kind of keeps it in place. I didn’t feel it one time out there. I feel good.”

Johnson said he can go whenever the team needs him, including a potential tiebreaker game on Thursday.

“Being in the bullpen kind of helped with that,” he said of throwing consecutive days.  “What I did today was mainly just a flat ground, what I would normally do. Just off a mound.”

Adair also rolled a ball off the mound for him to field to test Johnson’s movement and also deemed the right-hander good to go.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Jim Thome DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Manny Machado 3B

Chris Tillman RHP
RAYS LINEUP
B.J. Upton CF
Ben Zobrist SS
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce RF
Ryan Roberts 2B
Carlos Pena 1B
Sam Fuld LF
Steven Vogt DH
Chris Gimenez C

Jeremy Hellickson RHP

1 Comment

I can’t wait for Opening Day there in roughly 6 months!

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