October 2012

Angelos in clubhouse, Johnson’s gifts

Orioles principal owner Peter Angelos made a rare appearance in the home clubhouse following Baltimore’s 3-2 win over the Yankees Monday night, and the 83-year-old was presented with a special gift from closer Jim Johnson.

Johnson presented Angelos with the baseball from his 43rd save on Sept. 16 a game that clinched the organizations first winning season in 15 years. Angelos also went around the clubhouse and shook hands with various players as the Orioles –fresh off their first postseason win since 1997 – prepared to head to New York tied 1-1 in the American League Division Series.

It was a busy day for Johnson, who also ponied up a$200 check to reliever Darren O’Day which will go toward Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. The pair of pitchers had been playing the pickup basketball game H.O.R.S.E. on the court in the tunnel of Camden Yards, with a wager of $20 a game and Johnson presented the check to O’Day –along with a larger-than-life- cardboard one that hung above his locker — before Monday’s game.

“Usually I go with the free throw for the ending, for the E, and he can’t make it,” O’Day said of Johnson. “He’s like Shaq. Much better pitcher than basketball player, that’s for sure.”

Orioles vs Yankees Game 2

Major League Baseball has announced a 7:37 p.m. ET start time for Game 3 Wednesday night in New York.  That could be pushed back to start later depending on what happens with the Oakland-Detroit and Cincy-San Francisco series.

Here’s your lineup for Game 2….

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Jim Thome DH
Machado Machado 3B
Robert Andino 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

YANKEES LINEUP

Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez DH

Andy Pettitte LHP

Os announce ALCS ticket options

The Orioles announced that American League Championship Series tickets for potential Games 3, 4 and 5 in Baltimore (labeled as Home Games 1, 2 and 3, respectively) will go on sale to the general public tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9 at 10:00 a.m. exclusively online at http://www.orioles.com/postseason. Ticket availability is expected to be limited and tickets may sell out quickly.

Season Plan Holders have already had an opportunity to purchase tickets as part of the postseason invoicing process and via an exclusive online pre-sale this past Saturday.

Fans who previously registered for the postseason ticket opportunity on Orioles.com were notified this weekend if they were selected for the chance to purchase during a special online pre-sale that began earlier today.
 
TWO OPTIONS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR FANS INTERESTED IN PURCHASING WORLD SERIES TICKETS

While an on-sale date for World Series tickets has not yet been announced, fans wishing to purchase World Series tickets have two potential options:

 Option 1: 2013 Season Plan Deposit
Fans will receive the opportunity to purchase World Series tickets before the general public by placing a $250 per seat deposit on a 2013 full or partial season ticket plan, including 13-game plans, before tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9 at 11:59 p.m. The date for the World Series ticket pre-sale will be announced at a later time.

 Option 2: Online Pre-sale Opportunity
Fans can enter a valid email address at http://www.orioles.com/postseason for a chance to be selected to participate in a special pre-sale prior to World Series tickets being released to the general public. Fans are encouraged to enter the postseason ticket opportunity in order to have a better chance at acquiring postseason tickets; however, fans who enter are not guaranteed to be chosen for the opportunity.

A public sale for World Series tickets will be announced at a later date.

Orioles vs. Yankees roster and lineup

YANKEES LINEUP
Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin C
Raul Ibanez DH

CC Sabathia LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis RF
Lew Ford DH
Robert Andino 2B

Jason Hammel RHP

INFIELDERS/OUTFIELDERS/DH (11)

Robert Andino             INF

Endy Chavez                OF

Chris Davis                  RF

Ryan Flaherty              INF

Lew Ford                     OF

JJ Hardy                       SS

Adam Jones                CF

Manny Machado          3B

Nate McLouth             OF

Mark Reynolds            1B

Jim Thome                  DH

CATCHERS (2)

Taylor Teagarden        CA

Matt Wieters               CA

PITCHERS (12)

Luis Ayala                   RHP

Wei-Yin Chen               LHP

Miguel Gonzalez          RHP

Jason Hammel            RHP

Tommy Hunter            RHP

Jim Johnson                RHP

Brian Matusz               LHP

Darren O’Day              RHP

Troy Patton                  LHP

Joe Saunders              LHP

Pedro Strop                 RHP

Chris Tillman              RHP

Wild Card Game

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Wild Card lineups

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Joe Saunders SP

RANGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton LF
Adrian Beltre
Nelson Cruz RF
Michael Young 1B
Mike Napoli DH
Geovany Soto C
Craig Gentry CF

Yu Darvish SP

Orioles and Rangers rosters

Here are the American League Wild Card rosters for tonight’s game…(with full previews and more content and videos on Orioles.com)

*If the Orioles win tonight, they would host the Yankees for the first two games of the AL Division Series. Major League Baseball announced those start times this morning with Sunday’s game a 6:15 p.m. ET start and Monday an 8:07 p.m. ET start. The format for that five-game set is 2-3 this year.

ORIOLES ROSTER

PITCHERS (11): Jake Arrieta, Luis Ayala, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Steve Johnson, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, Troy Patton, Joe Saunders, Pedro Strop

CATCHERS (2): Taylor Teagarden, Matt Wieters

INFIELDERS: Robert Andino, Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Mark Reynolds, Omar Quintanilla

OUTFIELDERS/DH: Endy Chavez, Adam Jones, Nate McLouth, Chris Davis, Jim Thome, Lew Ford

RANGERS ROSTER

RH Pitchers (7) Yu Darvish, Scott Feldman, Joe Nathan, Alexi Ogando, Roy Oswalt, Yoshinori Tateyama, Koji Uehara

LH Pitchers (4) Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Robbie Ross

Catchers (3) Luis Martinez, Mike Napoli, Geovany Soto

Infielders (6) Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar, Michael Young

Outfielders (5) Nelson Cruz, Craig Gentry, Josh Hamilton, Leonys Martin, David Murphy

VIDEO LINKS

Joe Saunders talks about getting tonight’s start for the Orioles here.

Chris Davis talks about facing the Rangers on MLB Network’s intentional talk here.

Manager Buck Showalter talks about tonight’s game against his former club here.

Closer Jim Johnson talks to MLB Network about the club making the postseason here.

Making sense of the postseason roster

The Orioles have to set their 25-man American League Wild Card roster by Friday at 10 a.m. ET and –excluding injured players – they will need to trim down six more.

Starters Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen could be removed for the Wild Card and added for the Division Series if the Orioles advance –clearing spots for more potential relievers such as Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton behind starter Joe Saunders– and Steve Tolleson, Omar Quintanilla and Lew Ford are also considered on the bubble.

“You try to prepare for as many situations as possible and you look at your lineup, as far as position players and what you would actually do,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s like when someone says it’s not necessarily about pitching, it’s about pitching. Usually, the team that pitches the best wins those games.

“You’ll see us err on the side of pitching.”

Following Wednesday’s game in Tampa, the Orioles left four players in fall instructional league in nearby Sarasota, Fla.: Dylan Bundy, Luis Exposito, Bill Hall and Zach Phillips. Outfielder LJ Hoes was sent to instructs earlier in the week and Steve Pearce was ineligible for the postseason roster because he was acquired so late.

Reynolds X-ray negative, good to go for Friday

Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds had an X-ray on his left foot come back negative and the Orioles first baseman is expected to be in the starting lineup for Friday’s do-or-die American League Wild Card game against Texas.

“This is nothing,” said Reynolds, who has played through numerous injuries this year. “Especially this time of year, so much on the line. Just the adrenaline and everything is going to figure into it.

Reynolds, who fouled a ball off the bone by his big toe in Wednesday’s loss to Tampa Bay, came up hopping in obvious pain but remained in the game. He played in 135 regular-season games, hitting the disabled list once with an oblique strain, but playing through bicep and hand injuries as well.

Asked how he’s able to play through pain, Reynolds said: “I don’t steal bases, so there’s none of that part. I don’t play the outfield so I don’t have to run very much. It’s just a mental thing. You go out there, put it out of your head and you compete. And that’s athletes are. We are competitors and you go out there and have fun. Coupled with how big this game is, I’m pretty sure I won’t even feel my foot.”

Reynolds hit .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs and has improved his defense considerably since moving to first base. The 29-year-old Reynolds has postseason experience as a member of the ’07 Arizona Diamondbacks and, when asked of the Orioles’ mindset on the eve of the organizations first postseason in 15 years, said:  “We are where we expected to be in Spring Training. Obviously a lot of people didn’t think we would get here, but I know everyone in this clubhouse thought we could.

Last time I was in the playoffs we had five games to decide it not one.  [It will be ] just a nail biting game all the way ‘til the end.  Hopefully we can move on and go play the Yankees.”

Saunders for Friday

The Orioles will start Joe Saunders for Friday’s American League Wild Card game, manager Buck Showalter announced at this afternoon’s press conference in Arlington.

Saunders was picked over Steve Johnson, who threw a light bullpen session on Wednesday to test his sore left knee and was deemed good to go after that. The right-handed rookie, who is 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 games (four starts), has never faced the Rangers as a starter, but saw them once as a reliever earlier this year.

Saunders, on the other hand, has, but it hasn’t been good. The 31-year-old lefty has a 6.48 ERA in 11 career starts against Texas, including a 9.38 ERA in six games in Arlington. Asked if he was aware of his numbers, Saunders said: “I can imagine. I don’t care. Tomorrow is another day.”

So, why Saunders? Showalter said that the team still isn’t 100 percent certain about Johnson’s knee and Saunders is a veteran who has pitched in the postseason before.  Also, left-handed starters fare better in the Rangers Ballpark than righties, which is another thing the team factored in.

“I’ve said many times this year, the No. 1 starter is the guy pitching that day,” Showalter said. “Our whole rotation has been the sum of the parts, and Joe has pitched well for us since he’s been here. And he’s got tough task ahead of him.

If you are looking for pitchers with good numbers against the Texas Rangers they are hard to find.  Regardless of who pitches tomorrow, we are going to have to pitch well and do some things out of the bullpen and swing the bats well.”

As for the team’s roster construction, the Orioles will wait until after practicing today before making any final calls. The Orioles have three or four extra players here and don’t need to set the roster until 10 a.m. on Friday morning.

Of other note, Mark Reynolds –who fouled a ball off his left foot in Wednesday’s loss– had an MRI on the area come back negative. Right now, it looks like the team has dodged a bullet in that regard.

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