Sep 19, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) argues a strike with umpire Brian Knight (91) during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays beat the Yankees 6 to 2. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays (71-84, 5th AL East) vs Baltimore Orioles (81-75, 4th AL East)



Somehow I have been able to enjoy the last gasps of this season. We keep getting hints of what is possibly going to be next year. In the second half Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey have displayed a veteran’s calm and pitched fairly effectively….well moreso Buehrle. Dickey still has a penchant for giving up homeruns at about a 1 a game pace. Is he regressing? Only time will tell next season.

The Orioles have officially tanked. They are running proof that starting pitching will always be one of the main components of success. They have so many great players this year in Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and the like. That flub over first base the other night seems to have left them a Machado short. As a baseball purist he has been a wonder to watch this year, considering his age. Throw him up there in the Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jose Fernandez role of very young players having stellar beginnings to their careers. For the Blue Jays a Machado-less team is still a force to be reckoned with but their starting pitching again is suspect. This should be a very interesting series.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Game 1: Todd Redmond (4-2, 3.82 ERA) vs Chris Tillman (16-7, 3.70 ERA)

Redmond has been the second half revelation the Esmil Rogers was in the first half. He seemingly has come out of nowhere to be right up there as one of our best starters. His knock has been not going too deedp into games but in his last start he managed to go 7. He is pitching for a spot next year or to open some eyes around the game and hope someone wants him for their rotation. With Tillman, he has been a rock steady performer for the Orioles who will toss over 200 innings for the O’s. He is as close to an ace as the Orioles have right now. Should be a win for the O’s in this one…damnit.

Game 2: Esmil Rogers (5-8, 4.52 ERA) vs Bud Norris (4-3, 4.63 ERA)

Bud Norris was certainly not the trade deadline saviour that the Orioles were looking for. He seems to have just fallen flat in the middle of a pennant race. He hasn’t been horrid but he hasn’t helped to stop their free fall. Rogers seems to have bounced back a little from the dead arm but his pitches are still pretty flat. Hid fastball isn’t moving as it should and the rest are just all over the place. If he keeps this up the game could be a free for all in the hits department.

Game 3: Mark Buehrle (12-9, 4.09 ERA) vs Miguel Gonzalez (10-8, 3.94 ERA)

Mark Buehrle is our pitcher of the year. He has done what no other starter has been able to do….since May at least. It is fun to watch him on the mound. He keeps the pace up, he knows what he wants to do. When he has control of his pitches he can be a beast. It can get away once in a while but overall he is the perfect number 3 starter. Miguel Gonzalez has been faltering as of late (a 5.20 ERA in his last nine starts). With a 3.94 ERA overall you can see how he has been part of the reason the Orioles will not make the post season. August and September have eaten him alive. This could be a rubber match game and I give it to the Blue Jays based purely on the man that is Buehrle.

Probable Starting Lineups

Toronto Blue Jays

1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. RF: Kevin Pillar
3. 3B: Brett Lawrie
4. 1B: Adam Lind
5. LF: Moises Sierra
6. DH: Mark DeRosa
7. C: J.P. Arencibia
8. RF: Kevin Pillar
9. CF: Anthony Gose

Baltimore Orioles

1. DH: Brian Roberts
2. 3B: Danny Valencia
3. 1B: Chris Davis
4. CF: Adam Jones
5. RF: Nick Markakis
6. C: Matt Wieters
7. LF: Nate McLouth
8. SS: J.J. Hardy
9. 2B: Ryan Flaherty

Worth the Price of Admission: Chris Davis. Yeah another preview with a player from the other side but seriously. Have you SEEN his numbers. I was almost hoping he would be able to pound Maris’ record 61 into the ground. He can still rake though. Let’s see how he finishes off this season…

Worth the Price of Antacid: J.P….yes he finally got a hit after 27 hitless at-bats but his season may go down as historically low. The man is a wreck in Toronto. Trade him for some organizational filler and be done with him!

Final Word

I am down with all this pennant fever type baseball around the leagues. If the Jays were in it it would be even better. My only thing about it all is the unbalanced schedule makes a mockery of the WC scenario. If you want there to be a champion that is more even and fair, unbalance the schedule so the AL East doesn’t eat each other alive while the Indians cruise through the likes of the White Sox and Twins. A little tweak like that would make things even more interesting…

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