[Back for its second year, "Down the Stretch" is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming night for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]
About last night
Orioles bullpen falters again in 5-4 loss to Yankees
Norris scratched from Friday's start in Toronto
Morse isn't stressing about slow start at Camden Yards
Markakis rejoins team after birth of his third son
Schmuck: Indians have an easier road to the wild card
Curtis Granderson makes some Eutaw Street history
Wednesday's full scoreboard
AL East standings
BOS 89-58 --
TB 78-66 9.5
BAL 78-68 10.5
NYY 77-68 11
AL wild-card standings
TEX 81-64 --
TB 78-66 --
NYY 78-68 1
BAL 77-68 1.5
CLE 77-68 1.5
KC 77-69 2
(For full standings, click here.)
Yankees at Orioles, 7:05 p.m.
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.82 ERA) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (4-13, 5.11 ERA)
(NOTE: Lefty David Huff had been listed as the Yankees' probable starter until after Wednesday night's game, when manager Joe Girardi said Hughes will start.)
Robinson Cano had a big homer last night against right-hander Tommy Hunter. He can still be dangerous against lefties, but he hasn't fared well against Chen. In 16 at-bats against Chen over the past two seasons, the Yankees second baseman has batted just .188 with one homer, one RBI and six strikeouts.
Other games that matter
Athletics (Griffin) at Twins (Diamond), 1:10 p.m.
Red Sox (Peavy) at Rays (Hellickson), 7:10 p.m.
Indians (Kluber) at White Sox (Danks), 8:10 p.m.
Thought of the day
Nobody is going to suggest that the Orioles would ever have any hint of regret about trading Koji Uehara for Chris Davis and Hunter two summers ago. Let's not be silly here.
But the way Uehara has pitched this season makes you wonder if he could have solved a lot of the Orioles' current bullpen issues.
Remember, Uehara was a free agent this offseason, and the Orioles offered him a one-year deal. (He signed with Boston for one year and $4.25 million during the winter meetings.)
Uehara has been a godsend for the Red Sox, who lost closers Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey to season-ending injuries.
Uehara has retired 34 consecutive hitters, a Boston record. Opponents are 6 of their past 94 against the Japanese right-hander, and he has hasn't allowed a runner to reach base since Aug. 17. (Hat tip to Boston Globe reporter Pete Abraham on those stats.)
For the season, Uehara has 19 saves, a 1.08 ERA and a ridiculous 0.57 WHIP. Oh, and we should also mention he can be pretty fun to watch.
Inside the enemy clubhouses
And this one has little to do with the actual pennant chase, but a Massachusetts man was arrested for allegedly assaulting the Rays' mascot Raymond.