The Orioles are understandably focused on Wednesday night’s game and attempting to assure that they get a playoff game at Camden Yards, but they enter the final scheduled game of the regular season with the possibility still alive that they might have to play a regular-season tiebreaker game at Oriole Park on Thursday.
Of course, no one is saying who would take the mound for the Orioles in the event that game has to be played, but it appears likely it would be rookie Steve Johnson, especially with manager Buck Showalter showing so much interest in his very brief side session today.
The other possibility would be veteran Joe Saunders on short rest, but that seems unlikely with the Orioles guaranteed a Friday wild-card game somewhere. Saunders probably would be held back for that, but he wouldn’t necessarily pitch on Saturday if the Orioles end up winning a tiebreaker against the Yankees and bypass the wild-card game.
Saturday, Showalter would be able to choose between a very rested Saunders and Jason Hammel, who came through his simulated game well and might be ready to go by then.
For now, we’ll just have to go with one of Buck’s favorite axioms. In a few hours, our curiosity about the tiebreaker situation will be satisfied and everything else should become apparent.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun