Down the Stretch (Sept. 20)

[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


AL East Standings

NYY       85-63     --
BAL       85-64     0.5
TB         79-70     6.5

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL       85-64       --
OAK       84-64         --
LAA        81-68      3.5
DET        79-69      5
TB          79-70     5.5

Today's game


Other games that matter

Athletics (Milone) at Tigers (Sanchez), 1:05 p.m.

Blue Jays (Laffey) at Yankees (Hughes), 7:05 p.m.

Red Sox (Buchholz) at Rays (Price), 7:10 p.m.

White Sox (Liriano) at Royals (Guthrie), 8:10 p.m.

Rangers (Darvish) at Angels (Greinke), 10:05 p.m.

Thought of the day

As you read this, the Orioles are in Boston, getting some well-deserved rest before starting a three-game series against the Red Sox on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots will be in Baltimore for a pretty appealing tackle football game on Sunday night.

It's kind of amazing to think that the first of those two scenarios might actually be getting the most buzz around here right now.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not one of those people who think the Orioles and Ravens can't coexist and need to fight for attention. There's plenty of interest to go around for both teams in this city.

But the fact that this Orioles story has been the topic of conversation in the city so far this week is saying something, considering the way chatter tends to shift to all things purple at this time of year.

I keep saying to myself, this Orioles story can't get any weirder. Then you go through a day like Tuesday/Wednesday (if you don't get enough sleep it can count as one day, right?). Hours after a game that would have dominated the water-cooler conversation at almost every office, the Orioles called up the biggest name in their farm system -- arguably the biggest name in their entire organization.


Dylan Bundy didn't pitch Wednesday night. Will he make his debut Friday? Or Saturday?

It seems like not a day has gone by this month in which something memorable hasn't happened. For a fan base that endured years of meaningless Septembers, this is the gift that keeps on giving.

I guess the whole point of this long-winded thought (again, blame it on the late nights) is that O's fans should keep pinching themselves and make sure not take this for granted.

You get today off to recharge your batteries a bit, then it's back to the grind, back to the fairy tale and back to the madness as one of the greatest stories in this city's rich baseball history continues to unfold page by page.

Inside the enemy clubhouses

Tweet of the night

: Tonight's Safeco Field gameday giveaway: Pillows.

Poll question

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