Down the Stretch (Sept. 24)

[Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming day for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]

About last night


AL East Standings

NYY       88-64     --
BAL       87-65     1
TB         83-70    5.5

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL        87-65      --
OAK       86-66         --
LAA        84-69      2.5
TB          83-70     3.5
DET        80-72      6

Today's game

Blue Jays at Orioles, doubleheader starting at 4:05 p.m.

RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-13, 4.87 ERA) vs. RHP Steve Johnson (3-0, 1.91 ERA)


LHP Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.72 ERA) vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (12-9, 3.98 ERA)

Other games that matter

Royals (Hochevar) at Tigers (Verlander), 7:05 p.m.

Athletics (Straily) at Rangers (Holland), 8:05 p.m.


Indians (McAllister) at White Sox (Sale), 8:10 p.m.

Yankees (Pettitte) at Twins (Hendricks), 8:10 p.m.

Thought of the day

When asked about Tommy Hunter throwing a pitch clocked at 101 mph in Saturday's game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated that the high velocity might suggest that Hunter is best served pitching out of the bullpen.

This is surely something the Orioles' brass had already been considering. But it's interesting to think about how the lines have blurred between which pitchers are starters and relievers.

In the old, old days, pitchers were just pitchers. Then we went into an era of specialization.

But now, as the the Orioles and other teams are showing, starters can be used in relief with pretty solid results.

Not every team is going to pull a Showalter and have three-fifths of its Opening Day rotation pitching out of the 'pen in September. But when the Orioles head into next season with seemingly plenty of options to fill out their rotation, perhaps guys like Hunter and Brian Matusz will take on more of a hybrid role where they're available out of the bullpen but can also step in to start.

It's silly to spend too much time wondering about that now. The takeaway is that we shouldn't necessarily pigeonhole pitchers as starters or relievers. Showalter certainly isn't right now -- and that seems to be working just fine.

Inside the enemy clubhouses

Tweet of the day

Curt Schilling (@gehrig38): BTW O's fans, the Dylan Bundy era began last night, I know you're excited, you should be, kid is going to be special!

Poll question

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