Sitting at the media dais under the glare of television lights Thursday, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen made a prediction about his start Friday in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
"Well, I think tomorrow when I get up to the mound, I will be all sweating and nervous, just like I am now," Chen said through interpreter Louis Chao as reporters in the room laughed. Chen then wiped his brow for effect.
The Taiwanese left-hander has been through this before. In 2012, he allowed just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win in Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees. Chen, who was 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 31 starts this season, said he is not going to approach Friday differently.
"I will just try to stay calm and focus on my part again. Try to get hitters out and not thinking about too much," he said. "I don't want to think about anything that I wouldn't do in the season, and that's how I'm trying to stay focused."
Chen, 29, didn't face the Tigers' formidable, right-handed lineup this year, but he's 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two games lifetime against Detroit. He said he has watched video and initially considered pitching them particularly carefully, but has decided against that.
"As long as I do well, I think I have the chance to get them out," Chen said. "So I don't want to think about that too much."
Plans for those left of the roster
Catcher Steve Clevenger, Matusz and McFarland will travel with the Orioles in case a player needs to be added to the roster because of an injury. Infielder Alexi Casilla and Berry will leave Baltimore after Friday's game for Sarasota, Fla., and will work out and play in instructional league games there.
Relievers Ryan Webb and Evan Meek and infielder Christian Walker already have been sent to Sarasota. Left-hander Joe Saunders has gone home to Virginia, but also could be on stand-by if needed. Instructional league games end Oct. 7.
Suspended infielder Chris Davis has been participating in those games this week. He likely would be eligible to return to the Orioles at some point in the AL Championship Series if the team decides to hold a roster spot for him (the earliest he could play in the ALCS would be Game 4).
Around the horn
Showalter has not announced the specific order of his rotation for Games 3 and 4, but Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris will be the starters. Both were available out of the bullpen Thursday in an emergency, Showalter said. … Injured third baseman Manny Machado (right knee surgery) threw out the ceremonial first pitch to injured catcher Matt Wieters (right elbow surgery). Both were in uniform and they received a rousing ovation from the soldout crowd. Wieters will stay with the team throughout the playoffs; Machado will head to Sarasota to continue his rehab Saturday. … Fans entering Thursday's game were given an orange rally towel courtesy of the Orioles, Geico, the Maryland Lottery and CareFirst. The towels contained the image of "the angry bird" with the words, "Welcome to 'O'ctober." … Detroit outfielder Rajai Davis, who was questionable with a pelvic strain, was included on the Tigers' roster and started Thursday in center field.