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Down the Stretch (Sept. 25)

The Baltimore Sun

[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

Orioles split doubleheader with Jays
Steve Johnson makes most of Game 1 start
Notes: Hoes dedicates season to late grandfather
Randy Wolf to have MRI on left elbow today
Wei-Yin Chen's downward trend continues
Who should start a one-game playoff for O's?
Monday's full scoreboard

AL East Standings

NYY       89-64     --
BAL       88-66    1.5
TB         83-70    6

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL        88-66      --
OAK       86-67         --
LAA        84-69      2
TB          83-70      3
DET        81-72      5

Today’s game

Blue Jays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m.

LHP Aaron Laffey (3-6, 4.80 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Saunders (8-12, 4.08 ERA)


Other games that matter

Indians (Kluber) at White Sox (Liriano), 2:10 p.m.

Royals (Chen) at Tigers (Sanchez), 7:05 p.m.

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

Athletics (Milone) at Rangers (Darvish), 8:05 p.m.

Yankees (Hughes) at Twins (Vasquez), 8:10 p.m.

Mariners (Ramirez) at Angels (Greinke), 10:05 p.m.


Thought of the day

Much has been written this season about the Orioles winning despite a negative run differential.

When Dan Connolly blogged about it 10 days ago, the O's still had been outscored by a total of 21 runs for the season.

Now that little red number reads -7.

The Orioles actually had their run differential down to negative-3 after yesterday's first game -- the closest it's been to even in who knows how long -- but it took a bump with that J.P. Arencibia grand slam in the nightcap.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter how that number ends up. There are far more important numbers in those daily standings.

Like the fact that the Orioles have more wins than all but two teams in the American League and would be in the postseason if it started today. Or that they have a better record than the Yankees against the AL East (38-26 vs. 36-29), which would allow them to host a one-game tiebreaker for the division title should the teams end in a tie. (They split the season series, which is the first decider of who hosts that game.)

But, if you're a sabermetrics aficionado and just can't live to see the O's end the season with a negetive RD, you might have another close race to follow in these final eight games of the season.


Inside the enemy clubhouses

Respect for bats is Ichiro's key to hitting

Coco Crisp's pinkeye isn't improving

Mike Trout improves with each at-bat through a game

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