Tonight's game is 'huge' for the suddenly struggling Orioles

The Orioles are at the point that all losses are bad losses, that all games are big games. There are only seven games left in this season, the AL wild-card is tightening and they are still just 1 ½ games behind the New York Yankees.

So they absolutely positively need to win Wednesday night even though it is – as the Orioles keep saying – one game. It’s one game, that if it is a loss, would be three straight to the last place Toronto Blue Jays.

“[Wednesday] is huge. You never want to lose a series, especially at home,” said Orioles lefty Joe Saunders. “If we can salvage a split, that would be fantastic. It's a long season. You dig yourselves a hole and you dig yourself back out of it. Hopefully we can win [Wednesday], have a good off day and come back and have a good series against Boston."

Rookie right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is on the mound, and he has been real good at home recently, going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts at Camden Yards.

He’s started once before against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Sept. 5 when he allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings and picked up the loss. Gonzalez made his big league debut against the Blue Jays on May 29, allowing one run in 3 1/3 innings.

He needs to come up big, because the Orioles have no business losing three of four to the last place Jays right now. Not the way this season has gone.

On Tuesday night, the Orioles looked haggard. They were tentative defensively; they were completely out of sync offensively. They looked like a team starting to feel playoff pressure. We’ll see if they can overcome that malaise, the way they have all year when it looked like the momentum may be slipping away.

“I think we're fine. I think we might be a little bit tired, but we just have to push through, especially at this time of the year, dig down deep and find whatever you have and compete the best you can,” Saunders said. “That's about it.”

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