The Baby Birds kick off their final leg of the last home stand for 2020 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Thursday consists of a doubleheader, with game one finishing a series back from August 27, when that final game was postponed. This current series begins with game two of the doubleheader, consisting of four games against the division leaders.
Dean Kremer will face off against Blake Snell in game one of this doubleheader, giving his team a chance to take one game of this series that he was not a part of originally. Kremer will face Snell in a first-time matchup we plan to see for years to come.
Kremer has been what the Orioles have been waiting for. The young rookie is 1-0 in two starts, and in those two starts, he has allowed only two runs in 11 innings, paired with 14 total strikeouts. This is good for a beautiful 1.64 ERA.
The rest of the series will consist of pitchers to be named later, including a possible new name, as the starter for game two, per Steve Melewski on Wednesday night:
Bruce Zimmerman is the probable starter in game two, and it will be a great debut for him, starting his first game in the ballpark he visited as a kid growing up in Elliot City, MD.
Coming into this series, the offense has numbers or bats that look to stay hot. DJ Stewart has been maybe the best hitter in the league over the past 15 games, netting seven home runs, included in 15 hits and 12 RBI. Ryan Mountcastle continues to show the league he is for real with 17 hits, three long balls, and 15 RBI over his last 15 games.
Playing against a very good team that is steam rolling into the postseason, the Orioles must do everything right in order to take this series. Here is the Baltimore Battery’s Keys to the Series!
1. For the rest of the pitching staff, bullpen stability is a necessity in this series. Against a team that can pitch successfully to an All-Star team, the Orioles pitching must hang with the Rays. Otherwise, the Rays pitching staff will blow through the Orioles if we cannot hold back their offense.
2. If the Orioles offense has been one thing besides solid numbers wise, it’s been inconsistent. Through a five-game stretch against Rays pitching, getting behind and giving up innings will be detrimental. Scoring often and keeping the pressure on the Rays offense, as opposed to their pitching, will be very helpful.
3. Another downfall to one of the youngest teams in the league is the inevitable occurrence of mental errors. It’s baseball; it happens. But for the Orioles in this series, it must be limited against a team who isn’t make those mistakes and are pros at using those mistakes to their advantage.
Here is the lineup for game one:
1. Hanser Alberto 3B
2. José Iglesias DH
3. Ryan Mountcastle LF
4. Pedro Severino C
5. Renato Núñez 1B
6. DJ Stewart RF
7. Austin Hays CF
8. Pat Valaika 2B
9. Andrew Velazquez SS
Dean Kremer RHP
The O’s made a few roster moves before game one, as they have designated RHP Asher Wojciechowski for assignment and recalled RHPs Branden Kline and Evan Phillips from the Alternate Training Site in Bowie. Phillips will serve as the 29th man.
With a very tough end to the home season, the Orioles certainly have a chance to go on the road for the last time with a few more victories under their belt.
Don’t miss the start of this series, that is actually the end of a previous one, starting at 4:35 p.m. EST on MASN or on the radio at 105.7 The Fan!
Let’s Go O’s!