It’s going to be a while before the Orioles post their lineup, but I’ll get it started here and fill in the rest later.
Taylor Teagarden C
There’s absolutely no way that Matt Wieters can start tonight after catching all 18 innings last night/this morning.
Joe Saunders can only hope for more offensive support than the Orioles gave Wei-Yin Chen.
Saunders doesn’t require much against the Mariners. He’s 8-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 14 career starts against them, and he’s 6-0 with a 2.30 ERA and five quality starts at Safeco Field.
In his last six starts in Seattle, Saunders has gone 6-0 with a 0.98 ERA over 39 2/3 innings. He hasn’t permitted more than one earned run in any of those outings.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette must have been checking the September schedule when he traded for Saunders, knowing the left-hander’s success rate against Oakland and Seattle.
He also must have known that manager Buck Showalter was carefully monitoring Miguel Gonzalez’s innings and also keeping close tabs on Chen. The more starters on hand to provide extended rest for others, the better.
Jake Arrieta looks pretty comfortable in the bullpen with 3 1/3 hitless, scoreless innings last night to go with his two scoreless on Sept. 14. The Orioles still consider him a starter, but he’s filling a need and doing it nicely.
Brian Matusz has worked in relief in 12 games, allowing two earned runs and five hits (two last night), while issuing one intentional walk in 10 innings. He’s struck out 14 and stranded all 10 inherited runners.
In his eight relief appearances, rookie Steve Johnson has allowed two earned runs in 16 1/3 innings. In his two outings as a starter, Johnson has allowed four earned runs in 12 innings.
Showalter still needs a starter for the Red Sox series at Fenway Park. Gonzalez and Chris Tillman will fill two of the spots. Matusz isn’t leaving the bullpen. Randy Wolf seems the most likely choice if he isn’t needed tonight, though Arrieta and Johnson remain candidates. They both pitched extremely well last night and would get ample rest if handed the ball over the weekend.
How about that defense?
The Orioles have not made an error in their last eight games and have committed only one in their last 12. They haven’t made an error in their last 92 innings.
According to Elias, their next-longest error-free innings streak was 101 from April 30-May 12, 2007. They’re bearing down on that mark after last night’s 18-inning clean slate.
Update: Yes, Dylan Bundy is joining the Orioles in Seattle, as first reported by FOX Sports and later confirmed by our own Steve Melewski. And no, I don’t think he’s currently viewed as a starting candidate.
The Orioles need another arm and they’ve summoned Bundy, who is lucky that he’s flying into a city where a Starbucks sits on every corner. Literally ... every corner. He’s a long man tonight if Saunders is knocked out early.
Plans certainly change - Bundy was supposed to stay in instructional league - but I don’t believe that the Orioles are considering him for a weekend start in Boston. He may not stay with the team through the rest of the month. We’ll see.
Anyway, it’s another wild twist in a crazy, unpredictable season. And another reason to stay up late tonight.