Today’s live blog: Orioles vs. Yankees

This afternoon’s live blog: It’s almost time for Game 2 of the weekend series in New York. A win would pull the Orioles to within one game of first place and within one victory of a three-game sweep.

I will keep this blog “live” during this afternoon’s game and will add stats, notes, facts and commentary here all during today’s game. I hope the readers keep a steady stream of comments and questions coming here as well. Check back often and hit refresh to get the latest and see the latest reader comments. Post your thoughts on how today’s game may go or more impressions on last night to get it started if you like.

The starting pitchers: Wei-Yin Chen (12-7, 3.78 ERA) makes his 27th start today. He gave up just one earned run on four hits Monday against Chicago. He has 14 quality starts and the O’s are 17-9 when he takes the mound this season.

In two starts vs. the Yankees, Chen is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA.

A 25-year-old right-hander, David Phelps (3-4, 2.96 ERA) pitches today for New York. He has made six starts among 25 appearanes this season. His last three games came as starter and he has gone 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA against Texas, Boston and Toronto.

Phelps has a 2.54 ERA out of the bullpen and is 1-2 with a 3.48 ERA over those six starts. Lefty batters hit .246 against him and right-handed batters hit .210 vs. Phelps.

Should the Yankees panic?: I certainly see no reason for that, but this writer does. He said that last night they looked thoroughly overwhelmed at their own ballpark and that Miguel Gonzalez made the Yankees appear old and tired.

This team’s defense didn’t rest: How important has the improvement of the Orioles defense been to this team? On the MASN telecast they showed the stat where the Orioles .988 fielding percentage since the All-Star break ranks as the fourth best in the majors.

Buck’s competition: Jon Morosi of just tweeted this note about Buck’s competition for the AL manager of the year award. What do you think?

Speaking of Buck Showalter ... A spirited race for AL Manager of Year. Robin Ventura and Bob Melvin also strong candidates.

If you think the Orioles were good in August: The Double-A Bowie Baysox completed August going 21-9. That was the third most wins in all of pro baseball in the month. Akron clinched first place in the Western Division last night so Bowie and Akron will play in the Eastern League playoffs. The clubs begin a best-of-five series with games at Bowie on Wednesday and Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.

Dylan Bundy is expected to pitch on Wednesday in the playoff opener. We could see Jake Pettit in Game 2 of that series. Pettit is 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA over his last four starts. That all could bode well for Bowie to get the jump on Akron in that series.

Wieters note: Matt Wieters has certainly been hitting well this year against the Yankees. Coming into this game he was batting .413 (19-for-46) with two homers, three RBIs and a 1.089 OPS over 12 games. He added to that with a second-deck homer to right in the fourth. Wieters has hit safely in every game this season against the Yankees. His hitting streak is the O’s first 13-game hit streak against New York since Cal Ripken in 1996.

Chen through six: 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 R-ER, 1 walk, 4 Ks, 87 pitches.

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