A reporter pointed out to Matt Wieters that all the Orioles in the clubhouse now have playoff experience. It may just be one game for some of them, but that was a pretty big one and Wieters said the players’ effort against Texas could help them in the American League Division Series against the Yankees.
“That one game was playoff experience like you get in a Game 7,” Wieters said. “Some of the nerves for some of the guys, you get it out of your system and that means you care. Winning that game can help ease that going forward.
“There are not too many secrets between these two teams. You know the other guys. Sometimes that is to your advantage and you may have to try and do some things that are different. But you really have to play the way you have all year.”
The Orioles find themselves in the underdog role once again.
“I don’t think we are too concerned about that in here,” Wieters said. “We are not comparing records through history, we are comparing this year and we’re ready to go and put our team out there against any team this year.”
Tonight, they face CC Sabathia, a pitcher with a 16-4 record and career ERA of 3.12 in 25 starts vs. the Orioles.
“With a pitcher like CC, when you get your mistakes you can’t miss them,” Wieters said. “You can’t worry about running up pitch count against a guy like that. He can throw 120 or 140 pitches if he has to.”
There were media reports late in the year suggesting Sabathia has lost some heat on his fastball. Did Wieters see a less than top-notch Sabathia when the O’s last faced him Sept. 8?
“I think off his game for CC is still a pretty good pitcher,” Wieters said. “For us, whether he is on or off his game, you have to compete and get some runs against him.”
Wieters expects a good outing tonight from Jason Hammel, even though he hasn’t been in a game since Sept. 11.
“Hammel is a guy that has great stuff,” Wieters said. “When he came back from this last time (on the disabled list) he had great stuff and hopefully he he’ll be like that again be able to go deep in the game for us.”
Live blog tonight: I will have a live blog going throughout tonight’s game and will publish that a little before game time tonight. I hope a lot of readers leave questions and comments there tonight and I’ll be responding as often as possible and dropping some information in there during the game.