For the Orioles, there are now 122 games down and 40 left to play in the 2013 regular season. They are 5 1/2 games back of Boston for the AL East lead and trail Oakland by three games for the AL’s second wild card spot, as they begin play this afternoon.
The chase is on for wild card berths with Cleveland 3 1/2 back of Oakland, Kansas City five games back and New York six out.
Brian Roberts was asked what it is going to take for the O’s to make the playoffs.
“It all boils down to pitching and defense usually,” Roberts said. “Especially these last 40 games. We talk about not scoring a lot of runs and that is probably going to be the case moving forward.
“You are going to have to grind them out and do the little things. You will have to play good defense, move guys over, get them in when you have a man on third and less than two outs. And hold leads late in the game when you have them. We can’t afford to lose too many games when we have leads.”
Today, the O’s face Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who is 11-6 with a 3.18 ERA over 23 starts.
But in nine road starts, away from Coors Field, Chacin is 4-3 with a 1.87 ERA and he has given up just one homer in 57 2/3 innings.
He is a pitcher on a roll right now, recording seven consecutive quality starts and 11 over his last 12 starts.
He has an ERA of 1.57 his past three starts and is 3-2 with an ERA of 2.02 over his last seven outings.
Chacin has never faced the Orioles. In six career interleague games, he is 1-3 with a 2.82 ERA.