The playoffs are clinched. The division is clinched. And now, the Orioles can intensify their focus on getting the rotation and roster prepped for the American League Division Series, and reveling in the rest that’s coming to them with the bye.
Cedric Mullins is batting leadoff tonight with Gunnar Henderson out of the lineup. Heston Kjerstad is in right field, Adam Frazier is the second baseman and Ramón Urías is at third.
Ryan Mountcastle gets the start at first base, with Ryan O’Hearn serving as designated hitter.
John Means is making his fourth start since coming off the 60-day injured list. He didn’t allow a hit for 6 2/3 innings in Cleveland. He’s allowed two runs in 12 innings in his last two starts to seemingly thrust himself into the postseason rotation.
Means owns a 3.70 ERA and 0.992 WHIP in eight career games (seven starts) against the Red Sox. Rafael Devers is 3-for-20.
Orioles starters are averaging 5.4 innings per game to rank sixth in the majors. The Red Sox’s starters are 28th by averaging 4.8 innings.
Right-hander Nick Pivetta is making his 16th start among 38 appearances. He’s averaging 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
Pivetta tossed seven scoreless innings in his last start against the White Sox. He’s 7-2 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.180 WHIP in 11 career starts against the Orioles.
Mullins is 9-for-24 with two doubles and a home run. Mountcastle has homered twice in 21 at-bats.
Austin Hays is 0-for-15 with five strikeouts. He’s in left field tonight.
Pivetta has registered a 0.97 WHIP and .166 opponent average as a reliever this season and a 1.29 WHIP and .244 opponent batting average as a starter.
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan O’Hearn DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Heston Kjerstad RF
Austin Hays LF
Adam Frazier 2B
Ramón Urías 3B
Jorge Mateo SS
John Means LHP
The Orioles sent out a press release this morning with a statement and more information regarding the new stadium lease announced last night.
“We had three goals in 2019 when we organized the Orioles management team,” said chairman and managing partner John Angelos. “We set out to remake the club to be a consistently competitive winner on the field, and to create a strong business and fiscal foundation to be able to do so at the highest level to sustain that competitiveness – and to completely reinvent and extend the Orioles’ partnership with the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland for the next three decades to ensure that the O’s would be in Baltimore up to and through our 100th anniversary. We have been very fortunate that we have achieved all of these goals.”
The release stated that the partnership with the state includes a 99-year ground lease for select areas around the ballpark north of Lee Street, including the B&O Warehouse and Camden Station, “giving way to more private investment opportunities and spurring economic development.” Also included in the deal is the “changing of hands for operations and maintenance responsibilities from the MSA to the Orioles organization.”
“I could not be more thrilled to spend decades watching the Orioles win titles in Baltimore,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. “This deal is not only a good use of state resources but will also drive economic growth in downtown and across the city. Today, we take a big step toward a more vibrant and thriving Baltimore – with good-paying jobs, a diversified economy, and opportunity for all. This deal is good for the city and the state, and I’m grateful for the partnership that got us to this day. The Baltimore renaissance is here."
The governor’s office sent out its own release today clarifying that it’s a “memorandum of understanding” rather than an actual lease, which will be finalized after more details are worked out. But it will “keep the Orioles in Baltimore for at least 30 years,” along with modernizing facility operations and boosting private sector development to revitalize downtown Baltimore City “and create more opportunity for all.”