Markakis on early game, first playoff experience and Orioles fans

The Orioles may not have the most speed in the majors, but they’re used to fast turnarounds.

They’re back at Camden Yards this morning for a 12:07 p.m. start in Game 2 of the Division Series. Sleeping fast, as manager Buck Showalter advises, may have included a few players spending the night here.

Showalter’s been known through the years to crash in his office - he had a Murphy bed in Arizona - but he wouldn’t admit whether it happened last night.

Right fielder Nick Markakis figures it’s just business as usual for this team.

“We’re used to it,” he said. “Things like this happen through the course of a season and the postseason is no different. We’ve got to not look too much into it. We’ve got to play a baseball game no matter what time the start is and we’ve got to take care of business.”

Markakis played in his first postseason game last night and collected two hits and an RBI.

“You know, at the beginning I just kind of took everything in, but after that, it was just a baseball game, a game that we had fun doing,” he said. “It was great to be in that atmosphere and in that situation. But after the first at-bat, first inning, kind of settled down and it’s everything you expected, everything you hoped, everything you wanted, so it was really cool.”

Markakis appreciates how veteran teammates such as Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy keep saying that they’re happy for him after a broken thumb in 2012 kept him off the roster.

“You know, it’s a good feeling, makes you feel good that your teammates would respond like that,” he said. “I think that’s one of the main reasons we have played so well together this year. We bond together. We pull for each other. And the biggest thing is we play together. We play well together.”

The Orioles are facing three Cy Young Award winners in this series - in case you somehow missed the news - including Justin Verlander today. Is this as good of a three-pitcher combination as he’s faced in his career?

markakis-swing-black-sidebar.png“Yeah, I mean, I would be lying to you if I didn’t say ‘yes,’ because how many times does a team face three Cy Youngs,” he said.

“We know what we’re up against. It’s nothing new to us. We’ve got to stay within ourselves and do what got us here, no matter who is on the mound. That’s the way we look at it from our standpoint.”

The Orioles have a chance to clinch the Division Series in Detroit. They’ve gone 46-35 on the road this season. Will the Orioles arrive at Comerica Park with added confidence?

“I don’t think we’re looking into that right now,” Markakis said. “We have a ballgame to play today and everybody in that clubhouse is focused on today. Whatever the future may hold, it holds, but we’ve got one game today and it’s a big game for us. We need to do what we need to do.”

The Orioles will play before another packed house this afternoon - extremely loud and noticeably orange.

“The fans, they’re the reason why we play this game,” Markakis said. “To go out there in front of your home crowd and to play a game that we love and to get this far this late in the season, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about the fans. And ultimately, we are playing to win, but we’re playing to win for the fans.

“They’re the ones that put us out there every day and they’re the people that make things happen. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be in this situation we’re in right now. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be in this situation we’re in right now.”

Earlier today, Showalter confirmed that Miguel Gonzalez will pitch Game 3 on Sunday in Detroit. Bud Norris is expected to start Game 4 if necessary, but Showalter won’t confirm it.

“I wouldn’t assume that, I wouldn’t assume that,” he said while meeting with beat writers in his office. “It would be fairly safe if you were a prognosticator.”

“We’re playing today,” he added. “We’ve got two days to dissect that.”

The Orioles will work out Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.

Chris Davis flew home last night and will return to Sarasota on Sunday. He’s expected to play Monday and Tuesday to conclude the schedule.

Davis sent the following tweet earlier today:

“Flight delayed 3 hours, sat on runway for another hour, got home at midnight, O’s win 12-3. Yesterday was a great day! 7 more games boys”

Here’s the Tigers lineup:

Ian Kinsler 2B
Torii Hunter RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez LF
Nick Castellanos 3B
Alex Avila C
Andrew Romine SS
Rajai Davis CF

Verlander RHP

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