Orioles resuming season against team that tortured them in 2019

Momentum in baseball is the next day’s starting pitcher.

We must remind ourselves as the Orioles sit on their back-to-back wins in Boston.

They could have rolled into Miami and been toppled by Pablo López, who registered a 3.39 ERA, 1.084 WHIP and .229 average against in 11 home starts last summer, compared to a 7.36 ERA, 1.448 WHIP and .299 average-against in 10 starts on the road.

Of course, we’ll never know because both games at Marlins Park were postponed.

The softer part of the Orioles’ schedule has gotten a lot harder with the Yankees replacing the Marlins for a two-game series that starts tonight at Camden Yards.

Sort of like having Genghis Khan as your substitute teacher.

The Orioles played 10 games against the Yankees last season at Camden Yards. They lost 10 games.

It was repulsive.

Factor in the seven losses in nine games at Yankee Stadium and they were 2-17 - the two wins coming in the season’s first series.

The Orioles were outscored 95-44 at Camden Yards. Gleyber Torres went 12-for-30 (.400) with two doubles, seven home runs, six walks and 12 runs scored in nine games.

He was pretty good against the Orioles anywhere they played, slashing .394/.467/1.045 with four doubles and 13 home runs in 18 games.

Gary Sánchez also was a headache, slashing .364/.426/.927 in 14 games with a double, 10 home runs, 22 RBIs and 12 runs scored. He was 10-for-28 (.357) with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in seven games at Camden Yards.

The 17 wins were the most by the Yankees against an opponent since going 17-5 versus the Kansas City Athletics in 1959. They became the eighth team in history to post 17 victories against a team in 19 games or fewer in a season.

The Orioles’ 16 straight losses represented the second-longest streak in club history against an opponent. They dropped 17 in a row to the Indians in 1954.

The 95 runs scored and 10 wins at Camden Yards were a record for an opponent, but the Yankees gained national attention for the home runs. Lots and lots of them.

They hit 43 at Camden Yards, demolishing the record of 23 by the 2016 Red Sox. And they slashed .320/.398/.725.

Welcome back.

The Orioles would have been facing Marlins’ right-hander Sandy Alcantara tonight, but now they get Gerrit Cole, who received a record-breaking nine-year, $324 million contract in December.

The same Cole who would have started against the Orioles in their home opener four months ago before baseball shut down. Pitching for a team that’s a lot healthier in late July than it would have been in late March.

Hyde-Mask-Camden-Yards-Stands-Sidebar.jpg“I know that they were banged up early, but now they pretty much have everybody except for Chappy (Aroldis Chapman) at the end,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “It’s a good club. It’s a ready-to-win-now club. They’re trying to win the trophy at the end for sure and we saw them a lot last year. We’re hoping that we play them better than we did last year.

“I liked the way we played the last two days in Boston. I’m really going to be more concerned about us honestly than I am about them. But I think our guys are going to go out there and compete. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side. This is the AL East, it’s an adult division for sure.”

Cole made his Yankees debut Thursday night in D.C. and allowed only an Adam Eaton solo home run over five innings. The lone run and hit.

José Iglesias had seven hits in 13 at-bats in Boston, but he’s 1-for-12 lifetime against Cole.

The Orioles know that they’ve got two games against the Yankees and three against the Rays. They don’t know about next week, which is supposed to begin with three games against the Yankees.

“I’m sure MLB is working hard on the scheduling process,” Hyde said, “but until they announce everything or they let me know, I honestly don’t know.

“We’re day-to-day adjustments in the 2020 season.”

Better to be back home than waiting at the team hotel in Miami for instructions on whether to play. Wondering if it was safe while receiving updates on the growing number of Marlins players testing positive for COVID-19.

Facing the Yankees seems like a breeze by comparison.

“It’s not easy to not know, so we’re just hanging around not knowing what’s going on,” Hyde said. “It almost felt like you’re just sitting around in your clubhouse waiting to play. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s definitely an uneasy feeling.”

Hyde kept thinking about his friends with the Marlins. He worried about Jonathan Villar, who played for him last summer.

“It was just kind of a numb feeling of what’s going to happen?” he said.

They’re playing tonight.

The three hours on the field make the other 21 tolerable.

“The baseball aspect is really what gives you kind of a release,” said Chris Davis. “It gives you a little bit of a break from everything else that’s going on around you. To be around the guys, to play the game that you love, to be out on a big league baseball field with other big leaguers and just doing what you love, it kind of takes you away from everything that’s going on around you.

“Even when you have hand-washing stations at the end of the dugout, trainers spraying hand sanitizer at you left and right, wearing masks. I mean, there’s enough of a break between the white lines to really give you peace of mind and allows you to sleep a little bit better at night - at least for me. I can’t speak for the other guys, but I feel like they’re having a pretty good time.”

Does Davis go home each night feeling glad that he’s doing it?

He didn’t hesitate.

“I am, I am and I do,” he said. “And I will say this: Winning helps. It definitely helps.”

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