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Putting Orioles Magic into the Magic Number and a home Clinchmas awaiting Camden Yards


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With a celebration about to occur in downtown Baltimore, Luke Jones and Nestor get the Orioles Magic Number and playoff realities into focus for a big week at Camden Yards – and a bigger week of pitching questions awaiting for a potential Game 1 ALDS next Saturday, October 7th.


bullpen, orioles, team, batista, play, pitching, game, clinch, point, win, rotation, innings, losing, postseason, week, weekend, good, day, tampa, feels


Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back, W and S T, Towson Baltimore. And Baltimore positive it is our 25th anniversary Big shout out to our friends at curio wellness and Farhan Garber providing some cannabis education round here with Wendy brown find you could find that out of Baltimore positive and certainly find them over on York Road as well. Our 25th anniversary features are 25 stories of glory and time will not dim the glory of your deeds and keeping us open and alive and participating in all sorts of fun things this week. Barn memories and I am the in it heavy negotiations to bring the show bring the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery and win donation and Jiffy Lube back to das beer hall for some proper Koelsch. I’m doing that in November because we’re in hiatus sing the crabcake tour a little bit. Because we have Oriole magic to deal with here the next couple of weeks. You know I remember what Charles Steinberg used to play the Pippin song. We’ve got magic to do just for you. Miracle place to play. I may bring Charles on to sing the Pippin theme song there. Look, Jones joins us this week. And I don’t know if it’ll be storybook to clinch myths against the Washington Nationals on both massive networks no less. Or maybe the Boston Red Sox this weekend. But certainly. Look, I’m wearing my Orioles, orange throwback here. It sort of feels like they’re going to be the one seat and clench this thing this week. We’re gonna have like a party here this week, not to wash away all those purple memories of Sunday and losing to the Colts. But the Orioles are going to do something here this week that I think you and I made me believe we’d never see, right? Well,


Luke Jones  01:52

not this year anyway. You could have you could have gotten me to buy into 2425 26, you know, knowing the pipeline and who was already here and who was on the way. But I think for it to happen this quickly in the fashion that it did. And we’ve talked about it. I mean, the Yankees are down right now the Red Sox are down right now. And the Red Sox has changed our general manager, you know, fired their general manager, the Yankees kind of have late 80s vibe. Yankees, you know, a thing gone where they’ve got a bunch of high price players, but they’re old and they can’t stay healthy and all that so, but the Orioles have seized every opportunity and they are going to clinch the alias this week. I feel comfortable in saying that as they come home with two and a half game lead and you have six to go. I mean, they have the time after

Nestor Aparicio  02:41

bed at Hollywood casino right now if you wanted to bet against them put the foot down and say they weren’t. I mean, it’s it’s astronomical, right? They gotta be 97% to clinch or something, right?

Luke Jones  02:51

I mean, something in that in that orbit, right? I mean, it’s very high. I mean, that’s just where they are right now being when you have a two and a half game lead with a tiebreaker in your pocket with six games ago. The arrays have five they go I mean, it’s just it’s losing

Nestor Aparicio  03:05


10 is bad teams. Yeah, I mean, right. And

Luke Jones  03:09

let’s let’s not pretend that the rays are playing a perfect brand of baseball. Right now. We’ve talked about the Orioles, bullpen issues, and I’m sure we’ll get to that in a moment. But look what happened to Pete Fairbanks on Saturday. I mean, he couldn’t throw a strike, total meltdown on the back end of the race bullpen. That had been so incredible going into that Oreo series last weekend. So a lot of this is just what happens around the league when you get to the end of the six months season. Teams are tired in a case like the Orioles I mean there’s been you and I would have had a much different discussion. If you and I had done radio Saturday morning.

Nestor Aparicio  03:44

Guy was falling Friday night it felt

Luke Jones  03:46

that way and look just because they want Saturday and Sunday does not mean I’m my concerns or quelled about the bullpen by any stretch. But it is a reminder of it’s a long season, the ebbs and flows of the season. The fact that this team has minimized its drier spells, you know, they’ve had a couple four game losing streaks and a couple three game losing streaks here and there. And that’s been it, you know, they haven’t had these extended stretches where they lose 11 of 13. And there are good teams that go through stretches like that, you know, let’s be very clear about that. So, as we’ve said all year, it’s a testament to Brandon Hyde. It’s a testament to the coaching staff. And first and foremost, a testament to these players, you know that they haven’t gotten too low when things are going bad, just as they haven’t gotten too high when things are going well. But I think what we saw over the weekend. I mean, to me, it begins with what John means did on Saturday night in a real moment of need when you consider the bullpen this long stretch of days without an off day as they finally get a respite on Monday, as they come home and play the nets Tuesday and Wednesday. But John means gave them x exactly what they needed. And I’m not even talking about the flirtation with a no hitter. Just the fact that he pitched seven innings, you know, the fact that he pitched into the late innings. I mean, just absolutely massive for this pitching staff for this bullpen specifically, I mean, for John means to go seven and a third. And do what he did take a no hitter into the seventh inning. I mean, boy, that was so big on so many levels. And not to mention for him individually, making a pretty good statement. As far as his inclusion in the postseason rotation. You know, as we


Nestor Aparicio  05:33

I mean, we continue to think about this for a year and a half, right? Like, maybe sorta, kinda, maybe he’ll be there, maybe, you know, maybe he’ll be available for an inning or two. And then he goes out there and does that. And you say to yourself, alright, he made this may be spring training for him right now. And it feels like may 10 sort of strength for him where nobody else is feeling that right now. He might be he could be a difference maker for you in the way that Batista you know, we’re worried about you know, worried about food, you worried about the bullpen. Some of these guys and even Flaherty coming out of the bullpen and providing some some insulation last week to say, maybe he could be that guy in a pinch in game three, if rupt, two games that nothing and it goes haywire. It’s one, one, and it’s going haywire. But you start to think Man, I remember this from 1214, and 16. But even more so now that we’re up against it. How you performing game one, game one’s everything, because you talk about the sky falling on ravens lost over the weekend, and they’d have to wait a week. And how we felt Saturday morning after blowing the game and losing two in a row. We don’t lose two in a row around here. Never Never lose three in a row render never lose series. That’s why I keep thinking to myself, This is gonna be the damn this thing if they haven’t lost the series all year long, really, in this sort of way and somehow get bounced in a five or a seven against any of these inferior teams. If all year long, they didn’t get swept. They haven’t had any of these kinds of issues, that getting the pitching sober at this time, and figuring out where are you next Friday. That’s all about not letting this thing get to Saturday. No offense to all of you that bought tickets for Saturday night, or Jim Palmer night on Friday night. But they got to get the dirty deal done here early in the week. And take the weekend to breathe and have some fun and have the crowd down and give the jerseys or do everything they need to do have their little hangover. You get to come out there next Tuesday and Wednesday and chat and Greg Bader can decide which place you go because they’ll be having batting practice everyday next week and chilling out. And we’ll be watching baseball around here in the middle of the week. That’s that’s where this thing’s headed, right. But the sooner the better. And if there’s any message here, it’s win Tuesday when Wednesday hope Tampa look like win win. get this over with and dance around in front of the Nationals and Ted Lerner.

Luke Jones  08:10

Yeah, and take a few extra days to and it’s not as though you’re gonna shut down everyone. I mean, you don’t want your like, for example, Bradish is gonna start Tuesday, he would be in line to start the series, the season finale on Sunday, he probably still goes out there, but he probably only throws two innings or three and you know, something, just enough to keep them sharp, you know, just enough for him to basically have not a side session, because it’s still a game, but he’s not gonna go out and throw 100 pitches, but you also don’t want him to go 12 days in between starts, well, you get strength

Nestor Aparicio  08:41

training for four days, and then four days of BP and like body rest had rest mine. Like that doesn’t mean that they don’t go out and poop the bed next weekend. Right? I mean, like that can happen. And that’s why they get game one game one, but at least they’re going to have every advantage you can ever have. You know with that? Well, not really because they might see Tampa, you know that because of the way this weird seeding of four or five, they can only play the four or five, they can’t play the three or the six because they don’t want the vision winners showing up at the doorstep of the one seed. So they’re going to see this four or five winner. But then this is a week to try hard. Fast. Get it over with and then spring chaining BP and get ready for the real thing next weekend with every advantage you can possibly add. I mean that that goes well in the first four innings of game one next Saturday. But man this is. This is exciting. It’s so exciting. I bought a New Jersey loop. It’s a really good look at New Jersey new uniform, not not New Jersey. No.

Luke Jones  09:51


Sure. A new old Jersey, New Jersey.

Nestor Aparicio  09:55

The piping on that man should say the senseis on it, but it doesn’t you know so anyway,

Luke Jones  09:59

so Sharp jersey. But you’re absolutely right. And look, if this if the circumstances were different, it would be a really interesting discussion in terms of this five days that you’re going to sit until you play in the divisional round. As far as whether that’s good. You know, it’s so counterintuitive to how a baseball player approaches the season where you play every day and you’ll play to two and a half weeks at a time without an off day as the Orioles are coming off of a long stretch like that, on Monday going into the start of the homestand. But when you just add a sheer necessity with their starting rotation, not because they pitched poorly, although certainly they’ve had a few more hiccups of late with the rotation over the last 10 days or so than what we had seen for for a few weeks there. But with that, the innings with Bradish Grayson Rodriguez and Dean Kramer however, he’s going to fit all these guys have thrown career highs and innings and especially the bullpen. I mean, I’m stating the obvious with that right. I mean, the bullpen has been so overworked. You don’t have Felix Batista. You know, we’ll see what’s going to happen with that. I mean, again, no one’s I don’t think anyone’s holding their breath. So I’m not I’m going to tell people to hold their breath because I don’t think anyone is at this point. But this five day break, assuming they finish, they close out their business here, which they should over the next few nights, whether it’s whether it’s Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, it should be somewhere in that neighborhood. It’s down to three. I mean, even if they don’t play that well, are the rate is going to win and do what they need to do. But they need to give themselves every opportunity to rest for Brandon Hyde and Mike Elias and his coaching staff to sit down and say, Okay, who do we think’s best suited for which role? How do we want to kind of lay out a rotation? I think it’s very evident just in terms of a pecking order. Kyle Bradish is the ace for this team right now in terms of performance. He has been all year long. Grayson Rodriguez, choppy start in Cleveland aside has been outstanding. We saw what he did against Tampa last weekend with the eight shutout innings. But then you have okay. Where does Dean Kramer fit into this a couple weeks ago. I think everyone assumed he would be in that postseason rotation, but he hasn’t pitched as well of late. You have John means who’s coming off of an excellent start. And, you know, he doesn’t have postseason experience, but is a little more experienced. Kyle Gibson, you know, we we spent time talking about means What about what Kyle Gibson did for them on Sunday gave them another long start where they didn’t have to dip deep into the bullpen and gave those most of those guys a chance to catch their breath a little bit go on into the often away

Nestor Aparicio  12:37

to pitching not bad if the pitching were bad, they’d be losing Albula they’re they’re winning seven out of 10 ballgames. You know so we were all freaked out about all this. I mean, they’re gonna piss away a game or two maybe the way they did Thursday or Friday and maybe even in the in game three years. I mean, that’s going to happen. But over the scale of this they’re getting more good pitching and bad pitching like it but but we even without John means the other night. There were no hit ball. I mean, they didn’t put this thing together with duct tape. It just feels that way because they don’t have Madison Smoltz and Glavine and Avery, and they don’t have Palmer and Dobson and McNally and quasar. And they don’t have Messina and Eric’s, you know, I mean, they don’t have that. But I don’t I mean, if they, if they see Seattle, what are they going to get with? They see you what are they going to get? That’s any better than what these guys have been


Luke Jones  13:28

lately, lately? Well, and you just talked about the starters. And that’s also coupled with losing the best reliever in baseball this year. I mean, that’s how great not good how great Batista been. You look at his numbers in terms of wins above replacement in terms of wind probability in terms of strikeouts per nine innings. The era I mean, it all checks out, we know how important Batista was. And look, it is a credit and absolute credit to this ballclub with the way that they fared. For the first what three weeks that Batista was on the shelf, that it wasn’t until the last week to 10 days where we started seeing, you know, and really just this past week, really seeing the cracks in the bullpen. And I think so much of it is just those guys are exhausted. And you’re talking about having had a day off and no scheduling didn’t help them either.

Nestor Aparicio  14:18

Right, right.

Luke Jones  14:19

No question about it. I mean, that’s part of it. Again, like we talked about with the ravens, you know, it doesn’t excuse them. 100% But it’s part of that percentage. It’s part of the pie. You can’t just dismissive, dismiss it entirely. But in the case of where the Orioles are with their bullpen, the reason why they’ve tried and tried and tried to get Fujinami into a position where he’s confident enough and consistent enough where you want to use him in the late innings. It’s because he miss bats. It’s because he strikes guys out. They do not have many relievers in that bullpen right now that can strike people out and look I know of some people who are a little more old school and I respect that and I know strike out aren’t everything. However, it’s simple probability and simple math. What’s more likely to happen? A guy make soft contact but makes contact and a ball falls in or you blow that hitter away and he doesn’t make any contact, there’s no chance of the ball falling in for a base hit, then they are missing that with Felix Batista and Cano doesn’t miss bats. I mean, what strikeouts he had early in the season. You know, he’s not striking anyone out at this point. I mean, he did did have one the other day. But that’s he’s a little

Nestor Aparicio  15:30


bit of a Fernando mania guy. I would hate to see the season in a game six. They’re losing three, two, and him come out of the blue. I mean, that that’s the fear here. You’re right. I mean, the fear here is Game Six. You know, you’re up for three in the seventh inning, it’s tight, you’re home, crowds all into it. You’re right where you need to be to go to a World Series, and who’s coming out of the bullpen to to shut that down? And what’s the level of confidence in that? And if that’s Cano or if that’s Fuji? I think, dude, it’s September 28. And we you know, that’s still that’s still not safe.

Luke Jones  16:11

And let’s be clear, Kanoa has been an all star reliever this year. Even with his recent struggles. He’s got a 2.17 era he’s been outstanding this year. Especially relative. I mean, this guy wasn’t even on the roster on opening day. Keep that in mind for how important he’s been. But you just said it. And it’s why this team needs to hit. And you know, we’ve kind of seen the Jekyll and Hyde with the bats here of late. And look, those guys are tired, too. It’s not just the pitching. You know, when you’re talking about all these guys who are playing 17 straight days, and without an off day and all that, that, that takes a toll on everyone, especially when you’re in the final month of the regular season a 162 game marathon, but it’s why they have to hit and it’s why they need to be able to get look. To your point. This isn’t you know, they don’t have Greg Maddux, you know, it’s not Randy Johnson, it’s not Jim Palmer. It’s not Mike Mussina. So you can’t possibly expect these guys to go seven innings in these postseason games, because we know how playoff baseball operates, especially in this day and age with bullpens and how you leverage situations and you’re probably not going to ask guys to go more than two times through the order unless they’re really, really pitching well. So that’s going to be part of it. But put it this way. Your starters can’t have situations where they only go three. You know, that’s when you run into this. And this is everyone, not just the Orioles. It’s in any team in the playoffs, that you get into that territory. That’s when you are afraid of especially in the best of five,

Nestor Aparicio  17:39

hang on a minute, because I think playoffs are different. A lot of guys wind up going through because they get mangled up a little bit. And the manager won’t give them rope right like literally won’t. Like it’s managed so differently. I think we all forget that we forget that over because we’re 150 games into this. This is the way and it’s already different than Jim Palmer pointed out every night when it’s the fourth inning and a guy’s at 85 pitches. And Ballmer would be like, Well, I would be 71 pitches, but I’d figure out a way to get to 118 tonight and get it done and get to the eighth or whatever. That never ever happens in modern baseball. And in October that doesn’t get turned up a little bit. It gets turned up white hot in the five game series wider. You know red hot, blue hot next week and a three game series where you know everybody’s shrinker gets really tight on next Tuesday and Wednesday. And we’re going to be on the sideline watching it watching. Maybe Tampa with or with 97 wins and lose game one and be behind a couple of runs early in game two. And all of a sudden there’s your thing. This the third inning, I got to pull my picture. Well, we’re playing for our lives today.

Luke Jones  18:46

Yeah, no question about it. But that’s where that’s where this feels different for me with this Orioles club and look. They’re closing in on 100 wins. They still have a chance to win 100 games for the first time since 1980. They they deserve all their flowers. However, the one area this team that I do not feel nearly as confident in right now not not talking about attorney I think everyone would agree with me, compared to the bullpen in 2016 was Zach Britton and Darren O’Day and Brad Brock and Michael Gibbons at that point time, specially in 2014. When you had Zach Britton and Andrew Miller and Darren O’Day and Brad Brock and Kevin Gasman, you know, maybe that’s where Jack Flaherty fits in here. He failed as a starter. In the Orioles rotation. Maybe he can be a plus arm for them out of the bullpen. Now the point is, and you’re right about how managers and how teams approach the post postseason baseball. But I’m not convinced the Orioles are going to be that as aggressive as other teams because who do you really trust in this bullpen right now? Again, last week aside Janja Cano has been really really good for them. He’s been outstanding for them for most of the season. You have seen it now Perez has gotten back on track, compared to where he was the first half of the season. I don’t know if I fully trust him again, another guy is not really striking out a lot of people. But, you know, we saw us in the ninth inning on Saturday night, that’s evident that Brandon Hyde has more trust in Him than others. Danny Coolum. You notice a trend here, I’m saying the last week aside, everyone’s had hiccups over the last week. I mean, that’s why this last week was was so. So anxiety ridden, because they just, they couldn’t trust any of their guys that they even normally trust


Nestor Aparicio  20:34

what they really are in a position to get these guys good rest. I mean, they really are. And with our diet, nutritionist and all the sleep stuff, everything that they want to do, they’re going to be able to do, they’re still very much. I mean, unless they lose three games in a row and race here should catch fire, like and we got to play this thing into Saturday and Sunday. At the very least get this thing done by the time Friday night rolls around and let Jim Palmer do another victory lap here and give him the love that he deserves. Even though he’s never done my show. I still love your gym. So the greatest Oriole ever, ever, ever. And I hope he gets that on Friday. But I hope it’s over with I mean I I really want to see them dance around in front of the Nationals. Just for my own civic sake, but get this done before Friday, that’s all and then Then close the weekend and coach next week. And then you have a perfect plan that all of this last two weeks. You know, these guys have all been good at various points this year. I don’t expect to know to come back out of the box and be the magician he was in May. That was quinoa mania. But I expect him to be functional. And more than that I just don’t want to see these guys come out piss themselves with ball one and ball two whenever they come into the game and whatever setting and whatever stadia against whatever batter and whatever situation. They gotta throw strikes man,

Luke Jones  21:50

no question about it. I agree with you whole heartedly, but the rest is gonna be great. The idea that they can set up their rotation exactly how they want it. I think it’d be interesting. You know, do you start Bradish? Game one? And do you go with one of the vets in game two and have grace? And in game three, you know, like, I mean, those are the things you’re gonna think about, right? I mean, radish and grace that are gonna be in the postseason rotation. That’s obvious, right? I mean, that no questions asked about that. But okay, where does John means fit into this? Is he in the rotation now, after the way he’s come back, it’s only been three starts, but it’s looked really good. And the third one was the best yet, especially at a time when they really needed

Nestor Aparicio  22:29

it. And it looks good this week against one of these lousy bomb teams. He might be the clinch guy, right?

Luke Jones  22:34


Maybe? Sure. Sure it you know, and then you know what happens with Dean Kramer? Is he in the rotation and Gibson’s in the bullpen or do you go with the vet in the rotation and maybe the Kramer becomes an X factor for you in the bullpen. I mentioned in 14 Kevin Gasman transition from starter at the end of the regular season to being a pretty nice weapon for them out of the bullpen. So, no, that’s something to think about. But for me, I guess, I guess where my concern lies, lies. And this is where I do wonder how Brandon is going to approach the postseason. Because you don’t have all these guys coming out of the pen that can strike people out the way that some other teams have bullpens that could do that, you know, without having Batista. It’s just you know, we’ve seen it, they’ve had to shuffle roles, right? You don’t really know how this is defined. If you go back to 14, you knew it was Zach Britton in the night. It was Andrew Miller, you know, somewhere seventh or eighth. And Darren O’Day being the, you know, was gonna be the other one, whatever order you picked, fine. But, you know, that was the pecking order. That was the hierarchy. What’s their hierarchy right now, I don’t really know

Nestor Aparicio  23:39

15 months ago, if you take it back to Lopez is the closer Batista as the setup, they were in a much better, but it’s not July of last year, and they’re not a sub 500 TJ like that. This is they are where they are, and they don’t have those weapons. And I would agree with you, but I think on any given night, Calum could come out in the seventh group, he could come out in the eighth and can choke him out in the knife and throw strikes and get guys out. That’s going to be what they’re going to need to do. I mean, really, that’s unless they’re winning. 72, right. Sure. Sure. Well, look, and then you bring Gibson out of the bullpen and a seven and say, you know, give me 42 pitches over three innings and get this thing over with and let’s get out of here.

Luke Jones  24:24

Now you sound like Now you sound like me earlier in the year saying when they needed more blowout wins. Easier said than done in the postseason. But you’re right, you’re right.

Nestor Aparicio  24:32

But look, it’s taken me a whole year and 15 years a relationship I finally agree with you. We need we need this. We need to win a lot. There you go. There you go. You don’t have to worry about the book. It would be better if we blew teams out Luke. That’s my astute conversation here.


Luke Jones  24:48

But that’s where I do think this is interesting. And that’s where I you know, if you close this thing out again, you’re still gonna have to cover the ending just so not to play the games here. You know, you don’t want any you’re not going to shut anyone down entirely. That’s not going to, but you can let your foot off the gas for some of your guys that that you’ve leaned on the hardest. There’s no question about that. You can ease up, you know, Bradish will start Sunday but maybe throw three innings or something like that. And then he’s out of the game and you proceed, how you’re going to proceed. But with this bullpen having such little clarity in terms of how you’re going to approach the late innings, I mean, you mentioned food Fujinami. How can you trust him at this point in time? I mean, I’m guessing he’s going to be on the postseason roster, because, well, you’ve got to fill out a bullpen somehow.

Nestor Aparicio  25:36

But you gonna bring him into game one in this in the seventh inning with two rounds and two runners on? You’re losing four three? I don’t think so.

Luke Jones  25:46

Right. So but my point is, someone has to cover that. And that’s where this does get more interesting for me in terms of what we’ve seen as far as the most recent developments. That is Jack Flaherty moving to the bullpen, and look, clarity has been a colossal disappointment as a starter. But guess what most relievers are what failed starters at some point in time in their in their pitching career, that’s usually how this works. Even even you know, it’s very rare when guys are even drafted as drafted as a reliever. Now, they typically are starter and they transition. So you have him out there. I am not saying that he’s going to be that I’m saying I’m intrigued by shortening him help him up and seeing if his velocity ticks up, which we’ve seen him that start his first start in Toronto after the trade. He was throwing 9697 We saw a way better version of Jack clarity as a result. Can you get that having him throw shorter stints, we’ll see, they did just bring Tyler wells back. I’ve been talking about Tyler wells for two months now in terms of potentially being a high leverage guy in the bullpen for them. Again, we’re gonna have to see how it plays out. And he had some arm fatigue even with transitioning to a bullpen role. So that doesn’t mean that it’s going to going to work out. But you have those two and whoever and at this point. I don’t know this Nestor. This is not me asking around sniffing around. But if you asked me to predict what their postseason rotation is right now, in any order, just their top four. Obviously, it’s Bradish. Obviously, it’s Grayson Rodriguez. But I really wonder if what we’ve seen from John means and just knowing the veteran presence of Kyle Gibson, even if he doesn’t have extensive postseason experience, he does have some. I do wonder if that puts those two over the top and we see Dean Kramer moved to the bullpen, and maybe Dean Kramer but comes a guy that comes in after your startup is out after five innings because we know you know even if you have someone pitching well, they’re probably not gonna go seven innings in a postseason game. You just don’t see that unless you’re talking about a bonafide ace. Maybe Dean Kramer comes in in the sixth inning and you shorten him up and his stuff plays up. I mean, I think all their options are on the table in terms of how they’re going to proceed with their bullpen. And that’s not to say that, you know, this doesn’t mean I’m saying Cano, or any of the the guys that have been trustworthy coulomb CNL Perez, Jacob Webb, I want to mention him. He’s been, you know, since they acquired him off waivers. He’s been

Nestor Aparicio  28:13


a guy that they had some confidence in. Right.

Luke Jones  28:15

You know, I mean, he do hasn’t missed quite as many bats as I thought he would. But you know, he’s, he’s certainly going to be in the postseason. He’s going to be in the postseason bullpen. So but but I think it’s gonna be interesting to see how this plays out. I think all options are on the table, including, you know, where does clarity fit into this where it is wells fits all

Nestor Aparicio  28:35

the way, way and what the matchups are that weekend, as well, of course, where it almost appears it has to be Tampa and Toronto, right? I mean, it appears it’s going to that that will be the four or five teams will be the four and it doesn’t appear that the second place team in the Al West is going to catch them Seattle and Houston. I mean, how Houston is trying to play their way out of the playoffs at this point. And here comes Seattle. And I mean, Texas looks like they’re going to run away and you couldn’t convince me that two weeks ago, right? So there’s been a lot of change on that side. But the one thing that feels a week out is it’ll either be Tampa or Toronto from our perspective of where we would go for games three and four, two weeks from now and who’s going to be coming in here and that would you know that that may push them to say all right Bradish goes one means goes to or Bradish goes one Gibson goes to we’re and we’ll play we’ll play means out of the bullpen you know on any given night i To your point these are good sports radio conversations to have all next week after they clinch though right First things first. You get through this because you start playing Friday night in the magic number we’re still talking magic numbers and people are put pictures of Billy Smith up because he was number two are out Bumbry because he’s number one. No bueno. No bueno on that Luke’s

Luke Jones  29:55

no doubt no doubt about it. But yeah, I mean, it’s gets to the finish. Clinch. Have your champagne shot celebration in the Orioles clubhouse and have that fun. You can cruise them through the last few games. No one really cares about winning 100 games, right? I mean, win the division, win the division and then do what you need to do to optimize your chances in any way you see fit for the division round,


Nestor Aparicio  30:18

like sigma del, they’re optimized, right?

Luke Jones  30:21

But it’s the truth. I don’t I ultimately, I you know, from a fan perspective, and that’s why I think, you know, when when the stretch started against the Cardinals, and then the the beginning of the race series a couple weeks back, I think everyone got so fixated on having a game show, they’re gonna win, or they’re gonna win 100, or they’re gonna win 102. And everyone’s talked so much all year. Look, I’m not not bashing it. It’s a testament to them. But everyone’s talked so much about the streak of not being swept. And it’s like, wait a second, those things are still secondary to what they need to do, which is clinch a division, get the number one seed, you do that. I don’t care if it’s 99 wins or 100, or whatever. I mean, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care if if they clinch against the Nationals. I don’t care if they get swept over the weekend. I really don’t if it means that you can rest your rest some of your key guys and kind of move things around and try some things out and get some guys off their feet. I mean, I really couldn’t care less about the streak of being swept. And I couldn’t care less really about 100 wins at this point in time. Are those things nice? Are those things fun to recognize and tweet about and have fun with of course, but it’s about what you said, Get this thing locked up when the division have your celebration, and then you can really figure this out. But it’s going to be fascinating. And you made mention it was interesting. You mentioned whether it’s Tampa or Toronto because the Orioles and you know this is kind of a this is putting a positive spin on it. Because they’re in the position they’re in with their bullpen where you have some trust questions and you have some questions as far as who you’re even going to go to and high leverage spots and who’s going to be in the bullpen and and all in all that it really does put Brandon Hyde in a position to really play the matchups much more and you know, we saw that on on Saturday night. Cano pitched in the eighth inning and then they brought Perez in because it was two lefties and a switch hitter to up you know, is the top of the Cleveland older so it does I think a for you an opportunity to step outside the box of saying okay, this is my ninth inning, this is my closer, this is my eighth inning guy this is the guy like thrown into seventh No, it’s going to be based off of who’s due up in the order, what side of the plate, they swing from, you know, all those different factors. So it does, I think put you in a position where you can try some things. Now. All things being equal, I’d rather have Zach Britton in his prime and an Andrew Miller and his prime and A Darren O’Day in his prime. But that’s not where the Orioles are right now. And, you know, as much as maybe you’re holding out hope for that small percentage chance, chance that Felix Batista might pitch even if he does, who the heck knows what it’s even gonna look like, you know, can can even be effective, let alone worry about his arm, you know, his elbow falling off in the process. So you know that I really I think all everything is on the table in terms of not so much the rotation but how this bullpen is gonna look because Cano fits somewhere into the late inning picture. You know, he’s earned that, you know, recent couple of recent bad outings aside. You know, Perez and Danny coulomb are lefties who do a great job getting out left handed hitters, so they’re going to fit somewhere into that equation. Beyond that, you know, Jacob Webb, okay. Fujinami How can you trust them? I mean, you just can’t, not when he’s going to go out there and, you know, on a night by night basis, not know if he can get the ball over the plate. So that doesn’t mean he won’t be on the roster at all. But I just think there’s there are a lot of options on the table here. You know, whether you’re talking about clarity, a Tyler wells, maybe Dean Kramer, if he’s not in the rotation, I, I think the there are a lot of possibilities here. And that’s not ideal. But as you astutely pointed out, go look around at the rest of the Al playoff field right now. The team that no one talks about and I think that’s what’s hilarious about this, because they do have good starting pitching and maybe, you know, people were sleeping on them. No one talks about the twins whatsoever. And look, they’re not 100, wind juggernaut or anything like that, we understand that the Al Central was largely garbage this year, but they’re to division winter and they do have good some good starting pitching. And they’re gonna be able to sit back and you know, kind of see how this last week plays out. They’re gonna be able to set up their rotation the way they want to, you know, they’re not gonna lie, but you know, they’re, they’re gonna play at home, you know, as the three seed but all these different teams, they’ve got something going on that they don’t like about their team right now. I mean, you mentioned that Astros choking. The Seattle was so Oh, Jaco unhide I mean, the Rangers look like they were dead two weeks ago, and they’re gonna win the division. It’s looking like now. I mean, we’ve talked about the rays, and, gosh, they lost, they lost Lau over the weekend, another crushing injury for them. I mean, none of these teams are perfect. So that’s why, as much as you might know, you win in general, not you Nestor. But just anyone listening right now looks at the Orioles and say, Oh, I don’t like this or I’m worried about this. All the teams in the AR saying that right now. So just keep that proper perspective. And you know what this comes down to who’s going to get hot, who’s gonna get hot during the wildcard round, and maybe that carries that in. We saw this with with the Phillies last year, they beat the Cardinals. And before you know what they’re in the NLCS, they were a team that scratched and called just to make it as a wildcard. So you don’t count out that scenario.

Nestor Aparicio  35:51

This team can give up seven runs and winning 11 to seven games in game two, there’s not mean that this team can hit the ball and change the you know, striking out a little bit, whatever, but situationally, and matchup wise with the bench they have and you know, the unlikely stars that can be a Mateo or McKenna or McCann or, you know, O’Hearn, you know, that it could be any of these doesn’t have to be Henderson and Mullins and, and Adly every night, but they’re going to hit the ball too. And if they don’t hit the ball, it’ll be like Kansas City all over again. I mean, if they’re gonna get skunked, and you know, they’re gonna hit, they’re gonna hit the ball like they did a week and a half ago where they got tired, and they can’t score run, they’re gonna lose, they’re gonna get, you’re gonna get knocked out. If you’re scoring one and two runs over three or four days, you’re gonna get knocked out.

Luke Jones  36:39


I mean, it’s the nature of the postseason. You know, the best team doesn’t always win. Look at the Dodgers, the Dodgers are perfect. tell anybody that around you because we feel like we’re the best team. But it’s but it’s the truth. I mean, it’s just It’s the simple truth. I mean, look at how the Dodgers have dominated year after year after year over the last, what, seven years, that one World Series, it was during the the weird pandemic year that they want it so you don’t know. And that’s why you take advantage of this. Enjoy this. My goodness, Orioles fans enjoy this. This has been such a fun season. I don’t know if the Orioles are going to win the World Series. If you ask me yes or no, I’m probably going to say no. But I would say that about any team. You know, if you’re going to take any team against the field, even the Braves, who have been the best team in baseball all year, they’re not exactly finishing the season looking like their best being at their peak performance. So you just don’t know, it’s so much of its timing matchups. Who wakes up on the right side of the bed who gets hot at the right time? And on the flip side? Who doesn’t get hot at the right time? Who has the crushing injury? I mean, I think you and I said that the Monday morning after the Batista injury. You know, we made the comparison to as you once said, When Ronnie Stanley originally injured his ankle and 2020, you said at that point, I think this, I think this is going to prevent them from winning the Super Bowl this year. And you know, the Batista injury. I don’t know if that will. But if we’re looking back and they’re not in the World Series, which there’s a good chance that’s gonna happen, because that’s just how this works. Do

Nestor Aparicio  38:11

we have a seventh eighth and ninth inning with a one or a two run lead at some point? Because they’re good enough to be there? I mean, if they don’t have that, if they if they’re closer doesn’t have a chance to blow it, it means that they’ve had no chance to win it. Oh, yeah. Right. So I mean, they’re gonna need those innings. And so your point all the stacking and stuff, you talked about day one, which is this is gonna stack up and this is gonna get heavy. You got heavy two weeks ago against Tampa, it got heavy last week against Cleveland, they have a chance to lighten their load this week, at least in that way. And I hope that they can finish the deal. Finish it as we would say anything else you want to add? Are we good? Sure. Nope.

Luke Jones  38:51

No, it’s just good. You just said it. Finish this thing off, get some rest. Give your coaching staff and front office a chance to look at the numbers. How do you want to line things and get your ducks in order and hey, it’s go time they’ll have they’ll have a chance to watch but they got to stay sharp. Work out that in practice, what Camden Yards next week. But boy, this These are exciting times and the idea that they’re on the cusp of clinching the ale east. First time since 2014. Only the third time in the history of the ballpark. Division champions and the number one seed. That’s exciting. We’ll see what happens after that you get a chance to roll the dice as buckshaw Walter always said, and that sure beats the alternative

Nestor Aparicio  39:32

and almost feels like they didn’t lose the football game on Sunday. We’re gonna get the Maryland crab cake tour back out on the road presented by the Maryland lottery. We had some lucky winners a Coco’s last week. I hope everybody enjoys our conversation with Max wise with Microsoft Liana who came out we told some old Oriole memories Max wrote a piece about being bandwagon fans and what we do with them at this point that led them on we had empty seats at the stadium a couple of weeks ago. Everybody’s spending their money on playoff tickets. Luke’s gonna be out knowings Mills all week getting ready For the land of cleave, and then Pittsburgh and then the London Tottenham trip, we’re going to be in Hollywood casino in Maryville that day, please get up early. Come on out to Hollywood casino in Perryville. Have breakfast with us watch the football game on the giant screen TVs bet the games have a good day with us. It’s October 15. It’s my 55th birthday the day before. So, five 510 One five. And, you know, I’m trying to think of where we’ll be in the baseball playoffs at that point. It’s all running together. All I know is the magic number was three as we sat here and they need to end it this week. I’m Nestor, we’re WNS da and 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore. Positive

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