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Orioles fans don't have many places to turn in postseason

Orioles fans don't have many places to turn in postseason

Most Orioles fans probably don’t have much rooting interest in the playoffs. It’s been just a week since the Orioles were eliminated in the painful wild-card loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, and in those seven days, the Jays have already moved on to the American League Championship Series to face the Cleveland Indians. 

Toronto swept the Texas Rangers in three games, and seeing the Rangers’ weaknesses in the series could only get Orioles fans who were watching, envious. 

During the regular season, the Orioles lost four of seven games to Texas, but won two of three in Baltimore just after the Rangers acquired Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy. 

A Blue Jays-Red Sox ALCS would have been even more painful, but the Cleveland Indians from whom the Orioles won five of six this season, swept Boston, too. 

Orioles fans who are still interested will be rooting for the Indians. The only ex-Oriole remaining in the series is Andrew Miller, who again has come up big in the postseason just as he did in 2014. 

With David Ortiz and the Red Sox abruptly out of the postseason, Orioles fans can root against Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. 

Terry Francona aggressively used his bullpen, and his early use of Miller was striking. When the Indians’ starting pitching wavered, he brought in Miller as a swing man. 

Toronto hasn’t been to the World Series in 1993, and if the Indians go, it will continue Cleveland’s good sports fortune. 

The only former Oriole on the Blue Jays is Scott Feldman, who brings back some unpleasant memories. 

Along with Steve Clevenger, Feldman was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in July 2013 in exchange for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.

Arrieta hit a three-run home run on Monday night in the Cubs’ 6-5 13 inning loss to the San Francisco Giants. 

Orioles fans aren’t over the loss of Arrieta, who has been wonderful for the Cubs, but was a disappointment with the Orioles. At the time of the trade, Arrieta had been given multiple chances with the Orioles and needed to go elsewhere. 

It would have been interesting had the Orioles held onto Arrieta to see if now departed pitching coach Dave Wallace could have worked well with him. 

Arrieta and Strop are both terrific guys, and it’s great to see them doing well with the Cubs who seemingly were on their way to a three-game sweep. 

The game finally ended around 2:40 this morning, and the Cubs will have another shot at hosting the National League Championship Series. 

Chicago is the only team remaining in the postseason that the Orioles didn’t face this season. Since the Orioles last played the Cubs when they lost three straight games in Aug. 2014, Chicago has turned over its roster. 

The Cubs and Arrieta will make their first visit to Baltimore since 2003 right after the All-Star break next July. 

In August, the Orioles beat the Giants in two of three games at AT&T Park. Jonathan Schoop’s two out, ninth-inning three-run homer was the difference 

The Nationals are a game away from their first visit to the National League Championship Series after an excruciatingly long nine-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The Orioles won two of three in Los Angeles in July, including their longest game of the season, a 14-inning affair that look nearly 5 ½ hours, and in August took three of four against the Nationals. 

The Dodgers feature Rich Hill, who was with the Orioles in 2009 and Justin Turner, who played briefly with the Orioles in 2009 and 2010. The Giants and Nationals don't feature any former Orioles. 

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles begin search to replace Wallace

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0