BALTIMORE - It's do or die for the Baltimore Orioles tonight as they face the New York Yankees in the fourth game of the American League best-of-five division series. The Yankees currently lead the series 2-1.
All the pressure is on the Orioles as they need to win tonight to continue their omazing postseason run.
Luckily, the Orioles are accustomed to playing under pressure. Throughout the division series, players and coaches have cited their success against the Yankees , specifically their 6-3 regular season record at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
So, it only seems fitting that on the mound tonight be an Orioles pitcher with success against the Yankees.
Enter Joe Saunders.
Saunders, tonight's projected starter on the mound for the O's, though he had a 4.07 ERA for the regular season, was 1-0 against the Yankees. In that one game, he threw a total of 101 pitches. Sixty-five of those were strikes. He gave up two runs.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is confident in Saunders, or else he wouldn't have him on the mound for such an important game. The 6-foot-3 left-hander has a 1-0 2012 postseason record – he was a major factor in the Orioles' do-or-die wildcard game against the Texas Rangers.
Showalter will be hoping to get at least seven good innings out of Saunders tonight, setting up what was a very successful bullpen during regular season play.
On the mound for the Yankees tonight will be 6-foot-5 right-hander Phil Hughes. He had a regular season ERA higher than that of Saunders – 4.23. The Orioles have had success against Hughes. His record against Baltimore is 2-2, and both of the Orioles' wins came in the Bronx. Five players on the Orioles' squad have knocked at least one out of the park against Hughes.
Tonight's game will begin at 7:30 and will be broadcast on TBS.