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Post-season Gameday Thread, #13: Orioles an endangered species

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I'll keep this one brief, having spent the morning writing up 1,500 words on the Arizona Fall League and the pace of play rules changes. Call that a taster for this afternoon... But first, this.

Ezra Shaw

1:07pm Arizona time, TBS: Royals lead 3-0

Miguel Gonzalez
RHP, 0-0, N/A
Jason Vargas
LHP, 0-0, 3.00
Nick Markakis - RF Alcides Escobar - SS
Steve Pearce - 1B Norichika Aoki - RF
Adam Jones - CF Lorenzo Cain - CF
Nelson Cruz - LF Eric Hosmer - 1B
Delmon Young - DH Billy Butler - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Alex Gordon - LF
Caleb Joseph - C Salvador Perez - C
Ryan Flaherty - 3B Omar Infante - 2B
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Mike Moustakas - 3B

If the Orioles were on thin ice yesterday, they now find themselves clinging on by one fingernail over a pool of Ebola-infected piranhas that haven't been fed for a week. The Royals are apparently unstoppable, having one seven consecutive games this post-season under Ned Yost, and now find themselves one game away from a return to the World Series. That seemed pretty unlikely on July 21 this year, when they were two games below .500, in third place and eight games back. But as we've seen so often before, once you reach the post-season, what matters is only how you play in October, and Kansas City have truly been royal this post-season.

5:07pm Arizona time, Fox: Giants lead 2-1

Shelby Miller
RHP, 0-0, 3.18
Ryan Vogelsong
RHP, 0-0, 1.59
Lineups to be announced.

The Cardinals have to be kicking themselves - in particular, kicking Randy Choate - after handing the Giants victory on a platter last night, and allowing them to take a big edge in the National League Championship series. That turns this evening's game into, if not quite a "must win" for St. Louis, certainly a "we'd really like to win", because defeat would mean the Giants could clinch their World Series spot without have to leave home again. What we saw last night is that the importance of sound fundamental baseball is magnified in October. You're playing the best, and can ill afford to hand over extra outs or unearned runs. We'll see who manages to do that best this evening.