My apologies for the brevity of today’s post, but last night was an important evening for our country and sports were temporarily pushed to my backburner while I watched democracy in action. Still, I had a couple quick thoughts to share.
Orioles Should Be Happy To Be Facing Texas
It may not be getting the attention it deserves, but what the Oakland Athletics accomplished over the last week was absolutely historic. The A’s became the first team ever to erase a five-game deficit to capture a division crown over the final nine days of the season.
Unfortunately, the Yankees sucked up all the baseball oxygen by holding off the pesky Orioles in the American League East. Baltimore’s loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday night left it in the A.L.’s one-game wildcard playoff on Friday night. The Texas Rangers, who just got swept in Oakland and coughed up that five-game edge, will be the Orioles’ opponent.
It would have been incomprehensible as recently as a week ago, but the O’s have to be incredibly thankful they get a shot at the Rangers. Texas has looked completely lost down the stretch on offense, and seemed completely disinterested in Oakland over the last three days.
Beating a team as talented as Texas will be a huge challenge for Baltimore, but the way the Rangers are playing right now and with the game being played at Camden Yards, I like the Orioles to find a way to keep this magic carpet ride of a season going.
Delaware Faces Must-Win Game On Saturday
It seems funny to say with a 4-1 record, but the University of Delaware is in an absolute must-win situation on Saturday against Maine. If the Hens want to reach the postseason, they have to get to eight wins. Obviously, being halfway there through only five games is a great start, but the schedule leaves little leeway for Delaware to get there.
The Hens still have games in front of them against Old Dominion and Towson. After giving up 34 points in the second half last week, any Delaware supporter has to be frightened for what the potent ODU offense might be able to do against them. A win on the road against the Monarchs seems highly unlikely right now.
Meanwhile, Towson figures to be no easier. Yes, a weaker Hens team did beat the Tigers on the road last season, and Towson will be coming to Newark this year, but this is a much-improved Towson squad as well. The Tigers just went to Baton Rouge and hung with LSU well into the second half. Delaware has beaten a Division II team, two mid-majors and a one-win William & Mary squad. Towson appears to be the likely favorite in that one.
That means Delaware has to win all of the rest of its games against Maine, Rhode Island, Richmond and Villanova. This is certainly a very attainable goal, but there is no margin for error. Accordingly, a loss on Saturday would be devastating to UD’s playoff aspirations.