The Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers have faced each other in Baltimore on only two other occasions, however they’ll have to wait an extra day to get their third meeting off and running in Charm City. Last night’s game was rained out due to a strong series of thunderstorms and rain showers that hit the mid-Atlantic region yesterday evening. The two teams will thus begin their series with a split-doubleheader today. Game one will begin at 1 PM, and game two at the regularly scheduled time of 7 PM. Obviously fans with tickets to last night’s game either have the option of exchanging them for a different day or using them for this afternoon’s game. Please note that as I said above, this is a split-doubleheader. That means that a separate admission is required for both games today. Fans will have to leave the yard in between games and pay to get back in if they choose to go to both.
Both the O’s and Los Angeles announced last night that their starting pitchers will remain as previously scheduled for both games. Jason Hammel and LA’s Hyun-Jin Ryu were last night’s scheduled starters, and they’ll be starting the afternoon cap today. Tonight’s regularly scheduled starters were already Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles and Josh Beckett for Los Angeles. For the record, teams who have to play doubleheaders in this fashion are granted an extra roster spot for the day so as to give them extra support (presumably in their bullpen). The O’s haven’t made a roster move of any sort, however they would have the option of calling up a player from the minor leagues at some point today if they choose to do so. Having said that, consider this: the O’s have a bit of an advantage in that not only are they the home team (with their minor league affiliates being very close by), but their opponent is from the west coast. Los Angeles’ triple-A franchise is located in Albuquerque, NM; in other words, it’s unclear as to whether or not a prospective extra roster player that they might call up for these games would get to Baltimore in time.
Teams have tried to stay clear of doubleheaders in recent years. In this case it’s not an issue of losing gate revenue because these are billed as two separate events with two separate gates. However it does throw a potential problem into things given that two games in one day can have lingering effects on a team’s bullpen. To further complicate matters, the Orioles will be heading to the west coast after their afternoon game on Wednesday. If the bullpen takes a bit of a hit today and potentially in between, what condition might the ‘pen be in at that time? That’s why the onus goes back onto the starters to go deep into games. Ideally, Hammel goes seven innings or so and the O’s get out to a wide lead so as to keep the bullpen fresh for tonight’s game and beyond.