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06/12/2018 a las 08:34:56
BALTIMORE — The Houston Astros will get one more tuneup for the playoffs on Sunday when they meet the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of the four-game series and the last game of the regular season at Camden Yards.Houston (103-58) is headed to the American League Division Series to meet the Cleveland Indians starting Oct. 5. The Orioles (46-115) are headed home after the worst season in franchise history.Charlie Morton (15-3 [url=http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/robert-woods-jersey]Robert Woods Jersey Elite[/url] , 3.18 ERA) starts for the Astros. The Orioles announced after Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader — which the Astros swept — that Jimmy Yacabonis (0-2, 6.00) gets the ball. Article continues below ...Morton came out of his last start after just one inning because of shoulder issues and told the media Saturday that there’s still some tightness there. It’s expected Morton will not pitch very long Sunday, but the veteran is looking toward the playoffs.“Part of the difficulty is the mental side of it; sometimes you just don’t feel right,” Morton told the media. “Sometimes you feel something’s wrong when there really isn’t anything that’s that bad, and you have to kind of accept that. I’m trying to loosen things up and get in a better spot overall and try to get ready to pitch in October.”Morton has a 1-2 career record with a 5.40 ERA against the Orioles.Yacabonis has filled in at times and made spot starts for Baltimore as the team tries to convert him into a starter. He’s been up and down but pitched well at times, just like Yefry Ramirez, who lost Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.Yacabonis has never pitched against in Astros in his brief major league career.The Astros have shown some power in this series, especially in the doubleheader where they banged out five homers overall en route to their sweep of the slumping Orioles.Baltimore just hasn’t come up with enough offense against the tough Houston starters, which has been a problem for many teams the last few years, but the Orioles have battled that issue all season.“We’re just not doing much offensively against some good pitching (in this series),” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the doubleheader.Sunday’s game also could represent another bigger step in the rebuilding process that Baltimore began to undertake when it traded off several players around the deadline two months ago.It could be the final game for Showalter [url=http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/robert-woods-jersey]http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/robert-woods-jersey[/url ] , who has been the team’s manager since August 2010 and led them to the playoffs three times. Adam Jones, the face of the team in recent years and one of its most popular players, is about to hit free agency, and GM Dan Duquette’s contract, like Showalter’s, expires after this season.The Orioles could let all three of them go and would be looking at a major rebuild. If so, that would disappoint many fans because of how popular Jones and Showalter are with them. So even though Sunday’s game means nothing to Baltimore other than the end to a very trying season, it could very well be the final page in a chapter of the team’s history. Dylan Buell/Getty ImagesWashington Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo sees manager Davey Martinez as part of the team in 2019 despite what has been a massively disappointing 2018 campaign."I haven't considered any other scenario," Rizzo said Wednesday when asked whether Martinez would return for next season, per MASN's Mark Zuckerman.Rizzo added he doesn't plan on executing a full-scale rebuild in the offseason."The core is in place to have a championship club," he said [url=http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/alex-smith-jersey]Authentic Alex Smith Jersey[/url] , perZuckerman.Granted, some of Rizzo's belief may hinge on whether the Nationals re-sign Bryce Harper, who's a free agent in the winter. Although he's Washington's only big star headed for free agency, he'd leave a big hole in the lineup if he were to sign elsewhere.Regarding Martinez, there's only so much blame to place on a manager for a team that has encountered as much bad luck as the Nationals have.According toBaseball Prospectus, Washington has a .549 third-order winning percentage, which would put the team at 76 wins and right in the National League playoff hunt. Nationals relievers are also 26th in FIP (4.48), perFanGraphs. Yadier Molina's two-out, two-strike grand slam in the top of the ninth in Tuesday night's 11-8 Washington loss to the St. Louis Cardinals sums up the bullpen's fortunes this year.Joe Sheehan joe_sheehanAt the end of the day, I believed in the #Nationals鈥?chances more than anyone employed by the team did. An 0-2, two-out grand slam. Uncle.Martinez may have a hand in the team's failure to close out games [url=http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/alex-smith-jersey]Alex Smith Jersey Elite[/url] , though."Martinez's ability to handle a pitching staff emerged as the primary concern in the Nationals clubhouse in the first part of this season, according to on- and off-the-record conversations with players and those familiar with this team鈥檚 inner workings," theWashington Post'sChelsea Janesreported in July.Specifically, Nationals players were worried Martinez was pushing the relievers too hard.TheWashington Post'sBarrySvrlugaalso questioned whether Martinez was capably handling the team in the clubhouse, highlighting the trade ofBrandon Kintzler as an example of the team going out of its way to show support for the manager and send a message. According toSvrluga, the team dealt Kintzler because "he had been too critical of the club鈥檚 inner workings and clubhouse culture."With the season still going on, Rizzo has little reason to undermine Martinez's position by allowing for the possibility he could be out of a job in the offseason.Firing Martinez after just one year would be a surprising move, but it wouldn't be too hard in seeing the Nationals' justification for doing so with how much things have unraveled so quickly.
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