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Miley hopes he can get Orioles even closer to postseason

Miley hopes he can get Orioles even closer to postseason

Tonight's Game:

Baltimore Orioles (88-72) vs. New York Yankees (83-77), Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y., 4:05 p.m. 

Starting pitchers:

Wade Miley (9-13, 5.40) vs. Luis Severino (3-8, 5.75)

Keys to the Game:

Can Miley follow up on his magnificent start of a week ago, when he allowed one run in 8 2/3 innings? 

Can the Orioles secure a wild-card berth today? With a win and loss by Toronto or Detroit, they're in. 

News and Notes:

Miley is 0-3 with a 5.77 ERA in six starts against the Yankees. 

Miley was away from the team during the Toronto series for the birth of a son. 

Current Orioles are batting .174 against Severino.

Orioles pitchers allowed three hits or fewer four times in September after recording only one game in the first five months of the season.

According to Elias, Jonathan Schoop is the first Orioles player to break a RBI-less streak of 15 or more games with five RBIs since Chico Salmon drove in six after 19 games without an RBI on Aug. 16, 1969.

RELATED: One step closer for Orioles

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Nats weight home field advantage against staying healthy as playoffs near

Nats weight home field advantage against staying healthy as playoffs near

Though they’re still fighting for home field advantage in next week’s division series, the Nationals understand they’re in a strange part of their season.  

Sure, playoff seeding is plenty important. These last regular season games count, et cetera et cetera. But Washington already clinched the NL East title, and already knows its playoff opponent is going to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. So it’s not a surprise that players are willing to admit how difficult it can be to keep their foot on the gas pedal these days.

“Once you win the division, there’s that exhale, that sigh of relief,” said Jayson Werth after Friday night’s 7-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.”..You kind of let off the throttle a little bit.”

And when a team takes that approach, health becomes the top priority. It’s a mindset that was on full display Friday night when Werth was removed from the game in the seventh inning as a precaution due to back and side tightness.

 “We can't afford to lose anybody else,” manager Dusty Baker said. “So we decided that, it was wet, on the chilly side, and I decided I couldn't take a chance on him being injured too.”

Werth said that team trainers ruled out a strain or a pull, and that he’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the lineup on Saturday afternoon.  

Still, any injury the Nats suffer this time of the year feels magnified, especially given the last week: Bryce Harper jammed his left thumb, Wilson Ramos tore his ACL and Daniel Murphy was shut down until the playoffs with a glute strain. Not to mention that Stephen Strasburg will likely miss the club’s entire October run.

“The biggest thing is right now is to get everybody healthy for the postseason,” Stephen Drew said. “I think that's key. We got some guys out and hopefully we'll be ready for the playoffs.”

So while every team says it’d like to head into the postseason firing on all cylinders, the Nats’ case shows that it’s not always realistic. Bottling up momentum and carrying into the biggest games of the year is the ideal, of course. But sometimes heading into the tournament with all your horses in tact works too — seeding be damned.

“Obviously home field advantage is important to us, and we want that,” Werth said. “But at the same time, we also feel like we’ve done our job a little bit. So there’s a balance there.....you don’t want to do something where you can put yourself in jeopardy, where you can really get hurt.”