October Confidential: Orioles

Rival players offer inside look at facing AL Wild Card

October Confidential: Orioles

How do you beat the Orioles? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to win tonight's AL Wild Card Game (8 ET, TBS/Sportsnet in English or RDS in French).

Chris Tillman
"He's got a four-pitch mix, and he knows how to pitch. And he's got really good angle on the ball. He's a lot like Arrieta with the angle. It's that ball that you swear is going to stay down, and it has that late ride to it, so it doesn't really go down. He's also got that big breaking ball and the change, and I think the change is his best pitch. If he can throw that to the bottom of the zone, he's really hard to hit, because he can pepper fastballs up and down, break out the curve and then go to that change."
-- AL Central catcher

Date Result Highlights
Oct. 4 TOR 5, BAL 2 video

Kevin Gausman
"He's a fastball-slider mix, mostly. You have to make him get the ball up. He's done a very good job of getting guys to nibble off the plate and then throwing sliders down and away. To me, you've got to get him up and middle-of-the-plate, because he's got the ability to run the ball."
-- AL Central catcher

Zach Britton
"Ridiculous. His ball moves so much. It's really special. You have to make him throw the ball up. Because if it's down, you really have no chance, because you can't elevate it at all."
-- AL Central catcher

Britton's five-out save

Mark Trumbo
"In that lineup, you don't need him to hit .300. You need him to do some damage when guys are on base, and that's what he's done all year."
-- AL East relief pitcher

• October Confidential: Blue Jays

"Jeez, what a year. Him in that ballpark, that swing, in that lineup, that's a big difference-maker. There's some other production in that lineup that takes the pressure off of him. Don't throw the ball in the zone anywhere."
-- AL Central catcher

Trumbo's impressive power

Manny Machado
"Machado's tough because there's not one way to pitch him. He's a complete hitter. He's got power to all sides of the field. If you throw him outside, he'll take you the other way, but if you leave something middle-in and down, he'll take you out."
-- AL East relief pitcher

Chris Davis
"To me, he can be pitched to. You'd rather pitch to him than Trumbo. He definitely has some holes in his swing that you have to exploit. But he's also capable of hitting one 10 miles, and it always seems to be in a big situation. It's never when you're up by five runs. Obviously very athletic too. Not your average big, lumbering first baseman. He busts his butt down the line and is not easy to double up."
-- AL Central catcher

Adam Jones
"Completely different hitter in the leadoff spot than in the two-, three-, four-spot. Obviously not your prototypical leadoff type, but you definitely can't groove one the first pitch of the game. You've got to be on guard the first pitch of the game. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways. Very aggressive swinger. We like to attack him up. He's definitely a table-setter now, and their lineup is pretty complete. They've got some guys in the back end of the lineup so that he becomes a three-hole hitter again. He's been swinging the bat a lot better lately, too."
-- AL Central catcher

Jonathan Schoop
"Sneaky. Really good. You cannot throw him soft in the zone. He absolutely annihilates sliders in the zone. To me, he's changed his approach over the last two years. I think that's why he's a notch up this year. Before, he would try to shoot anything he could to right field. Everything was geared to right-center. We would pound him in and he would still try to force balls that way. To me, he's gotten more of a pull approach, so now you have to pitch him completely differently. The whole way you used to throw him, when he would never make an adjustment, you can't do that anymore. You have to throw him fastballs away, tease him with breaking balls off the plate. He's one person who I think has improved so much in terms of his approach to hitting."
-- AL Central catcher

Schoop's three-run home run

J.J. Hardy
"I've never seen anybody throw more balls right in the chest of the first baseman, every single time. Guy fields every single ball that he can get to -- not going to blow you away with his range, but most steady infielder ever. And to me, he's sneaky in that lineup. Puts up a really good at-bat. If he needs to move somebody over, he can do that. If they need somebody to drive somebody in, he can do that."
-- AL Central catcher