ARLINGTON, Texas—With the Orioles down 2-0 in the best-of-five American League Division Series to the Texas Rangers, manager Brandon Hyde has chosen Dean Kremer to start Game 3 at Globe Life Field on Tuesday night, a game the Orioles absolutely, positively have to win.
Kremer was 13-5 with a 4.12 earned-run average, and he was the starting pitcher in the games that clinched a playoff spot for the Orioles on September 17th and the American League East 11 days later. The choice was between Kremer and veteran Kyle Gibson.
“He’s had a nice year for us,” Hyde said on Monday. ““Dean’s thrown the ball extremely well … We’re looking forward to watching him tomorrow.”
Hyde declined to name a Game 4 starter if the Orioles win on Tuesday.
“It’s definitely a must-win for us tomorrow,” Hyde said, which will be true for every game left in the series. “Definitely our backs are against the wall. We haven’t played our best baseball the first two games. Hopefully, we can play well tomorrow.
“All hands will be on deck tomorrow and, hopefully, Dean can give us some innings, get a nice start for us.”
Kremer learned he’d be starting on Sunday, and he doesn’t think nerves will be an issue.
“So far they haven’t hit me yet,” Kremer said. “I think they’ll hit me at some point in the morning. Just kind of treat it like every other start. That’s what I’m planning on, and hope it goes that way.”
Kremer thinks his experience in the clinching games will help him in Game 3.
“I’d like to think so,” he said. “Both those games had a pretty electric atmosphere, and I don’t know, just kind of stick to a plan that we come up with and just try to execute as best we can.”
Kremer would like to repeat his performance in the clinching games — one run on two hits in five innings on September 17th, and 5 1/3 scoreless innings, two hits on September 28th.
“I’m honored. It’s been quite a fun season so just adding to that,” he said.
Though he was born in Stockton, California, Kremer is an Israeli citizen and pitched for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic during spring training. He has family in Israel and is concerned about them during the state of war there.
“I saw him at breakfast this morning,” Hyde said. “We had a nice conversation. Gave him my support and sympathies for him and his family that’s involved, and he seemed okay. He seemed like he was ready to pitch. He seemed like he felt comfortable with where his family situation was with the whole thing.”
“Obviously, he’s very disturbed and there’s a lot of things going on. But I didn’t sense that it was going to affect … I think he’s really looking forward to pitching tomorrow, so I didn’t think it was going to affect him.”
Kremer thanked a reporter for asking about his family in Israel.
“My family’s okay. I mean, obviously it’s a very sad situation,” he said. “A lot of things are being brought to light. But everybody’s okay right now.”
Kremer said he has no hesitation about pitching, and he appreciated Hyde’s support.
“He’s had his hands full with all the stuff going on with the playoffs,” Kremer said. “But him and almost every single person in the clubhouse has come in and checked on me at some point over the last 48 hours, and I’m very grateful for that.
“Is there a hesitation? No. I still want to pitch, but I mean it’s going to be in the back of my head.”
Bautista has surgery: Félix Bautista had Tommy John surgery on Monday at Trinity Park Surgery Center in Arlington. The Orioles say that the right elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery was successful. The surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister.
Bautista injured the elbow on August 25th, was put on the 15-day injured list the next day and attempted to resume pitching, but late last month, those plans were abandoned.