The Alex Cobb who baffled the Cleveland Indians was very familiar to the Orioles.
In four lifetime starts against the Orioles, Cobb was 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. This year, Cobb won both his starts and allowed just two earned runs and eight hits in 14 1/3 innings.
The Rays were a handful for the Orioles this season, beating them 13 of 19, and nine of their last 11. Tampa Bay swept the crucial four-game series at a time they were teetering.
It will be hard for the Orioles to watch the Rays-Red Sox series that begins on Friday at Fenway Park. The games they played against those teams were so recently that the pain is still there.
During the season, Boston was 12-7 against Tampa Bay. This is the first time the teams have met in the postseason since 2008 when the Rays beat the Red Sox in seven games in the ALCS. In the first game, Matt Moore faces the Red Sox’s Jon Lester.
Lester is a longtime Orioles’ nemesis, who won his first 14 decisions against them.
It will be hard for many Orioles fans to have a rooting interest in this one, but the series should be a fascinating one.