Orioles have done what many never thought they could do, win a playoff round. Even a one game playoff round would’ve seemed like an insurmountable feat to the naysayers back in April for the fledgling team of overlooked players.
Buck Showalter has managed to turn this team into a true contender as they have as good a chance as any other team to win a world series. Yes, parity has truly reached Baseball the way they’ve always preached that it could, and with the one game wild card giving teams more incentive to play down the stretch instead of coast we’ve seen some teams true colors. The Orioles are a testament to why every game in the 162 game season matters.
The Texas Rangers have a lot of soul searching to do during the off season as they try to figure out exactly what went so wrong. How did they let a 1st place lead since April 12th just evaporate in game 162? How do the Rangers proceed with Josh Hamilton who made a crucial error in game 3 vs the A’s in the last game and seemed to just laugh it off. The Rangers will not be going to the world series, which would’ve been their third straight and instead this year just head home, with more questions than answers.
The Baltimore Orioles on the other hand did what they sought out to do tonight, and that’s win. The early segment of the game had all the symptoms of a pitcher’s duel as Joe Saunders–who’s never won against the Rangers duked it out against Yu Darvish. Darvish would just allow two runs on his watch, but little did he know that the Rangers would score just that. The O’s poured things on in the 7th inning, as Nate McCloud banged 2 crucial RBI’s.
The Orioles now embark on foreign territory–the ALDS, the real playoff round and it’s against a familiar foe in the New York Yankees. The series opens in Camden Yards on Sunday.