Baltimore Sun writers react to the Orioles' 3-2 win over the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the ALDS:
Eduardo A. Encina, Orioles beat reporter
Anyone closely following the Orioles worried about Wei-Yin Chen. Some fans even called that he be left off the postseason roster. Now they’re happy he’s on it. Chen’s resilience showed again tonight. He threw a career-high 112 pitches and allowed just two runs – one unearned – over 6 1/3 innings. You can’t ask for much more in such a must-win game. The only better sight for Orioles fans had to be seeing closer Jim Johnson recover with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the game.
Dan Connolly, Orioles and baseball reporter
The Orioles needed this one. As good as they have been at Yankee Stadium – 6-3 in nine games – it was too much to ask them to win three straight there. This was also big for Jim Johnson. He is one of the biggest keys to this club, and bouncing back with a clean ninth was huge. Oh yeah, and Wei-Yin Chen was fantastic in his first MLB postseason game.
Childs Walker, sports enterprise reporter
Jim Johnson will get a lot of credit for bouncing back from his loss on Sunday, and deservedly so. But the Orioles' relief hero of the playoffs so far (OK, co-hero with Darren O'Day) is Brian Matusz. A lot of people were about ready to give up on Matusz when he went to Triple-A Norfolk in July with a 5.42 ERA as a starter. But like so many Orioles this season, he successfully reinvented himself. As a reliever, Matusz has given up only one earned run since Sept. 1, and he now has three scoreless appearances in three playoff games. It's also obvious that the 25-year-old lefty has earned Buck Showalter's trust. Not only did Showalter bring him into a tight spot in the seventh Monday, he left Matusz in for the eighth with multiple right-handed batters due up. It's a great story of a young guy finding himself when the club needed him.
Peter Schmuck, columnist
Orioles closer Jim Johnson again showed what he's made of, and it's resilient stuff. It would have been easy for him to let his Game 1 meltdown bleed over into Monday night's one-run save situation, but he showed again why he's one of the top closers in the game.
Kevin Cowherd, columnist
As they have all season, the Orioles bounce back from a tough loss with a gutty win. Wei-Yin Chen was outstanding against the formidable Yankees lineup and reliever Jim Johnson looked like his old self in notching the save. The Orioles' bats did just enough damage against veteran lefty Andy Pettitte to win 3-2 and turbo-charge this team's confidence with the series headed to New York tied at 1-1.
David Selig, Orioles and baseball editor
There were so many situations in this game where it looked like the wheels could come off: The A-Rod deke, Ichiro's Matrix move at home plate, rare signs of shaky defense from J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters. Yet again, the Orioles found a way to win a game that they probably shouldn't have -- or at least wouldn't have in any of the last 14 years. This incredible story marches on to New York, where the O's have already proven they can win this season. Whether or not they take the series, this night at Camden Yards is one Orioles fans can savor for months, maybe even years.