1:13 AM EDT, October 12, 2012
The Orioles played their 20th extra-inning game of the season (and postseason) on Thursday night and won for the 17th time. It is a strangely lopsided statistic made stranger by the fact that the O’s are 1-3 against the Yankees in those games and 16-0 against everybody else.
The Yankees snapped their string of 16 straight extra-inning victories in Game 3 of the Division Series, but – technically – the streak remains alive and will carry over into next season. The 2-1 victory in Game 4 improved their combined record in one-run games to 31-10, including two wins and one loss in this playoff round.
Manager Buck Showalter isn’t surprised that his team continues to be good in extra innings, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t marvel at it.
“Oh, yeah, every day,’’ he said. “I think it’s because we’re able to pass the load around. We have so many guys – if you go back through tonight’s game, we needed every bullet to get an out in a key spot and pass the baton. I think it’s unusual to have as many passes of the baton as we’ve had this year in these type of games without somebody dropping it.”
Showalter acknowledged that his team was pretty fatigued after playing 25 innings in the first two games at Yankee Stadium, but he knows that the Yankees are in the same boat.
“It’s tough,’’ he said. “I can’t say that I know exactly what they’re going through. You try to put yourself in their shoes, but it’s just a real test mentally and emotionally. There’s a lot of ebbs and flows there. But the pitching on both sides was outstanding.”