Leftover quotes from after the Orioles' ALDS-clinching win in Detroit
By By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 06, 2014 | 7:23 AM
"The thing I'm most excited about is the players get a opportunity to do this (winning), said Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "(I'm) trying to have an impact on their lives." (Kevin Richardson)
DETROIT – In the aftermath of the Orioles' American League Division Series win over the Detroit Tigers, we wanted to share some quotes that may not have made it into print.
The Orioles had plenty to say. Here are some of the team's key figures talking about Sunday's series-clinching win:
Buck Showalter on whether he could have predicted Nelson Cruz's impact: "Heavens, no. We just felt like it was a good fit where he was, not necessarily in his career, but his mindset going into the season. I think Nelson, not a vindictiveness, he knows things were self-inflicted. He really wanted to establish himself, reestablish himself, and we thought we could provide a real good opportunity for him, and the sky might be the limit. But we weren't that smart. Certainly glad he passed our way. It was another good signing by Dan. He judged where things might fall potentially down the road. I know there was a lot of, not panic, a lot of anxiety by some of our Baltimore family, big range about what we were doing."
Buck Showalter on whether he matches up better with Angles or Royals (before Kansas City finished off their ALDS series): "Serious? Come on, man. ..I don't think anybody matches up good against those two teams. You don't match up good. These are the best teams left. The best players in the world, and these are the best the world has to offer and the best players right now, teams, the American League has to offer. So everybody is very capable. Everybody's got strengths and weaknesses and we're just excited and honored to be a part of it. We're looking forward to the challenge, because it's going to be tough again. But real proud of everybody for getting the opportunity, and more importantly, getting back from this season what they put into it.
Buck Showalter on beating three Cy Young winners: "We didn't exactly beat up on them. They did what they do and you don't match them. You try to stay engaged with their starters and hope you can grind 'em enough where some other situations might present themselves. They did their job. I think the key to it was [Chris Tillman] and Wei-Yin [Chen] not imploding and the job our bullpen did. And, of course, Bud today, that's a prerequisite. Those guys are going to do what they do. And when a hitter is on top of his game and a pitcher is on top of his game, the pitcher wins. That's why it's such a premium. Everybody is trying to find guys like them, and that's a huge reason why they're here as opposed to why they're not going to be playing tomorrow."
Bud Norris on the bullpen: "There are so many heads down there, so many guys that can get the job done. They have all year and that's taken some of the monkey off the back for the starters and the staff. We go as deep as we can and leave it on the field. I'm pretty excited to know they came in and got the job done. A two-run cushion was enough tonight and those guys can do it time in and time out and they have."
Bud Norris on Cruz's homer: "I really didn't see it. I was sitting out in the tunnel and I actually saw Nellie and it looked like he only went halfway out of the box in all honesty and apparently it just stayed fair and I see the dugout erupt. I find out it is a two-run homer. There's my cushion and I just want to go right back to work."
Adam Jones on their ALCS opponent: "I think we're all on a little cloud right now, and we're enjoying it. We'll worry about that tomorrow."
Adam Jones on Bud Norris: "He's never pitched a really important game in his career. Obviously, every game he pitches is important to himself, but this was the first game that he's ever pitched, a team-important game. I think he did quite well, very well."
J.J. Hardy on beating Tigers: "I don't know what it is. I feel like we have a lot more experience this year than we had in 2012. It paid off a lot. We were relaxed. We went out there and relaxed. I think it helped being the underdogs … This is one step. It's just going to get more fun."
J.J. Hardy on Orioles pitching: "They've been outstanding. Bud was great today. He came out and was throwing 95, 96. His slider kept them off balance. He's been great for us all year. Tillman, you can go through the starting five and the bullpen. Everybody's been great."
J.J. Hardy on Showalter winning first postseason series: "That's hard to believe. … It's awesome. It's good for him. It's good for the fans. It's good all around."
J.J. Hardy on Cruz: "The whole series, the whole season for us. He's been unbelievable. The home run, I don't think he got it all. That shows you how strong he is. That shows you how strong he is."
Nick Markakis on confidence in the in the clubhouse: "Yeah Buck says it to us all the time, especially in the division. We know what we're up against and we like our guys. It's been a battle all year long, but in the postseason it's paying off."
Andrew Miller on the bullpen: "Top to bottom, even the guys here on the roster that are labeled long guys here are really good pitchers and could pitch in any situation. The back of the bullpen, Tommy Hunter pitching in who knows what inning. Top to bottom it is really incredible."
Zach Britton on getting out of ninth-inning jam: " It was pretty nervous up to that point, but I knew if I settled down and gave my defense a chance to turn a double play, they would do it, and that was the only thing through my mind," Britton said. "One good sinker away and that was my focus."
Zach Britton on beating Tigers "We're just trying to enjoy this. This is awesome, you know? And somebody just told me this is the first time Buck won a playoff series. Is that right? Which is shocking the way he runs a ballclub. So, we're going to celebrate this one with him and hopefully it's not the last one."