On couches all over Baltimore, J.J. Hardy's game-winning RBI double in the 13th inning must have seemed like a dream, especially since the Orioles spent most of Thursday night putting fans to sleep with their offensive ineptitude.
Derek Jeter is in the Yankees' lineup leading off, but serving as the designated hitter for Game 4 of the ALDS against the Orioles. Alex Rodriguez, who is mired in a 1-for-12 slump with seven strikeouts, was dropped from third in the order to fifth.
The Orioles bullpen, built through shrewd trades and bargain-bin signings, quickly emerged as one of the best in baseball. The relievers were the primary reason that the Orioles had the best record ever (29-9) in one-run games and hadn't lost an extra-inning game since dropping consecutive ones to the New York Yankees in the first week of the season. But this morning, after the New York Yankees beat the Orioles in 12 innings last night, hoards of sleepy Orioles fans stumbled to work, still stunned that the bullpen did not come through in the clutch.
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he'll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too.
The Orioles were just two outs away from taking a commanding 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. But a pair of solo homers by Raul Ibanez quickly reversed the roles and put the Orioles on the brink of elimination.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi made an agonizing decision in the ninth inning, removing $29 million superstar Alex Rodriguez from a clutch situation and replacing him with veteran Raul Ibanez. Obviously, it worked out great when Ibanez tied the game with a homer off Jim Johnson and won it with a 12th inning bleacher shot off Brian Matusz, but it still leaves Girardi with a potentially disgruntled superstar.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado led off the fifth inning Wednesday by hitting a slider from New York Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda into the visiting bullpen to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
There was some speculation that New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi might drop Alex Rodriguez in Wednesday's lineup because the aging star is 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in the series so far. But the lineups are out and Rodriguez is batting third as the Yankees¿ designated hitter.
These surprising Baltimore Orioles have shown resilience all season. And they did it again Monday, rebounding from a ninth inning implosion the night before to slip past the New York Yankees, 3-2, to even up the American League Division Series at 1-1.
Orioles manager was interviewed from the dugout during the TBS broadcast and shared his thoughts on J.J. Hardy being deked by Alex Rodriguez at third base in the third inning of Game 2 on Monday night.
Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, who was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the fifth inning by Sabathia, will miss the rest of the regular season with a broken thumb. Markakis is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.
The Orioles received bad news regarding the health of second baseman Brian Roberts on Friday. The results of an MRA taken Thursday revealed that Roberts has a right hip labral tear, is a tear in the cartilage that surrounds the outside of the hip zone.
By the end of Tuesday night, Orioles manager Buck Showalter had reached the 1,000-win milestone, left-hander Brian Matusz had sidestepped club infamy and designated hitter Nick Johnson had finally exhaled.