Baltimore Orioles: Fighting Showalters “on Parades”


When Jimmy Parades came to the plate with the bases loaded and the Baltimore Orioles down 1-0 in the last of the 11th, little did he know that he’d become the latest Oriole to embody the spirit of the Fighting Showalters. The Orioles appeared to be reeling in a sense; not only had they lost Chris Davis to suspension for 25 games, but they were looking a 1-0 loss right in the face. It was a game in which they were a flat 0-for-6 with RISP, and one that they had nobody but themselves to thank for being in line to lose. But all it took was a parade – or more specifically a Parades – to remind both the team and the fans that regardless of the Davis situation, we’re still in the midst of pennant fever

You can’t ask much more out of Kevin Gausman than what he gave this afternoon in game one of two. Gausman’s line: 7 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Gausman was about as good as any starter has been down the stretch for the O’s, perhaps solidifying his spot on the team’s postseason roster. However it’s tough to get a win for your starter when you aren’t scoring runs. That said, Gausman put the team in a position to win the game – which at this point in the season as the games dwindle, that’s all you want.

With neither team able to score, the game went to extra innings. After recording two outs in the top of the 11th, Brad Brach gave up a long home run to New York’s Chris Young. Many heads around the yard began to drop, and one could almost see the fans and perhaps several fellow media-types writing the obituary for the 2014 Orioles. I was reminded of the scene in Major League II where the “super fan” sarcastically screamed to cover the field, because the season was over. This team, that had endured injuries, and now a major suspension, couldn’t still make a run of things…could they?

The answer is that we still don’t know. We won’t know until the last hour of the last day – whenever that is. However what we do know is

Courtesy of Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

that if the last of the 11th inning this afternoon is any indication or omen for what lies ahead down the line, we’re in for a wild one. Following a Nelson Cruz walk, David Lough was brought in as a pinch runner. He went to second on Ryan Flaherty’s sacrifice bunt, and J.J. Hardy was hit by a pitch. Following a Kelly Johnson strikeout, Steve Clevenger drew a walk after pinch hitting for Nick Hundley. That brought Jimmy Parades to the plate…

…and the game was over one pitch later. Parades’ two-RBI double to right field gave the O’s a 2-1 walk off victory. With one game left to play in the doubleheader, I would submit that winning that game was perhaps one of the biggest wins of the season. While it shaved the magic number down to seven, I feel that it was bigger in an emotional manner more so than anything else. This team was stunned this morning when they came to the ballpark and found out that their teammate had been dinged for a banned substance. Winning this game was a key moment for them, and perhaps gives them just a bit of confidence moving forward when they needed a pick-me-up.

This is not to say that the road doesn’t get tougher without Chris Davis. However if shows these Fighting Showalters that they have the class to find ways to win games – even in the face of adversity. And for the record folks, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our Star Spangled Banner in Baltimore Harbor this weekend…shining through adversity is the story of Baltimore, as well as that of the United States of America.