The clock is about to strike midnight on the Orioles’ storybook season
Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
All the energy and excitement that was created after the Baltimore Orioles swept the Tigers in the ALDS has been completely drained after the Orioles dropped Game 3 to the Royals in yet another close game. Now one loss away from elimination, the Birds’ storybook season close to an end.
I do not want to say it is over because just ten years ago the Yankees thought it was over when they had a 3-0 lead on the Red Sox in the ALCS; we all know how that one turned out.
Games 1 and 2 were just frustrating because the team had their chances to tack on runs, but just could not get the big hit to get the runners across the plate. Game 3 was unbearable to watch if you were an Orioles fan. After obtaining their first lead of the series thanks to a J.J. Hardy RBI double in the second inning, it seemed like Baltimore was getting to Jeremy Guthrie. That hope would not be as Baltimore’s last base hit in the game came in just the third inning with a bloop single from Nick Markakis.
After that the Royals shut down and quieted Orioles players, coaches and fans as they retired the final 16 Orioles’ batters and 21 of the last 22. However sad it seems to say, it looked like the Baltimore batters were a Single-A team hitting for the first time in the Majors.
Wei-Yin Chen and Kevin Gausman pitched incredibly well, but that will not receive much credit as the Orioles’ bats did them in throughout Game 3. In the final inning, Baltimore’s No. 3, 4, and 5 hitters were due up in Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce. It took Kansas City just six pitches to sit them down in order.
The team’s lack of patience was evident throughout this game and, in complete honesty, throughout this series. Their reliance on the “long ball” is hurting this team more than it is helping them in this particular series.
Now the team has to hope that they make history as only the second team in the history of baseball to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS and win (2004 Red Sox were the first team to do it). And if they cannot then take in every moment of tomorrow’s game because it may be the final time we see Cruz in an Orioles uniform with him being a free agent next year and big budget ball clubs wanting him.
Whether the Orioles makes history or not, it was a great season of baseball for the city of Baltimore.