Six Years Ago: Baltimore Orioles Swept Three Cy Young Playoff Pitchers
When we look back to the Baltimore Orioles 2010s playoff runs, one series worth looking at is the 2014 American League Division Series.
In this three-game series, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Detroit Tigers, who at the time had three Cy Young pitchers. The final game ended on October 5, 2014.
All three of those pitchers ended up being future World Series champions, but in 2014, the Orioles showed them the door in a three-game sweep. Not to mention that the 2014 Tigers was also filled with future Hall of Fame position players.
In the first ALDS game, the Orioles put Chris Tillman on the mound to face Max Scherzer of the 2019 World Series winning Nationals. By the time the game was over, Scherzer gave up five runs, Joba Chamberlain gave up one, Joakim Soria allowed four, and Phil Coke gave up another.
For the Orioles, those runs were scored by a home run from Nelson Cruz and J.J. Hardy. Alejandra De Aza and Jonathan Schoop each hit doubles. All of the Orioles except Nick Hundley crossed home plate for 12 runs to the Tigers 5.
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In the second ALDS game, Wei-Yen Chen faced Justin Verlander, who helped the Astros win the World Series in 2017. The Orioles scored three off of Verlander, and went on to win the game 6-5.
Anibal Sanchez pitched in relief for Verlander – yes, the same Sanchez who pitched for the Nationals to win the World Series in 2019. The sole home run in this game was hit by Nick Markakis who knocked in Jonathan Schoop in the bottom of the third.
In game three, the Orioles defeated the Tigers to get the series win. The final score was 2-1. This time, Bud Norris faced David Price – who won the Cy Young with the Tampa Bay Rays, then went on to help the Red Sox win the World Series in with a 1.98 ERA in 2018. This game belonged to Nelson Cruz who hit another playoffs home run, this time with Adam Jones on base.
In the ALDS, the Baltimore Orioles not only defeated the team with three Cy Young pitchers, but they also defeated position players like Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and J.D. Martinez. They each hit home runs in the series, but those weren’t enough to get wins against Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Delmon Young.
Unfortunately, the Orioles couldn’t go all the way in 2014. They lost to the Royals in a four-game sweep. The Royals went on to lose the World Series to the San Francisco Giants, because it was an even year.