The Orioles retlentless march toward the post season continued today with a 8-3 come-from-behind win in New York. The Orioles were down 3-1 at one point but went on to score seven unanswered runs off of eight Yankee pitchers, including starter Phil Hughes. Five of the Yankee pitchers were used in the top of the seventh inning where the Orioles were able to string together three hits and two walks, one with the bases loaded, scoring three runs and putting the game out of reach.
Mark Reynolds was truly the hero of the day smacking a pair of homers for the second time this series. Down 2-0 in the fifth Reynolds launched the a 2-2 pich from Hughes 437 feet into the left field seats. Then in the fifth, right after a Matt Wieters RBI single, with two on Reynolds took Hughes deep again into the left field seats for a three-run shot giving the Orioles a 5-3 lead and ending Hughes’ day.
Luis Ayala, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day pitched a very tidy last 2.2 innings to clench the series win, but the real hero was the Birds’ newest acquisition Randy Wolf. Wolf came out in relief of Chris Tillman who was pulled after three innings. In his three innings Tillman had pitched well enough giving up two runs on two hits with two walks and two strike outs. In the second inning Tillman gave up a two-run homer to New York substitute center fielder Chris Dickerson,b ut was otherwise on point. After the third inning ended Tillman went straight back into the lockerroom and Wolf was warmed up quickly.
Early reports state that Tillman said his elbow felt “achy” and “dead.” He will receive a MRI but it appears that it is a precautionary measure at the moment and little more. Losing Tillman for any significant time would hurt the team but this is the precise reason that the Orioles went out and got Joe Saunders and, toady’s hero, Rancy Wolf.
Wolf came to the Orioles as a free agent after being released by the Brewers early this August. His signing was announced officially just this past Friday and was met with skepticism by many Orioles fans, with good reason. Wolf’s play in Milwaukee this year left much to be desired pitching to a 3-10 record with an ERA just under six. Today Wolf may have proven a lot of people wrong as he came on in an emergency situation and pitched 3.1 solid innings. Wolf would gvie up a RBI single to perpetual thorn Nick Swisher but was otherwise effective and just what the Orioles needed.
The Baltimore Orioles are two games out of first place. They have won their 74th game so far this season, and it is only September 2nd. At the beginning of the season I stated that the Orioles were a 75 win team with an outside shot at .500. I was considered by many to be a lunatic. I still can’t believe what I am seeing right now. Bobby Valentine thinks we are “lucky.” Yankee fans are complaining on twitter that they are tired of hearing everyone talk about the Orioles. Red Sox fans are silent – silent.
In the left field seats of Yankee stadium, during the seventh inning, fans began to cheer “Let’s go O’s!”
The Orioles have won all three series in New York City this year, the first time since 1976 and they have evened the season series against the New Yorkers at seven apiece. The Orioles have won seven of the last 11 games against the Yankees since the Birds were swept in April.
Next up the Orioles travel to Toronto to take on a struggling, sinking Blue Jays team. The AL East is never easy, but this a series the Orioles should win and need to win if they wish to keep pace in the division and the wild card race. The Oakland Athletics seemingly can not lose, though playing a Boston Red Sox team that seems to have completely quit certainly helps, and the Rays remain to be the pesky team that they always are. If the Orioles can win this upcoming series there is a very real chance that they will open up their final series of the year against the Yankees in Baltimore either tied for, or maybe even in sole possession of first place.
If the Orioles can win this series then they will have a slim chance to do something every Orioles fan has been waiting for. If they win this series the Orioles will have an outside chance to win their 82 game in Baltimore before their final west coast road trip of the year.
They only need eight more wins.