The Orioles won game one, but dropped game two of the biggest series in the recent history in New York City.
The Orioles currently sit three games behind the Yankees as they try to do what many consider the impossible, take the American League East. I honestly never thought I would be writing those words but there they are and the Orioles have a legitimate shot at the number one spot in the toughest division in baseball.
The Orioles took a step backward today as they lost a game that they could easily have won. The Orioles would blow a three run lead losing 4-3. The Birds took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning when it all came unravelled. With two out and one on Wei Yin Chen got two quick strikes on the Yankees Lance Nix, but could not put him away. Nix extended the at bat, earned the walk and extended the inning. Eduardo Nunez got jammed and flared a broken bay line drive over JJ Hardy to score former Oriole Steve Pearce from second, Nix moved to third. Pedro Strop came in and could not find the plate. Strop walked Ichiro and Jeter back-to-back tying the game.The killer came with Nick Swisher’s at bat. Strop induced the sharp grounder that hit Hardy in the stomach on hone hop, but Hardy was unable to recover the ball off the ground resulting in an error, a run scored and the eventual Orioles loss.
It was a tough game to lose because it seemed so alien. The Orioles have made a habit of winning games like today’s all season; to watch the Orioles drop a game like this felt wrong.
Still the Orioles remain in the heat of the race and they most certainly were not going to win all of the rest of their games. Tomorrow the Orioles have a chance to win a series in New York, move back to two games behind the Yankees and further solidify themselves as a playoff team.
Orioles fans, your team – our team, is playing for a playoff spot in September. They are playing for the AL East crown in September. They are nine wins away from finally exorcising the demons of a 14 year losing streak. There has been no better time to be a fan of this team.