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“Oriole Magic” comes up just short against Yankees in ALDS

Oct 12, 2012, 8:19 PM EDT

Buck Showalter Getty Getty Images

Nobody gave the Orioles much of a chance in the one-game Wild Card playoff against the Rangers last Friday, so it’s not surprising that they entered the ALDS as the underdogs against the big bad Yankees. However, this series followed a very similar path to how their regular season played out. They surprised, they overachieved, they made the Yankees sweat. But ultimately, they fell a little short.

The Orioles lost to the Yankees 3-1 this evening in a decisive Game 5 at Yankee Stadium. They just couldn’t get much going against CC Sabathia, collecting just four hits while striking out eight times. They had their best chance in the eighth inning, but failed to capitalize on a bases-loaded situation.

Save for a rough ninth inning by closer Jim Johnson in Game 1, the pitching wasn’t the problem for the Orioles in this series. They allowed three runs or less in four out of the five games. None of their starting pitchers allowed more than two runs. But their bats didn’t show up. Aside from Nate McLouth, that is. It’s tough to win when you hit .187 as a team. To name some prominent examples, Adam Jones went 2-for-23 (.087) while Matt Wieters went 3-for-20 (.150) and Mark Reynolds went 3-for-19 (.158). One wonders how this series might have played out had Nick Markakis been healthy.

While the Orioles fell a little short in this series, it doesn’t diminish what they accomplished this season. Buck Showalter’s group managed to breathe life back into a fan base at a time where many long-suffering fans in the Baltimore/D.C. area were tempted to switch their allegiance to the Nationals. It’s unlikely that the Orioles will be able to repeat their historic success in one-run and extra-inning games next season, so if they are going to win again, they will probably need a new formula. But the franchise is alive and relevant again. And that’s a good thing for baseball.

  1. husky2score - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    How about an article that is about how amazing the Orioles season was. One paragraph isn’t enough. Also, at the end, you make it sound like that the O’s will not make the playoffs. C’mon guys. Enough with the whiny Yankees and talk about what everyone else is talking about. The O’s and A’s!

    • nflfollower - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      Well they both had nice seasons, the Os and As, but their seasons are over. It’s actually time to turn out attention to the league championship series. That’s what conversation will center around, as it should.

      • runrickyrun34 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        I think the O’s and A’s received their fare share of press this season. Other than being underdogs in these series (which was appropriate) both teams received a lot of positive press on this website as well as other media outlets. As an O’s fan I think I was able to read an article on HardBallTalk once every other day about the Orioles. That’s better than last year where we were non-factors after mid-May.

  2. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Amazing year O’s. I can’t say anything negative or pretend to want to kick dirt on you guys. Could’ve easily been you moving on.

  3. zonedogz - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Great series. Great season by the Orioles. Buck Showalter deserves to be Manager Of The Year. Wait ’till next year…
    Go O’s!!!!

    • bigharold - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Buck, Manager of the year?? Absolutely. Whatever happens to te Yankees the rest of the way out, .. the AL East is going to be a brawl.

  4. nmrdr795 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    How about how amazing the os fans were…..yea they showed up this year for once.

  5. fellspointbird - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    After being a doormat for years, following a prominent run which spanned decades, there is little relief for a loss to an all too common O’s nemesis. Baseball moves on.

    • runrickyrun34 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      Agreed. A loss still hurts regardless of whether or not the team overachieved. They were there and they had the chance.

      They still have holes that need to be addressed like speed and starting pitching. I’d still like one more bat and some guys who hit for average. I actually wanted Quintenilla to get a chance. I much prefer him to Andino. But this team severely lacks speed. We might’ve squeaked out another couple of games this season if Nate was on the team sooner or if we had legit speed.

      And the SP was great but the starter by committee approach needs to go. I think Chen was the only pitcher to qualify in any statistical category this season.

      On to next season…

  6. jrocknstuff - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    They’ll get a full season from Machado. Davis seemed to break out. Reynolds showed real promise defensively at first. Reimold will be healthy, as will Markakis. Tillman had a Cy Young worthy second half. Bundy should make the club out of camp. I think there’s a lot to like about this club next year. I’d love to see them sign Bourne and lead him off in center, move Jones to left

  7. thegloriousone - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    I’m glad Theme didn’t get a ring. Fat over the hill dick.

  8. thegloriousone - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Thome, I mean. Autocorrect is as worthless as Thome with runners in scoring position.

  9. pisano - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I agree with bigharold, Buck is a good manager, he got the most out of what he had and the O’s should be proud of themselves, they gave the Yankees all they had. This was not a fluke year, they have good pitching and good power, they’ll be good next year and knowing Buck, beyond that.

  10. randygnyc - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    I’ll have to admit, I found myself disliking the orioles more and more during the series. I finally figured it out, and afterwards, restored my empathy towards the organization. The truth is, that they broadcast team TBS assembled with Yankee hater Smoltz and the obviously biased Ripken offered no neutrality to the Yankee viewership. Eventually, I found myself mired in deep disdain for a club and it’s manager that I’ve always respected, previously. It’s amazing how the subconscious processes this info, which ultimately led me to harbor such I’ll will.

    With that said, congrats to the orioles surprising and successful season. The future is bright in Baltimore, especially because of its talented leader/manager, Buck. He gets my vote for manager of the year.

    • sophiethegreatdane - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM

      Stop being so sensitive. Ripken went MILES out of his way to not be an Os homer. Smoltz had many more complementary things to say about the Yanks.

  11. jiggy3198 - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Very proud to be an O’s fan. thanks for the great season. See you all in April.

  12. lazlosother - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Tremendous year and tremendous playoff series by the O’s. I’m a NY fan, and for the first 3/4 of the season I kept thinking that Baltimore would fade. They didn’t. A truly gutsy team. Not only did they bring hope back to Baltimore, but they stepped up and made the AL east a compelling spectacle.

    Congrats to Baltimore and their fans. Hopefully this is just the beginning, and there is a new “beast of the east” to contend with. Showalter has never seen a team he couldn’t turn around, and this may be his most impressive showing yet.

    • pisano - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:25 AM

      Well said, I agree 100%

  13. jrocknstuff - Oct 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    As an Oriole fan for life I’d still feel bad giving Buck the award over Melvin. It’s literally a dead heat in the AL, Davey Johnson in the NL in my opinion

  14. ericellers - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    There is such biased statements salted all over this article it’s redonkulass! “The big bad Yankees” how stupid is this comment? The O’ s were as big and bad this 167 games as any team in the majors! “Their bats just didn’t show up” Pffft… Maybe they did but couldn’t get it done against the better pitching? Oh, and did the Yankees bats show up or was it O’s pitching that limited them throughout this series?
    Forget it even the TBS crew has its obvious biased so called sports casters! So why would I expect different from a hack sports writer?

  15. ericellers - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    Oh, sorry. Congrats to a young and gritty O’s club and their real fans.

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