The Baltimore Orioles fell 5-2 in the series finale against New York, falling into a tie for the final wild card spot with Detroit.
While they lost to New York yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles had a pretty decent weekend. When you take two-of-three from a division rival you’re doing pretty well. Yet when the weekend started the Orioles had sole possession of the final wild card spot; now by virtue of Detroit winning yesterday, they’re tied for it.
It’s kind of ironic in a way, and perhaps largely symbolic of some of the luck the Orioles have seen this year. You take two-of-three from a division rival and lose ground. It’s also exactly what MLB wants when it comes to playoff races. There’s no doubt that having two wild cards makes the final six weeks of the season about as exciting as anything in sports.
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Wade Mileygave up three runs in the first inning, which pretty much told the story of yesterday’s game for the Orioles. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 4 K. Miley walked the first two hitters of the game, which set the tone. A soft RBI-single by Headley gave NY a 1-0 lead, and after Miley uncorked a wild pitch Romine’s two-RBI single gave them a 3-0 lead. That expanded to 4-0 in the third on an infield RBI-single by Headley.
The Orioles got on the board in the last of the third on Pearce’s fielder’s choice-RBI, cutting the NY lead to 4-1. Alvarez added an RBI-double on inning later, however the Orioles couldn’t get above two runs. Gardener added a sac fly-RBI in the ninth as an insurance run, and the Orioles fell 5-2 in the series finale with New York.
Again, by virtue of Detroit beating Kansas City yesterday the Birds now find themselves tied (with Detroit) for the final wild card spot. All fans should be in favor of the new playoff system due to the fact that it creates excitement at the end of the season. However it kind of played against the Orioles this weekend given that they went into it in sole possesion of that playoff spot, and after winning a series they actually lost ground. But that’s baseball – and you just have to win moving forward.
And the Orioles do have a chance to move up a bit in the division standings, if they do their part and if NY can use some of that youthful excuberance to the Orioles’ good. The Birds of course head to Tampa for three games starting today, an New York heads home to face Toroton. Tampa is certainly hoping to play spoiler, however if the Orioles can take care of business properly and they get some help in the Bronx, the division standings could look a little different come mid-week. Detroit heads to Chicago to face the ChiSox this afternoon.
The aforementioned series in Tampa opens with a holiday matinee this afternoon. Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Matt Andriese. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.