Monday, September 15, 2014
Brian Roberts, 2008 Topps Finest #104
Last night's 3-2 walkoff win over the Yankees chopped the magic number to three, and tonight's contentious 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays knocked it down to one. The Orioles will take the field at 7:05 tomorrow evening with a chance to sew up their first American League East division crown since 1997. The Yankees have officially been eliminated with another low-scoring walkoff loss tonight, as Tampa Bay eked out a 1-0 win in the bottom of the ninth. That 1997 date keeps cropping up; that was also the last time that the O's finished ahead of New York in the standings. Tonight's winning pitcher was Wei-Yin Chen, whose record improves to a sterling 16-4. He is now the team's winningest lefthander since Jimmy Key in...1997.
A friend who is a Yankee fan (no, those are not mutually exclusive terms) was venting his frustrations on Twitter last night as manager Joe Girardi called upon a noticeably weary David Robertson to face the Birds for the third straight day. Robertson allowed doubles to three of the four Baltimore batters that he faced (Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce, and Kelly Johnson) in blowing the save before an ESPN viewing audience. My friend noted that the Yankees were five games out of the wild card as of last night, and they've had an exceptionally poor season series against the Orioles. It's 11-4 in favor of the O's with four games remaining between the two in the Bronx next week. If the Yanks indeed miss out on the postseason, the Orioles will take their fair share of credit. It's been a long time coming.