In a season known for strange weather situations, late night games, and odd travel plans that allowed little time for sleep, I suppose it was only appropriate for the Baltimore Orioles that they would finish off the first half of the season with a rain-delayed game on national television. As the tarp was being spread in the bottom of the fifth inning at Camden Yards, every other team in all of baseball had long since finished their games. Players were winging their varied ways toward either the All-Star Game or a few days at home. But once again, the Orioles were waiting for the storm to pass.
Weathering storms is pretty much the theme of 2014 for the AL East—storms of injuries if not of Mother Nature. The team that prevails after 162 games will likely be seen as the one that best weathered roster losses and modifications … and other unanticipated events.
As they often have in the first “half” of 94 games played, the Baltimore Orioles endured everything thrown at them to come away with a 3-1win over the Yankees. It was after midnight that the umpiring crew finally gave up and gave in with a merciful end to the game and the first half of 2014.
Rookie pitcher Chase Whitley was throwing some nice balls at O’s hitters, but the Birds got to him in the bottom of the fourth—featuring a Chris Davis home run to left field with Nelson Cruz on base. Immediately J.J. Hardy would follow with a double and be driven home on a single by Jonathon Schoop, putting the Orioles ahead 3-1.
Orioles starter Kevin Gausman gave up only a game-opening home run to Brett Gardner. He got the O’s through the top of the fifth inning before the rains came with only that single run allowed on four hits and 78 pitches.
So it was a win for Gausman, powered by a key homer by Davis. That is a combo and storyline that could drive the next 68 games remaining. May it be so!
After a tumultuous up and down experience over the 94 games of the season thus far, the Orioles can be pleased to enter the break with a four-game lead over the Jays and five-game margin in front of the Yankees. The Red Sox and Rays are each 9.5 games behind.
Let’s enjoy Adam Jones at the Home Run Derby, watch the All-Star Game, and get ready for the very, very critical West Coast trip to the A’s, Angels, and Mariners.
Come back tomorrow morning for a long article in multiple sections that will look back over the participation of Orioles players at the All-Star Game.