It was great to see the Baltimore Orioles win 9 to 1 over division foes the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. But it is hard to explain what happened over the weekend in Chicago. The lovable losers of the north side of Chicago – the Cubs – took a three-game series from the Orioles with relative ease. So let me explain why it didn’t matter much:
- History. The Orioles were only playing their second series ever at Wrigley Field in the 100 years history of the iconic ballpark. Sure some of the players had played there before, such as Nelson Cruz (who played there last year with the Rangers) and Steve Pearce (with the Pirates). But the team seemed to be intimidated by the small bandbox. The bullpen is practically in the field of play, fans are right on top of the players and the place really seems to be a stadium out of time. Nelson Cruz even said “For the fans, it’s always good, but it feels a little bit like winter ball. The fans are on top of you, and you can feel it. ” Cruz does not usually seem like one to get out of sorts, but it was obvious the whole team felt the whole of baseball history on them.
- Jake Arrieta and Tsuyoshi Wada. The two former Orioles farm hands seemed to have something over the team. No, I don’t think they were cheating. They just had a grudge and wanted to play their best against the team that gave up on them. Throw in the erratic Pedro Strop and the Orioles were just not welcomed by their old teammates.
- Long Road series. It was a long time to be away from home. First Cleveland, then a week in Chicago playing in two different stadiums. It certainly had to make the team homesick near the end. Baseball always has long road trips, but the extra-long time spent in the Windy City pushed them to the breaking point.
- It was time. You can’t sweep every series, let alone win twp out of three. Sometimes you lose.
This team still is in the driver’s seat for the American League East. Just forget about Wrigley. It was all a bad dream………….
Tags: Baltimore Orioles