Baltimore Orioles: What A Great Opportunity!


Oct 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles players watch from the dugout during game two of the 2014 ALCS playoff against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals escaped yet another extra-innings playoffs game by beating the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday 6-4, giving them the 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.

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It was another frustrating game for the O’s who battled back but could never get over the hump and take the lead. Having made a reputation over this season for the capacity to fight back, being unable to consummate it is vexing – both to the team and the fans who watch.

The Orioles are hitting the ball – batting .291 over the two games. But the Royals are hitting even better (.329) and are doing so at more opportune times.

It is difficult for the pitching staff of the O’s to be constantly throwing from the stretch, and that is not far from the truth. The Royals have had baserunners in 18 out of 19 innings over these two games. Only the eighth inning on Saturday were they set down 1-2-3. By contrast, the Orioles have gone down in order five times.

Frankly, the Orioles right now are playing a very good team that is performing at the top of their game. Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain are not just baseball players, they are good athletes. And Mike Moustakas has found a grove with a very pretty swing. These guys are good, they are making all the plays, and the ball is bouncing well for them as well. They’ve got it goin’ on.

But the Baltimore Orioles have a great opportunity here to really establish themselves and this 2014 team as a historically great team. It would be even better yet if they could lose the next game and battle back from a 3-0 deficit.

Has that ever happened before in the ALCS? Yes! In fact, it was a decade ago in 2004.

With the Yankees leading the Red Sox 3-0, the Series turned when Boston hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in game 4.  Three games later, the Curse of the Bambino was broken, and the Sox went on to sweep the Cardinals in the World Series.

Why not sweep back on the Royals and sweep the Cardinals again?

To do that, the starters are going to need to go deeper, and the Orioles are going to need some production from the fifth and sixth spots in the order – Steve Pearce and J.J. Hardy.

So it could be the end, or it could be the beginning of the end – an ending that is epic.