Baltimore Orioles: Time to Fight for their Lives


Oct 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce (28) breaks his bat as he grounds out against the Kansas City Royals during the 9th inning in game three of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering their third consecutive loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Baltimore Orioles indeed are backed into a deep and dark corner. It is time to fight now or go home, as the O’s lost the third game of the ALCS 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

7. Final. 1. 11. 2

Without a doubt, the KC pitching and bullpen is everything it was made out to be before the series began. On this evening, the Orioles would only manage a total of three hits. Fortunately two of them were back-to-back doubles by Steve Pearce and J.J. Hardy for the first run of the game – the only lead the O’s have had in this series.

The only other hit off Jeremy Guthrie (and the Royals) was a third inning leadoff single by Nick Markakis, and the only baserunner after that was a fourth inning walk of Ryan Flaherty. The Orioles were 0-for-12 against the bullpen in the sixth through ninth innings.

It is not like the Royals had many more scoring opportunities. Wei-Yin Chen had a reasonably good start and Kevin Gausman was great in relief. Kansas City was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, but true to their character they got RBIs on a ground out and sacrifice fly.

Can the Baltimore Orioles still turn this around? If they do, they would only be the second team in baseball history to do such a thing. Hopefully they can embrace the challenge.

Showalter said in his postgame remarks:

"“Always feel like the momentum can change. If we can get one under our belt and get a few things to work our way … we feel like we can get it spinning the other way.”"

So what are the chances with Miguel Gonzalez going against Jason Vargas? Well, there really is a chance. Gonzalez will not be intimidated by the situation whatsoever; we know that is true. He has pitched some big games for the Orioles, and they will really need it now.

Gonzo had an excellent ERA for the season of 3.23. Over the months of July through September, in 13 games he posted an ERA of 2.09 with opponent hitters batting just .221 against him.

Jason Vargas was 1-5 over his final seven starts with a 5.89 ERA.

Vargas was 11-10 on the season for the Royals with a 3.71 ERA and WHIP of 1.273 over 187 innings. However, he was 1-5 over his final seven starts with a 5.89 ERA and .321 average against.

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Here is some more encouragement. Nelson Cruz is 10-for-30 against Vargas with four home runs and eight RBIs. Delmon Young will certainly be in the lineup for this game against the lefty, and he is 7-for-18 against him. Some other Orioles: Adam Jones – 5-for-27 with two doubles, Nick Markakis 5-for-25 with a double and homer, and Hardy 4-for-16 with a double.

This would certainly look like a winnable game. If the Orioles could do it, and if Tillman could follow with a lights-out effort as he did earlier in the season, and if the series could go back to Baltimore, if, if, if … But that’s all we’ve got to hang onto right now.