The start to their respective postseasons has been underwhelming as they’ve gone a combined 2-for-23 with Wieters and Jones each collecting their first playoff hit in the Game 2 win. Conventional thinking would suggest the Orioles need their two All-Star hitters to heat up at the plate to have any chance to win the series, but the club hasn’t viewed itself in that way all season.
And how can it when the likes of Nate McLouth and Ryan Flaherty and Game 3 starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez have come out of nowhere to provide important contributions at different times this season? A dual awakening of Jones and Wieters at the plate would go a long way in pushing the Orioles toward the ALCS, but they’re not feeling any extra pressure.
“I think that is kind of what made this team get where it is this year, that we know that we need to have different guys step up every night and drive in runs,” Wieters said. “The big thing is we just need everybody to play to their ability and not worry about where you are hitting in the lineup or what your stats are. [They] may not be the gaudiest numbers for this team, but when you step up in the right situation, that is how we are able to get wins.”
Anyone watching the Orioles make this postseason run still can’t help but take a step back from time to time to ask if it’s really happening. It’s not a slight to the current group of players or what they’ve accomplished to this point, but it feels surreal.
Yes, Jones and Wieters will be playing big games at Yankee Stadium, but they’ll be donning that cartoon bird cap and wearing gray jerseys with “Baltimore” written across their chests.
With Showalter in tow to provide the necessary push and mindset, the young Orioles grew up in a hurry, didn’t they?
“We’ve been able to see each other’s games improve and develop,” Wieters said. “A lot of us had to develop at the big-league level even and be able to pick up our game the last couple years. That is why we are where we are.”