The only “major” decision Showalter whiffed on was the call to NOT have Adam Jones bunt in the 8th inning of Game 1 in Baltimore. There’s no telling what would have happened had Jones been given the sign and then successfully bunted J.J. Hardy to third base after his leadoff double. But I know what happened when he didn’t bunt Hardy over. Three up, three down, game over about 20 minutes later.
Other than that, Showalter was as sharp as Girardi.
The great golfer Bobby Jones once said: “There’s golf and then there’s tournament golf. And in no way are the two similar.”
That sums up what the Orioles found out about playoff baseball over the last six days.
“There’s baseball and there’s playoff baseball…and in no way are the two similar.”
Just ask Jones, Wieters, Reynolds and Davis, all four of whom labored through the five games so much they gave birth to triplets on the train home last night.
Someone in the stands on Friday night asked me “what’s wrong with ‘dem guyzz?” and I said, “They’re not facing Aaron Cook or Zach Stewart or some other scrub from the Blue Jays or Mariners that they all feasted on over the last few weeks of the season.”
And that’s it, really.
What happened to the Orioles bats in the post-season?
They faced really good pitching.
Just like the Yankees and their bats – which clearly were placed on vibrate mode in the five games, minus the 9th inning of Game 1 – the Orioles fell victim to solid pitching. That’s why it’s called “playoff baseball”. The teams with the bad pitching staffs are playing golf. The team’s with good pitching are in the post-season.
There will be other playoff appearances for Adam Jones and Matt Wieters in Baltimore. They’ll get their chance to make up for a dismal 2012 post-season and my guess is next time around, they’ll fare much better.
It was one helluva series.
I was proud to be there on Friday night.
As I watched the 8th inning unfold beneath me — from great centerfield seats that cost me $42 because the New Yorkers didn’t care enough to go themselves — I couldn’t help but think about how good it felt to be invested in a game of this magnitude and to be there to see it all in live, human high-definition.
The better team won the series.
But only by an inch.
And even in defeat, it was well worth it.