Birds even ALDS, head to Bronx tied at 1
Sorry for the lack of posts here Nestgoers. It’s been a hectic few days here for us, but just know that we have been sharing every bit of excitement with you, living and dying with every pitch during the O’s wild card win against Texas and through the first two ALDS games against New York.
First, Friday night – Congrats to the O’s for taking down the defending American League East champion Rangers behind a great performance by veteran Joe Saunders. It was absolutely incredible to finally get to watch the O’s celebrate proper, showering each other with champagne in the locker room. The hearts of Baltimore fans were full watching this team, who have given us so much to celebrate all year, finally get to party a bit after being denied the same chance on their home field by the Rangers earlier in the week.
Poetically, it was Joe Nathan who blew the save against Anaheim Sunday as the Birds and their fans watched at OPACY, denying the team and fans a great moment, and it was Nathan against whom the O’s added some much-needed insurance runs Friday night to secure the victory.
While ALDS Game 1 didn’t end the way any of us would have liked, Game 2 delivered in a big way.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards was a madhouse for both games, as O’s fans who have been starved for October baseball for 15 years packed the park, leaving precious few seats for fans of the Evil Empire from up north.
I changed my flight from Kansas City – where I had watched the Ravens beat the Chiefs in a snoozer on Sunday, 9-6 – to come back to Baltimore in time to catch Game 2 in person, and it’s a decision that I will be glad I made for the rest of my life.
I’ll never forget last night at the Yard.
Despite a couple really bizarre plays – like Ichiro dodging Matt Wieters’ tag at home plate despite being out by several steps, and J.J. Hardy failing to pick up third base coach Demarlo Hale and failing to score on an Adam Jones two-out base hit – the Birds overcame and pulled out the 3-2 victory.
Rookie Wei-Yin Chen shined in his first MLB postseason start, holding down the Yankees potent bats into the seventh inning.
And, after getting beat around on Sunday, Jim Johnson came out of the bullpen angry on Monday and mowed down the top of the Yanks’ order 1-2-3 to secure the win.
The O’s now head to New York – where they were 6-3 during the 2012 regular season – needing to take just two of three games to advance to the ALCS.
That’s right, Birdland – your O’s are just two wins away from the Championship Series. Incredible.
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