the whole of this team is truly greater than the sum of its parts. AND they are well managed for the first time in a long long time.
My only concern about last night's game were the strikeouts...too many of them lately. And last night was no exception....they struck out at will. The bats weren't booming but they still got the job done. As one announcer said during the game...the strikeouts don't seem to bother this team.
The entire team continues to contribute in big ways: yes we certainly miss Markakis...but is anyone even remotely unhappy with his replacement? A journeyman really, who similar to Ichiro...enjoyed an epiphany when traded to a legitimate contender. McLouth has been amazing.
Jones--a key sac fly. Made contact when he had to.
Andino--that blast to the wall--where did that come from? Guess he likes to play late in the season.
Manny--hanging in and getting that huge RBI hit with 2 strikes.
Saunders, O'Day and Matusz---nails. JJ was not sharp but managed to close it out. Reminded me of Earl and 'full-pack' Stanhouse!
We will beat the Yankees for all the same reasons. They will be tough and like this game, nobody will give the O's a chance. But I believe that gives us the edge. Imagine using a 5 man rotation in a short round. Why not. No one is special, yet everyone is special. Buck has faith in his entire squad.
Look at how excited ole Jim Thome was! Its a huge asset having him on our team this year. The O's have hung with NY all season. I expect a packed house Sunday and Monday. These are special times. Imagine--holding Texas to one run...and that on a rally killing DP. And watching Matusz dispose of Hamilton on 3 pitches was a thing of beauty.
While we may have caught Texas at the perfect time, the Orioles keep chugging along, defying all odds and all the baseball experts, who probably still have them pegged as the least likely team to advance.
I won't be surprised if this series goes the distance. And it will be a beautiful picture watching us celebrate in Yankee stadium.
O's will win this series. The 'real' playoffs begin tomorrow!!