One strike away from victory.
“We may have had it, too,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Asked again about Koji Uehara’s 1-2 pitch to Alex Rodriguez, Showalter replied, “It was close. It was obviously a better pitch than strike one to Matt Wieters. I’ll tell you that.”
Uehara was visibly upset that he didn’t get the call from plate umpire Ted Barrett, and practically inconsolable after Rodriguez launched a three-run homer on the next pitch.
“He’s been in these situations before a lot of times,” Showalter said when asked about Uehara’s reaction. “This is not his first...whether it’s Japan or whether it’s here, unless you’ve been over there with the pressure there, this is part of competing at the highest level in baseball and there’s emotion involved. But he’s also had a lot of experience at getting it back under control. He’s had close pitches called balls and come back and made a quality pitch. I don’t think that was part of it. I’m not going to fault the want-to.”
The ballpark erupted when Rodriguez homered, Yankee fans again taking over the moment.
“I was proud of the way our guys competed and played against a very good club,” Showalter said. “The more, hopefully, we improve, the tougher the ticket will be for somebody to get. But I’m glad that people see it’s important to come watch our game. Obviously, a lot of it has to do with the Yankees, but we can control that. We can control it. We play good baseball and better baseball, we’ll have more and more.
“I’m proud of the people wearing black and orange who were out there tonight, too, cheering as hard, if not harder. We gave them a lot tonight. Just couldn’t finish the deal. I’ve been in Texas when there’s a lot of Yankee fans and I’ve been on the other side there. That’s not going to go away. It’s good for baseball, but it’s not necessarily something you like. But I thought we had a good atmosphere going for the Orioles tonight.”
Just not a good result.