Tonight’s game was completed in 1 hour, 55 minutes.
The anthems took longer.
The Orioles hadn’t played a nine-inning game in under two hours since May 25, 2005 vs. Seattle. That game also lasted 1:55.
Showalter joked about all the smiling faces in the interview room. We’re easy to please.
Showalter wasn’t going to yank Brad Bergesen after eight innings, though he played all the scenarios in his head.
“You think about it. You know where they are in the order, but I thought he deserved a chance to finish that game and try to win it,” Showalter said.
Michael Gonzalez would have faced Lyle Overbay if Vernon Wells hit a game-tying two-run homer. Koji Uehara would have entered if Aaron Hill came to the plate after Overbay, who wound up bouncing to the mound for the final out.
Showalter raved about Cesar Izturis’ defense and astute baserunning.
“Izzy put on a clinic tonight, just about in every phase you want to see,” Showalter said. “He made three fundamental plays that go unnoticed that just jump out at you. He stopped there on the baserunning play. I can’t tell you how many people run into that tag for a double play. Little thing like comebacker back to Bergy. A lot of shortstops will just find the bag. There’s two guys moving. He doesn’t know who to throw to. But Izzy throws his hands up right away. Takes the anxiety away from the pitcher, who he’s throwing to. I can go on and on.
“Of course he made a couple nice plays glove side and backhand side. He’s a baseball player and that’s why people like him around. Bergy was the story tonight, but I’ve got to tell you Izzy is a close second.”
Corey Patterson came off the bench to deliver that big tie-breaking single in the fourth.
“Not playing is only an excuse if you use it,” Showalter said. “There’s work you can do. There’s no substitute for playing in games, but Patty’s in there every day getting ready for when there’s an opportunity. And regardless of what role he has next year for us or somebody else, that’s a nice thing to have people thinking about you as you go into an off-season. It’s something that plays well for him and he’s a guy you can trust to be ready when he gets called.
“It’s hard to do. Not many people can do it and you’re always searching for people. In the American League it’s even tougher. In the National League, it’s pretty easy to keep people getting at-bats consistently. In the American League, you look for guys who can sit for four or five days and come out there and do something. It’s a lot easier to keep people in the flow and happy in the National League. The American League’s tougher. That’s why I think managing in the American League is definitely tougher than managing in the National League.”
So why does Showalter keep making it look so easy?