Manager Buck Showalter could be excused if he felt dizzy from riding that roller coaster in the eighth inning.
The Orioles lead by four. The game is tied. The Orioles lead by one.
The Orioles win by one.
Showalter was impressed with the way his club handled the adversity.
“I think it started a little bit with that extra-inning game against the Yankees,” he said. “Our guys didn’t panic and we saw some professional at-bats by Nicky and D. Lee against a very tough reliever.
“The story of the game for me was Jeremy (Guthrie). The game’s not always fair, but Jeremy was outstanding. He was running a little thin there at the end. I think we counted 14 or 15 foul balls in the first two innings. He had 20-something after three innings and that really pushed his pitch count up.
“Our guys, you see them come into the dugout after and there wasn’t any panic. It’s a professional group.”
Guthrie blanked the Red Sox over six innings to lower his ERA to 2.53.
“It creates a certain calmness,” Showalter said. “When you play a team with a rotation like Boston has, you’ve got to stay in the ballgame, and it all evolves around, especially with the way Beckett’s been pitching this year, it evolves around the starts that you get. We get those types of starts and it shouldn’t be a big revelation. We’re going to be pretty competitive with anybody. That’s what you have to have. You’ve got to have a good start to beat the good pitchers, and Beckett’s pitching as well as anybody in the league right now.”
It’s nice to have a veteran like Vladimir Guerrero who followed the out at the plate with the clutch run-scoring single.
“You just don’t dwell too much in the moment, and you go on to the next thing, whether something good happens or something bad happens,” Showalter said. “That’s a big karma change in that game because it looked like they had an opportunity to potentially get out of it. And I can’t fault Nicky. The grass this time of year is real thick and the ball just didn’t roll very far and you’ve got to go with your first thought there. It’s bang-bang there. I thought he might have been safe until I didn’t see Nick argue, and then I figured he must have been out. He said he bounced off the foot or something. That’s a big momentum change. That’s a karma change or whatever you want to call it. Age of Aquarius.”
Derrek Lee had three more hits tonight and is batting .247.
“The game was fair tonight because, he’ll be the first to tell you, I don’t know if Pedroia would have had the first one if the pitcher doesn’t deflect it, and the other would have ended up being an out most of the time. But it was fair tonight,” Showalter said. “He deserved a couple of breaks. Talking to Kevin Gregg the other day about D. Lee. He played with him in Chicago. It was kind of revealing about where he is, what I thought and where he is.”
Let’s not forget Nick Markakis’ throw from right field that cut down David Ortiz in the fourth.
“I’ve said many times, there’s not a better tagger that I’ve ever had than Wieters. He’s something. He’s fearless,” Showalter said.
“It looks like something good’s not going to happen and then you do something defensively to keep it from happening, and that’s the ultimate team play. That’s catch the baseball, throw the baseball accurately from 300 feet or whatever it was, catch the ball, tag the runner. There’s a lot of things that have to happen for that to execute. It’s the epitome of a team play.”