BOSTON - Manager Buck Showalter provides a good mix of analysis and humor in his postgame sessions with the media.
The analysis, when asked about Jason Hammel: “He was good, Boy, he pounded the strike zone and stuff. He’s doing the things to give himself a chance to be good and he’s in a good place right now and it’s on us to try to keep him there. I can’t tell you what it does for a club after you go out there and score some runs to keep putting zeroes up. Just creates good karma.”
The humor, on Troy Patton’s attempt to double off Dustin Pedroia at second base after snagging David Ortiz’s liner: “If Patton got a little better handle on that ball that he defended himself well ... He threw his best changeup of the day to J.J. (Hardy).”
This is a tight-knit group, as evidenced by Darren O’Day’s reaction after allowing an inherited runner to score.
“The thing about it, Darren comes off and the first thing he does is apologize to Hammel for giving up the run,” Showalter said. “That’s the camaraderie you’d like to see. They’re all pulling for each other.”
Hammel figured to give the Orioles innings after they were pushed into the 13th last night, but Showalter said, “I don’t ever assume anything. We know what that word stands for. And just because someone’s done it the last time out, you never know. You know how good Boston is and how good they’re going to be as the season progresses. It’s something you hope for, last night after 13 innings, for him to have that type of outing.”
Is the Orioles’ ability to win in so many different ways evidence that they’ve become an excellent team?
“We’ll see,” Showalter replied. “This is a marathon. We’ve got way too many bridges to cross. We’ve got a good start to May after doing some things well in April. There are some things we need to do better if we’re going to continue to play the baseball we want to play. I think we are all dwelling on the one day, one day. I know it’s a clichÃ©, but if we stay in that mentality, we’ll be OK.”
Does winning back-to-back series in New York and Boston build confidence in a team?
“There’s a hook there somewhere, but I’m not going to give credence to it,” Showalter said. “We played well early in the season. We’ve got to play well in Kansas City, we’ve got to play well in Texas, we’ve got to play well everywhere we go and in our ballpark.
“So far, so good. We’ll see where this journey takes us.”