NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with reporters outside the visiting clubhouse following tonight’s 6-1 victory over the Yankees, and Miguel Gonzalez was the hot topic, as you would expect.
Gonzalez seems to enjoy the pressurized settings. The better the opposing pitcher, the more he dials it up.
“Obviously, when you’re facing one of the best pitchers in the league, you’ve kind of got nothing to lose,” Showalter said. “Nobody expects anything. But he’s pitched here before and he’s done well. Guys who go through and play winter ball and do the things he’s done, anybody who’s played in the Caribbean World Series and played for a Mexican League championship, it’s all relevant. He’s pitched in pressure situations.
“I think he’s a guy that’s just letting it fly and trusting himself. He doesn’t have anything to lose. Heck, he’s had a lot of people in his career tell him that he couldn’t do something and I think he knows he’s in a place where people get him and know what he brings.”
Gonzalez didn’t have a three-ball count until the sixth inning.
“I talked to him before we flew here last time,” Showalter said. “You’ve got to stay in attack mode against these really good lineups. As soon as they feel some anxiety or you’re picking around the strike zone, it doesn’t bode well for you. They’re good enough as it is. They make you throw a lot of pitches and get deep in the count. You’ve got to be aggressive if you’ve got good command. And Matt (Wieters) can make a guy look real good. You give Matt that type of pitcher to work with, he can make it work.”
Mark Reynolds had a tremendous night at the plate and in the field, hitting two home runs and making three outstanding plays.
“He’s been a big difference-maker for us solidifying the defense at first base,” Showalter said. “It was a challenge for us and he takes a lot of pride in it. I see all the work he does. Mark made two plays as good as you want to see, and to add on two home runs...
“You see his track record. At some point there’s a chance that he’s going to get it going. I’m real proud of Mark’s approach to everything. There’s been some tough spots for him, but he’s as good a teammate as anybody could ask for in there. I think everybody really feels especially good for him to get a little something back for the way he’s approached this season through adversity.”
The Orioles have shaved eight games off the Yankees’ lead in the American League East.
“I’m proud of our players, but there’s another challenge,” Showalter said. “We’re going to sleep quickly. I think we all know it’s a given what the Yankees are about and what they can do. We’ve just got to continue to stay focused on what we have to do and stay in the moment, which our guys have done such a great job with all year.
“We were coming off a tough series with Chicago, one of the toughest teams in the league. It’s that time of year where every game is tough, regardless of the competition. Nothing that happened on the field tonight was something that was unexpected as far as effort and those things. But believe me, these guys, by the time they walk out that door, they will have turned the page. It’s a very mature group, as far as judging what reality really is here.”