NEW YORK - Left fielder Nate McLouth didn’t rush back to his hotel room last night and stare at highlights from the Orioles’ Game 3 loss to the Yankees in the American League Division Series. He didn’t plop down on his bed with the remote and channel surf until he came upon SportsCenter, which kept replaying Raul Ibanez’s two home runs.
McLouth had a good reason, besides not wanting to relive the pain.
“Well, my wife is on this trip, so I can promise you we’re not watching many highlights after the game unless they show them on the Food Network,” he said, bringing some levity into the interview room before Game 4.
“I don’t watch too many highlights, but a highlight like that is kind of tough to get away from, no matter what you’re watching. But I think we stuck with Property Brothers last night, so I haven’t seen the replay yet. But it’s not something you want to sit there and watch 10 times in your room afterward.”
Going through it once was more than enough for the Orioles, who must win tonight to force Game 5.
“That was a tough one, there’s no doubt about that, but I think kind of one of the trademarks of this team, ever since I’ve been here anyway, has been to move past difficult games and adverse situations like that,” McLouth said. “I think that once I got back to the hotel - I’ll speak for myself - I had kind of moved on to today’s game. It was dramatic to say the least, but I don’t think it’ll affect our performance at all today.
“I didn’t really hear much talk about it after the game. Like I said, it was obviously an extremely dramatic game, but I think you’re kind of doing yourself a disservice if you reflect too much on it, especially with a game the very next night. But after we left the clubhouse, I didn’t really hear much about it.”
McLouth is one of the few Orioles who isn’t slumping in the Division Series, collecting four hits in 13 at-bats to tie Chris Davis for the team lead. Could he have imagined a few months ago that he’d be contributing in the postseason and having more hits than Alex Rodriguez?
“I think I would have hoped for it,” he said. “I don’t know if I would have believed it. But I’ve been happy with my at bats this postseason, and I’ve had a little bit to show for it. I think that if I continue to do that, if we continue to do that, we’re going to have some guys that are ready to break out, and hopefully that can happen tonight.
“It’s pretty special, and I think that’s something I’ll be able to kind of personally reflect on a little bit more once we’re done, which is hopefully not for a little while here. But it kind of goes to show you that in this game, if you keep at it and you keep working at it, that good things can happen. It’s special, and it’s been a ton of fun.”
The Orioles faced another do-or-die situation last Friday in the wild card game against the Rangers. This isn’t their first must-win rodeo.
“I think the only way to become comfortable in those situations is to have experienced it, and that was kind of weird to have the first game of the playoffs be a do-or-die game, but that’s exactly what it was,” McLouth said. “I didn’t sense any nerves or any apprehension by anybody, especially Joe (Saunders). He pitched in that situation and did well. I think we’ll be able to kind of use that mentality to our advantage tonight.”
Resiliency is one of the Orioles’ finest qualities in 2012, and they’ll attempt to tap into it again tonight.
“I think Buck (Showalter) has a lot to do with that, the way he handles himself during the game, and whether things are going good or whether they’re not going so good, I think he does a good job of just bringing a stable, calm presence to the dugout,” McLouth said. “And to see that from your leader, I think that kind of rubs off on people, and kind of helps us be the same way.”