The Orioles won their first home playoff game since Oct. 8, 1997, exactly 15 years ago.
Wei-Yin Chen played a prominent role tonight by holding the Yankees to one earned run in 6 1/3 innings in his first playoff start in the U.S.
“He’s been a solid starter throughout the year,” said catcher Matt Wieters. “He’s going to go out there and throw the ball the way he did tonight. He pitched plenty of big games over in Japan and Taiwan. You never know how it’s going to translate, but when he goes out there, he’s got the mindset that he’s going to win.
“He’s had numerous games this year where we’ve had a couple tough losses in a row and he’s come out and pitched like that. He’s got great stuff and he was really composed tonight.”
Wieters had a brief chat with Chen before the game, offering simple advice.
“Same lineup he’s faced probably three or four times this year,” Wieters said. “Just go out there and make your pitches and you’ll be fine.”
The bullpen turned in 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
“It’s a way to shorten the game,” Wieters said. “They’ve been great for us all year and they come out and keep doing what they’ve been doing all year.”
Brian Matusz accounted for 1 1/3 of those scoreless innings and stranded two runners. The single by Mark Teixeira was the first hit he’s allowed to a batter from the right side of the plate since moving to the bullpen.
“He comes out with the right mindset,” Wieters said. “He comes out there ready to go and lays it on the line for one inning. He goes out and uses all his stuff. Brian, even when he was starting and not throwing as well, still pitched well against left-handers.”
Wieters was involved in a bizarre play at the plate, where he failed twice to tag out Ichiro Suzuki.
“I thought I might have nicked a button, but it was close,” Wieters said. “He’s quick and he made a pretty good move. I wish I could have got him, but maybe a leather strap nicked a button or something.”
Did he think Ichiro was out of the baseline?
“No, at home you pretty much can go anywhere in the dirt and you’ll be fine,” he said.
The Orioles head to Yankee Stadium needing to win two games, which they’ve done in three different series this season.
“We’re going to concentrate on Wednesday and we’ll take it from there,” Wieters said. “We’ll enjoy this one a little bit and then focus on the next game.”