It was simply an amazing night at Camden Yards. From Cal Ripken Jr.’s statue ceremony and seeing the Orioles greats return again to one of the best home crowds just about anyone can remember at the Yard to the remarkable first inning that was topped by the last of the eighth inning, it was quite a night.
Every time you think the Orioles can’t top their latest comeback or great win, they do.
The Yankees scored five runs in the first inning to lead the Orioles 5-0 on July 31 and couldn’t beat the Orioles. They scored five runs in the eighth last night to tie them and couldn’t beat the Orioles.
This is becoming a trend. Since beginning this year 0-4 versus the Yankees, the Orioles are 8-3 against them and have outscored New York 68-46.
Head-to-head this season, the Orioles have outscored New York 79-65, outhit them .289 to .247, out-homered them 24-18 and have a better team OPS by .840 to .718.
Here is a truly remarkable stat: Over these last two weekends against New York, in four games, the Orioles have no doubles or triples but 12 homers. They are 3-1 in those four games, outscoring the Yankees 27-14.
The biggest moment of last night’s game might have been one many people may not even remember now. But how about Darren O’Day’s big out against Derek Jeter in the top of the eighth.
New York had scored five times to tie the game and had all the momentum. Now here came Jeter to the plate with runners on first and third and two outs. Jeter began the day as the major league hits leader and was hitting .319. He is batting .365 this year against the Orioles.
If we started to recount every big hit he had against the Birds over the years, tonight’s game would start before we finished.
But not this time. O’Day got him to hit a harmless pop out to second and now the Orioles came up reeling but not trailing. The game remained tied at 6-6 thanks to O’Day.
I’ll end this entry with a few quotes from a press conference the media had with Ripken after his statue ceremony and pre-game on-field ceremony. Here is what he said about the 2012 Orioles:
“I’m really happy that J.J. Hardy caught my lame first pitch. It was a ball, but normally you don’t have to throw over a statue to get it to home plate. J.J., I saw him play with Milwaukee, I always admired him, I always admired the intangibles that he brings, the leadership he brings, the stability that he brings. I thought that was a big factor in bringing him here as a shortstop and him performing in the middle of the field.
“If you look around, they have All-Star caliber players at many different positions. The question always is, for every team, is the pitching going to keep you in the ball game? The pitching, although it’s changed a little bit, we found some surprises in the second half, the pitching is keeping them in there. The Orioles are playing really well. I don’t think anybody could have projected.
“I think everyone was hoping that they would continue to develop and that they would be challenging for the wild card, but this is exciting. It’s been a while since you’re watching, you’re checking up, you’re listening everywhere you are to what’s happening in the game, so it’s exciting for me.
“Buck Showalter and company have reached out and embraced the community in every way they can. I think it was awesome that Buck was out there and the players were out there during the ceremonies. They represented. That was really cool, there was a connection to the past.
“I know Buck is doing many other things, and his thought process to bridge that and see the value in that. But ultimately it is success; success on the field. At the big league level you’re selling winning. So keep doing what you’re doing, playing meaningful games in September. Keep playing meaningful baseball. This is a great baseball town. They’ll be back.”