Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds got hit on his left hand by Texas pitcher Yu Darvish in the second inning last night. Reynolds stayed in the game and said this afternoon that he fully expects to play tomorrow night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees.
“Yeah, it’s a little sore but it’s fine. I’ll be good to go,” he said.
What about that postgame celebration in Texas?
“It was neat,” he said. “We didn’t get to have it when we made it to the postseason. To win the game and get to celebrate with all the guys in the clubhous - and a lot of guys here had never done it before - is something to be cherished. We had a good time.”
Reynolds was asked about the match-up with the Yankees. The Orioles lost the first four times these teams met this year, then won nine of the next 14 to tie the season series at nine wins each.
“Our success against them this year obviously boosts the confidence of a lot of guys in here,” Reynolds said. “We know exactly how they are going to play us and they know exactly how we are going to play them. So it’s a matter of making all the plays and the right pitches when we need to. Also, bunting guys over and getting a guy in with a sac fly. It will come down to the little things in this series.
“We’ve had a quiet confidence all year. We are not looking forward to Game 2 or 3, we are going to focus on tomorrow night and those nine innings. People doubted us all year and we kind of use that as motivation. We’ve got a bunch of baseball players in here, we don’t have the superstars that other teams have.
“Baseball fans always root for an underdog and that is how we are perceived, but we don’t see ourselves that way. We are here for a reason, we’re a good team and the guys in this clubhouse don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
Reynolds hit .294 against Yankees pitching this year with seven homers, 14 RBIs and an OPS of 1.214 in 15 games. He knows the longball is a big part of the offense for both clubs as New York led the AL with 245 homers and the Orioles were second with 214. During the season series in 18 games, the O’s outhomered New York 30-24.
“Judging by the season series, home runs will be pretty big. Some games may be offensive games and some may be struggles. We have to do those little things right and mix in a homer here and there,” he said.