There were a few positives that came out of last night’s win for the Orioles over the Athletics.
From a team standpoint, they moved to within two games of Oakland for the second American League wild-card spot and within 4 1/2 games of first in the AL East.
But seeing Jim Johnson buzz through the top of the ninth with no drama and get the A’s three up and out on just nine pitches was a real plus and big lift for the team.
Johnson had suffered three consecutive blown saves until getting No. 40 last night. Brian Roberts talked about the importance of Johnson’s outing after Friday’s game.
“It was great,” Roberts said. “You could see the look in his eye. Sometimes we need that as players. We need to have a little kick in the rear end. He’s been great for us, he’s been incredible. He has had his ups and downs, but who doesn’t over 162 games.
“I thought tonight he came out really aggressive and he threw the ball incredible. We all looked at each and we’re like, ‘woah, this is almost a different guy.’ That’s great. Sometimes we need to play with a chip on our shoulder and I think he did that tonight.”
Roberts hit his sixth career grand slam in the win and he’s now batting .448 (13-for-29) with runners in scoring position and Robert is 3-for-4 with the bases loaded. He has eight RBIs over his last six games.
Adam Jones, who hit his 27th homer, talked about the O’s bouncing back from the tough end to their last road trip in Arizona, to now win four of their last six games.
“This team is resilient and we know what is at stake,” Jones said. “We all see, not necessarily an urgency, but we all know what’s at stake.
“It is going to be cool down the stretch. We’ll be playing teams ahead of us. We are going to be able to set our own destiny and control our own destiny the last five weeks of the season.”
The roller coaster ride for Orioles’ fans is on another upswing. At least for one day. Let’s see what today holds as the playoff chase continues this afternoon.