“You could look at it like that. We look at our team as we have a good team and we still believe that, but this just wasn’t our year,” Hardy said.
“We played all the way from Feb. 15 or whenever we started to get to the playoffs. You know, it is hard to think that, after however many games we have played since then, that we are not going. Yeah, it’s tough.”
Hardy was asked about the club’s struggles in one-run games now with a 17-31 record a year after going 29-9. What was the difference?
“I don’t know who you’d have to talk to to get the answer to that one,” he said. “I don’t know. It is just the way things worked out. We still believe we are a good team and we’re going to get better. These last five games, we are going to go out there and win them.”
A reporter asked him what went wrong this year.
“I guess if I had some time to sit back and think about it, I could come up with something, but right now, off the top of my head, I don’t want to say anything,” Hardy said. “We’re not happy and a little bit disappointed. Tonight, knowing we can’t play in October is disappointing.”
Chris Tillman, who gave up just one run over seven innings, talked about the finality of tonight’s loss.
“It’s tough. It’s tough on the team and personally,” he said. “It’s been a long year. We worked hard and it was a constant battle for us. We played a lot of good baseball. You get down to the wire and these games are tough. We battled all year and some things didn’t go our way.”
Tillman became the fifth O’s pitcher since 2001 to reach the 200-inning mark, but he wasn’t quite ready to think much about that tonight.
“With what today brought us, it is tough to think about that,” he said. “That is more of a personal thing and this is a team clubhouse. We wanted to play games in October and we’re disappointed we’re not there. Got some work to do going forward.”