The Boston Red Sox are one win away from the World Series. They host Detroit later today and have a 3-2 lead in the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox need five more wins to claim what would be their third World Series title in 10 years.
So how would that sit with Orioles fans?
Are more O’s fans rooting against or for Boston? I would guess against by a large margin, there doesn’t seem to be much love lost between Orioles and Red Sox fans. The Orioles are 24-13 against Boston the last two years and are no longer Boston’s doormats.
There is one school of thought that some O’s fans would take a small sense of pride in an AL East team winning the World Series. We talk so much about how good the division is, this is the time to prove it, right? Does it mean anything to an O’s fan to have the champ reside in your division?
This has been a remarkable postseason of close games. Four of the five games in the ALCS have been decided by one run. Overall, the 2013 postseason has recorded the highest percent (40%; 12 out of 30) of one-run games since 1992 (42%; 8 of 19 games) and is one shy of the all-time record of 13 set in 2011.
The four one-run games in the ALCS ties a record set by the Orioles and Cleveland Indians in the 1997 ALCS.
Are some O’s fans conflicted when Koji Uehara pitches? He clearly still has plenty of fans in Baltimore and is an easy guy to root for. He has pitched in seven of Boston’s nine playoff games and is 1-1 with an ERA of 1.13 and four saves. Over eight innings he has 11 strikeouts to no walks.
I think the O’s are still probably okay with their return of Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji, but there was some talk of a reunion last winter.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball officials have to be pleased with the television ratings this October.
Overall, the 30 games have averaged 4.5 million viewers across FOX, TBS and MLB Network, an increase of +8% through the same point last year. Thursday night’s 4-3 win by the Red Sox over the Tigers in Game 5 of the ALCS drew 8.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched LCS game since Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS between the Giants and Phillies.
By the way, I am a real fan of low-scoring, well-pitched games. To me some fans love a shootout with a lot of homers, but I’ll take the pitchers’ duel any day. I love to watch a top pitcher at work whether he is getting the hitters out with the sheer power of a dominant fastball, or is doing it with a mix of several quality pitches.
There have been two 1-0 games in the Boston-Detroit ALCS. By comparison, the Orioles played 162 games this season without being involved in a single 1-0 game.
So what say you O’s fans? Are you rooting for or against Boston right now? How about Koji? Do you like the pitching we’ve seen in this postseason or would you rather watch a 10-9 game?