Do the Orioles have the Yankees right where they want them as this series now heads to New York?
After all, the Orioles won all three series there this year, going 6-3 at Yankee Stadium. It's the first time since 1976 that the Orioles won all three series at that ballpark. The Orioles' six wins there is their most since they won eight in 1976.
Nate McLouth, who has four postseason RBIs, said that success there is important now.
"I do think that matters. When you go into a tough place like that, having been able to win in the past, even though it's not the playoffs, it's still ... they sell out every game," he said. "It's a tough atmosphere to play in and just to know you've had that success, I think that's definitely a plus."
The Orioles had the best road record in the American League this year, going 46-35. The Yankees had the best home record at 51-30. But Texas tied for second-best home mark with 50 wins and the O's already have a postseason win there.
The Orioles went 2-1 in each of their trips to Yankee Stadium. Do that now (or go 2-0) and they will advance to the American League Championship Series for the 10th time in team history and first time since 1997.
The Orioles outscored the Yankees 49-32 in their own park. They scored five runs or more six times. They allowed three runs or fewer five times.
What was the key to the Orioles doing so well at Yankee Stadium?
"Playing them tough," Adam Jones said. "Not afraid of the unknown. We've pushed the envelope up there and just played good baseball in New York and in their house. They won some games down here. Hopefully that trend continues and we go there and take care of business."
Here are some impressive numbers the O's put up in New York:
* A team batting average of .304 and average of 5.44 runs per game.
* They hit 19 doubles and 14 homers there.
* A team ERA of 3.46.
* The starters pitched to an ERA of 4.03 in New York with five quality starts and the bullpen ERA there was 2.36.
The Orioles at New York in 2012:
April 30- L, 2-1
May 1- W, 7-1
May 2- W, 5-0
July 30- W, 5-4
July 31- W, 11-5
Aug. 1- L, 12-3
Aug. 31- W, 6-1
Sept. 1- L, 4-3
Sept. 2- W, 8-3
"You know what, there have been a few games where we got down early, but we stayed after them and we were able to get back in the games," Chris Davis said. "That was the biggest thing for us, is to keep grinding and keep getting after them and give ourselves a chance to win the games."
Buck Showalter picked up his 1,000th career win as a manager on May 1 at New York, becoming the 58th in major league history with that many victories.
Matt Wieters hit .364 (12-for-33) at Yankee Stadium with two homers and four RBIs and he hit safely in all nine games there. Mark Reynolds hit four homers in the O's last series at New York with a pair of two-homer games. He hit .321 there (9-for-28) with three doubles, four homers and eight RBIs. Robert Andino went 5-for-13 (.385) there and Manny Machado went 6-for-12 with an RBI in his only series at Yankee Stadium.
Of course, none of this will get the Orioles a single run or out over the next few days, but to me it does show the team went into that raucous park this year, a park where the Yankees compiled the best home record in the league, and beat them.
They know they can do it because they already have done it.