KANSAS CITY - The Orioles trail a playoff series 3-0 for the first time in club history. A win today extends the American League Championship Series to a fifth game. A loss sends them home.
The Orioles' three hits last night were their fewest in a playoff game since they also collected three in Game 3 of the 1996 ALCS. They've been two-hit on three separate occasions in their postseason history, most recently Game 3 of the 1974 ALCS against the Athletics.
If the Orioles are swept today,...
After three games of the American League Championship Series, there's been a number of key things that haven't gone according to plan for the Orioles, who trail the series 3-0 and require four straight wins in order to progress to their first World Series since 1983. In light of these disappointing results, let's explore the good and bad of the series thus far...
Shut down the Royals' speed
Much had been made of the Royals' speed on the basepaths prior to the series commencing,...
KANSAS CITY - So the 2014 Orioles season may have just one day to go. I don't think anyone could have predicted a four-game sweep of the 96-win Orioles coming off their three-game sweep of Detroit.
But that is where this series is with the Orioles needing a miracle to pull out the American League Championship Series now.
It seems the Royals are always one step ahead of the Orioles no matter what they do. Score six runs in Game 1 and give up eight. Hold the Royals to just two runs in Game 3,...
KANSAS CITY - The Orioles win this afternoon or they go home.
They must hold a lead going into the later innings of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. They can't let the Royals trot out Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland while they play from behind.
Easier said than done, of course, but it's got to happen. They must jump left-hander Jason Vargas early and break out their own procession of Darren O'Day, Andrew Miller and Zach Britton.
Asked after last night's 2-1...
KANSAS CITY - So it's come to this: The Orioles will attempt to become only the second team to rebound from a 3-0 deficit in games to win the League Championship Series.
Tall order? It's nosebleed territory.
The Orioles have lost three games by a combined five runs, including tonight's 2-1 setback to the Royals before 40,183 at Kauffman Stadium.
They pitched well enough to win. The Royals pitched a little bit better, retiring the last 16 batters and 21 of 22.
"It's tough," said first...
KANSAS CITY - Now that they are one game from elimination, the Orioles need to run the table in this American League Championship Series and win four straight games.
Kansas City won 2-1 tonight to take a 3-0 lead in the series. The Royals have won the three contests in this series by five total runs.
A comeback from down 3-0 happened once before. That was in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox came back to beat the New York Yankees in seven games.
"I mean, it's been done before, so that gives you...
KANSAS CITY - After scoring 31 runs in five playoff games and 10 in the first two games of the American League Championship Series, the Orioles were held in check by Kansas City pitching tonight and and now the Royals are closing in on a World Series berth.
Billy Butler's sac fly in the sixth put Kansas City ahead and the Royals' late-inning relievers made a lead hold up again to beat the Orioles 2-1 in front of 40,183 screaming fans at Kauffman Stadium.
The Orioles were held to just three...
KANSAS CITY - There are a few specks of orange at Kauffman Stadium tonight for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. A quiet "O" rang out during the anthem.
Orioles fans are far outnumbered in the sea of royal blue. A buoy in the ocean.
The atmosphere is completely different than what we encountered at Comerica Park for the Division Series. Guess it changes when the home team has a 2-0 lead in games.
Hall of Famer George Brett threw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight,...
KANSAS CITY - As Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked with reporters again today before heading to the field for batting practice, it was impossible to tell whether his team was up or down two games in the American League Championship Series.
After a Kansas City sports radio personality introduced himself for a second time - it's not necessary to do it once, let alone twice - Showalter said, "I remember you."
Showalter also wondered how reporters came up with new story angles every...
KANSAS CITY - The Orioles and Royals will play Game 3 of the American League Championship Series tonight amid windy and blustery conditions, which figure to impact the game.
At his pregame press conference earlier, Royals manager Ned Yost was asked how the wind might make a difference tonight. He doesn't seem to feel it favors his team even though it has played in these home conditions before.
"The wind plays the same for both teams," Yost said. "It will probably knock balls down in left...
KANSAS CITY - Miguel Gonzalez will start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series unless he's needed in relief tonight.
Gonzalez hasn't started since Sept. 28 in Toronto in the final regular season game. The layoff, however, isn't the reason for his assignment on Wednesday.
"That whole thing about time off, this time of the year... In fact, Gonzo has handled it pretty well when we've given him extra time," said manager Buck Showalter.
Nelson Cruz will start in left field in...
KANSAS CITY - Nick Hundley is behind the plate for the Orioles tonight in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
Everything else is predictable, including Alejandro De Aza starting in left field and batting second with Ryan Flaherty starting at third base.
The Royals aren't going to tweak a lineup that's produced two wins in the ALCS.
Mike Moustakas continues to bat ninth despite hitting four home runs in the postseason. He totaled two over the last two months of the regular...
KANSAS CITY - After Sunday's workout day and Monday's rainout, the Orioles and Royals have had two days without a game in the American League Championship Series.
But the weather will finally allow this series to resume tonight in windy and cool conditions in Kansas City. The Royals lead the series, two wins to none. The Royals are two wins away from returning to the World Series for the first time in 29 years.
Since baseball moved to the best-of-seven format in 1985, six teams won the...
KANSAS CITY - It's true: The sun is out and shining for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series! After the postponement due to rain yesterday, we - Lindsay and Olivia - are back with you for Game 3 of the ALCS, which starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
We're about ready to head to the ballpark on this beautiful but windy afternoon. If you can't make it out to Kauffman Stadium, no worries! We're bringing the ballpark to you through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat...
KANSAS CITY - The sun is shining today and there isn't a hint of rain in the forecast. Game 3 of the American League Championship Series will be played without interruption.
Just don't mind the wind.
I went to bed in Missouri and woke up in Kansas. I'm talking heavy, blustery winds. The kind that violently shake flag poles, as I've witnessed, and turn every fly ball and pop-up into an adventure.
But it's not raining.
Following the Orioles' Game 2 loss at home to the Royals, I approached...
Thanks to a heavy dose of rain, Game 3 of the American League Championship Series was postponed last night. So the series will get back up and running tonight. There are a number of ways the Orioles could get back in this series; they certainly have not played their best. And even though Kansas City leads two games to none, the O's could have pilfered one or both of those games with a key hit or two. Each game has been closely contested throughout.
One simple way for the Orioles to turn things...
Don't worry, be happy.
Cue the Bobby McFerrin song.
If they take their lead from their manager - and the players, to a man, pretty much say they do - then the Orioles are not exactly stressing over their 0-2 deficit in the American League Championship Series.
Is Buck Showalter really as relaxed as he seems? Well, maybe not completely on the inside, but the O's skipper's calm approach seems to be sending a we-can-do-this message to his clubhouse.
Now they just have to do it. Come back and...
KANSAS CITY - It wasn't long ago that Orioles manager Buck Showalter fielded questions about his club growing stale after clinching its division so quickly, about how it could lose its edge and bring no momentum into the playoffs.
Move ahead to yesterday, when Showalter was asked whether the Orioles might benefit from the rain that washed away Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Maybe they needed a little more time to recover from the two losses at home. Maybe the Royals would...
KANSAS CITY - So can the rain slow down the Kansas City Royals?
Nelson Cruz was asked that question after Monday's rainout of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Kansas City has a 2-0 lead in this series over the Orioles and is 6-0 this postseason.
"Probably that helps, hopefully that helps," he said. "You come to the ballpark ready to play and to be canceled changes that a little bit. But just come back tomorrow.
"For me, I don't change my routine because the game might...
KANSAS CITY - Should the American League Championship Series go the full seven games, the Orioles will need a fifth starter unless they use someone on short rest.
Rookie Kevin Gausman could end up on the mound for Game 7. It would depend on whether manager Buck Showalter inserted him earlier in the series.
Lots of moving parts.
We know that Wei-Yin Chen is starting Game 3 on Tuesday. Chris Tillman could start on normal rest Wednesday in Game 4 or be pushed back to Game 5, if needed, on...