When the Orioles took the field last October for Game 1 of the American League Division Series against Texas, they looked like a pretty complete team. One that produced 101 wins and a division championship, had an emerging young talent base and a few different ways to beat their opponent.
There was at least one element missing however – they had little playoff experience.
A few veteran players had played in the postseason before, such as Aaron Hicks, Adam Frazier and James McCann and a few pitchers had a few postseason innings like Kyle Gibson, Jacob Webb and Jack Flaherty, but the core of the roster did not. Their young talent which led the club all year, did not.
Was that the reason Texas swept the Orioles three in a row? Well, not the only reason but more likely one of many. The five-day layoff between the regular season and the first playoff game seemed challenging for several teams that won 100 games to include the Orioles. That was another factor. So was the fact that within the playoffs, teams generate their own momentum, and it can come fast. Texas swept two straight from Tampa Bay and was a team starting to roll when they arrived in Baltimore.
They let the AL West get away from them late in the year. But as a No. 5 seed, they rolled to the World Series title. The playoffs are a crapshoot and unpredictable and that has as much to do with the loss as anything most likely.