The Orioles returned to the .500 mark tonight for the first time since May 5 and ran their winning streak to five games with an 11-3 rout of the Yankees before 33,203 at Camden Yards.
What does it mean to be back at .500?
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” said manager Buck Showalter.
Showalter tied Hank Bauer for third place on the club’s all-time managerial wins list with 407. What does that mean?
“It means I’ve been here a long time,” Showalter replied. “Obviously, the cliché-est thing is you’ve got a lot of good players that allowed you to be here. And your timing was real good. You see a situation that’s gotten better, I guarantee you can find a lot of people - you’ve heard me says this - that took some bullets before you got here to get it right. Whether it’s John Russell in Pittsburgh, the stuff he went through, developed to get them there. My timing was good. I pinch myself every day I get a chance to do this. That won’t change.
“Whether it was Dave Trembley or Andy MacPhail, Dan (Duquette) and I both understand how fortunate we were to reap the benefits of some things that they did, so far. Now we’ve just got to keep it going.”
Showalter knew Bauer, who managed the Orioles to their first world championship in 1966, from his days with the Yankees.
“He was pretty special,” Showalter said.” He always treated everybody the same. Easy to talk to. You could tell how much he loved baseball. He loved talking about our team. He loved baseball.”
Here’s more from Showalter:
On how the Orioles were able to get to Michael Pineda:
“He didn’t quite have the command he had last time. He’s got great stuff. Guys put some good swings on mistakes he did make. He was real close to having some counts in his favor. I think the command was a little bit off. He was just barely missing. Those pitches were borderline pitches either called strikes or they weren’t. He’s pretty good. We were real fortunate.”
On whether Orioles took a different approach:
“Not really. Not a different approach. When a pitcher’s on top of his game and a hitter’s on top of his game, the pitcher wins usually. That’s how it works here. That’s why pitching is such a priority. That’s why you see these great hitting teams in the playoffs, everyone wonders what happens to them. The pitching’s so much better the further you go. We were just fortunate to catch him on a little bit of an off night. He hadn’t pitched since the 1st. Glad we don’t have to face him again in five days or four days.”
On Ubaldo Jimenez escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first inning:
“I thought the key inning was the first one with Ubaldo. He had bases loaded, nobody out and four, five and six, and wiggled out of that. We wiggled out of a lot. They were a base hit away from being in that game in a lot of different spots. Or being back in the game. Never felt like they were out of it. Seemed like we were trying to spread around the innings and have everybody tomorrow, which I think we were able to do with the exception of (Brad) Brach.”
On how Jimenez threw:
“OK. Another tough night to grip the balls for everybody. Humid, sticky and sweaty. See their guy putting rosin all over his forearms? He was just trying to get a grip. But OK. I know he was a little frustrated. He would have liked to go deeper. We would have too, especially where we are with the bullpen. We have one more day before we can add somebody there. We’ll see if Mike Wright makes it though without pitching.”
More on the first inning:
“That was the key to the game. It’s a real momentum-turner. We come in and score. That’s one you kind of look back on.”