I could make another Star Wars joke here since I said ‘force,’ but I’m not that cheesy, even when I’m really, really tired.
Tonight all came down to the bullpens, as is to be expected, but this time it went the Orioles’ way, requiring a Game 5 to be played tomorrow – well, later today, actually – at 5 pm.
I will be at New York Comic Con when this happens, which means you can probably expect something major to happen. This was one of those typical Orioles extra inning wins – take the starter (Saunders) out after five and two thirds, then throw the bullpen out there and let them pitch well into the night until the other team’s bullpen inevitably fails. It worked fairly well tonight, with Manny Machado leading off the thirteenth with a double, Nate McLouth sacrificing him over to third, and J.J. Hardy driving him in. Jim Johnson then pitched better than he has all series to close things down.
It’s a strategy that’s served this team particularly well, especially in their David vs. Goliath situations like this series – a war of attrition. Wearing the enemy down gradually instead of throwing all your resources at them at once tends to be pretty effective, especially since it can chip away at your enemy’s morale, too. It’s given the Orioles a chance here.
It’s up to them to capitalize on this chance tomorrow.
In related news, it’s a relief to hear that Joba Chamberlain’s x-rays came back negative. The look on Matt Wieters’s face said it all – things like that are genuinely scary.