Reporting Bob Haynie
Wow. the 2013 Baltimore Orioles season flew by. It seems like only yesterday that Chris Davis was mashing in April on his way to a monster year in which he would hit 53 HR’s and be named Orioles MVP. Has it really been five months since closer Jim Johnson went into a slump?
I can still smell the Atlantic as I think back to being in Ocean City and watching the All-Star game that featured five Orioles.
The August meltdown in Arizona against the D-Backs it still fresh in the minds of Orioles fans everywhere. I would assume.
Unfortunately, the Birds just weren’t good enough for the playoffs as their campaign ended this past Sunday. They did finish a respectable 85-77 to earn a second-straight winning season.
Even though Baltimore could be rather frustrating to watch, I would give anything to sweat through a Johnson save situation in October.
Oh well, as they say, wait ’til next year.
Now that the Wild Card tie-breakers and games are in the books, the matchups are set for Major League Baseball’s Division Series.
In the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates return to the playoffs for the first time since 1992 as they face the always tough St. Louis Cardinals.
The other NLDS features the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. For the Dodgers, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2009. The Braves are in the playoffs for the third time in four years.
In the AL, the Boston Red Sox, who went from worst in ’12 to first in ’13, will face a challenge from AL East rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays shutout the Cleveland Indians in the AL WC game.
The Oakland A’s and Detroit Tigers will renew acquaintances in the other ALDS. These two clubs played in a five-game series in 2012 that was won by the eventual AL Champion Tigers.
Which four teams will take a step closer to the World Series? Here are my picks.
Rays vs. Red Sox: Boston led the majors in runs scored. The Rays have pitched to an ERA of 2.81 in their last 20 games. I see former Orioles reliever Koji Uehara, who has been brilliant, blowing a save…Rays in five.
A’s vs. Tigers: Oakland was 52-29 at home in 2013. Detroit was 42-39 on the road. Both teams can pitch, though the A’s may have the edge in the bullpen. In a close series, Oakland gets revenge…A’s in five.
Cardinals vs. Pirates: The Cardinals hit well with RISP (.330). The Pirates won the season series 10-9. Pittsburgh has not won a postseason series since they beat the Orioles in 1979. The drought continues…Cards in four.
Dodgers vs. Braves: Atlanta had the best home record in the majors (56-25) while the Dodgers were tied with Texas for the best road record (45-36). LA’s rotation will be the difference here…Dodgers in four.