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ALDS Game 2: Youth Movement

October 9, 2012

One of those games (Associated Press)

Playoff experience is hard to come by on the Orioles’ roster.  Aside from Jim Thome‘s 69 games, mostly with Cleveland, there aren’t many wearing orange and black that have laced up in October.  But that didn’t seem to matter much last night, in fact, it was the Yankee veterans who faltered in the big moments.  Jeter, who has played in 154 postseason games, made a throwing error in the bottom of the 4th, the first time he has made an error in back-to-back playoff games in 16 years.  Pettitte, in his 43rd playoff start, was an absolute horse for the Yanks, but was out-dueled by Wei-Yin Chen in his first.  Mark Teixeira, who made one error the entire season, allowed a Buckner-esque dribbler through his legs.  A-Rod, playing in his 70th postseason game, went 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts, lowering his October average to .111.

It was the rookies, the novices, the greenhorns, not the playoff-tested Yankee veterans, that came through in the clutch last night.  Chris Davis, in just his 3rd postseason game, thrust the O’s into the lead with a 2-run single in the 3rd.  Mark Reynolds, who hadn’t seen playoff action since suiting up with the Diamondbacks in 2007, plated the eventual winning run in the 6th on a perfectly executed opposite field single.  That was all it took as Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz, and Jim Johnson, with a combined 20 games of October experience, shut the Yanks down over the final 2 2/3 innings.  3-2.

We had our chances and it’s always frustrating to see those squandered.  But, in an absolute must-win game for the O’s they did just enough to beat us.  I like our chances as we leave the rowdy confines of Camden Yards and return to the Stadium.  If Hiroki Kiroda can stay true to form we should have a great chance to take a 2-1 edge on Wednesday.

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