Orioles stumble at New York
NEW YORK >> Brad Brach picked up Austin Romine’s bat behind home plate and slammed it to the turf. On the verge of moving into position to clinch no worse than a tiebreaker game for a playoff berth, the Baltimore Orioles let the opportunity slip away.
“Tomorrow is what we’ve been playing the whole season for anyway,” Matt Wieters said after Baltimore wasted a three-run lead Saturday in a deflating 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “It shouldn’t be hard to get ready for a game tomorrow.”
Fittingly in this season of alternating promise and frustration, game No. 162 will be needed to determine the Orioles’ fate.
They had a 3-0, fifth-inning lead against an already eliminated opponent and an 81.5 percent probability of winning the game, according to Fangraphs. A victory plus a loss by Toronto or Detroit later Saturday would have clinched a wild-card berth.
New York closed with two runs in the fifth, and Tyler Austin tied the score in the seventh when he drove Wade Miley’s slider into the Yankees bullpen in right center. Romine then dumped Brach’s slider over a drawn-in infield and into short left for a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth, and Brett Gardner followed with a tworun double against Oliver Drake.
“It seemed like we were in control there for six innings, and all of a sudden you look at the scoreboard and it’s tied,” Brach said.
Baltimore dropped into a tie with Toronto for the AL’s two wild cards at 8873, with Detroit and Seattle both 1½ games behind at 86-74. The Mariners played Saturday night, and a four-way tie remained possible.
Brach planned to watch the other games on television.
Not Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
“I’ll find something else to do. Maybe even sleep,” he said. “There’s an interesting thought.”
Despite Saturday’s disappointment, Baltimore could clinch with a victory over the Yankees on Sunday.