I am a die hard Baltimore Orioles fan. This is clear after suffering through the last fourteen losing seasons. This is even more clear since it is almost 4 in the morning east coast time (I am in New Jersey) and I write this post recapping the Orioles 18 inning marathon win over the Seattle Mariners.
After tying the game in the top of the ninth with two runs, the Orioles finally scored two more runs in the top of the 18th inning to take the lead and eventually win behind Jim Johnson’s major league leading 44th save.
It has been over 14 seasons people! This is part of the reason why I am still awake to follow the Orioles game against the Mariners. Not to pat myself on the back, but I do have to get up in a few hours to go to my 9 to 5 job. I am sure I am not the only east coast Orioles fan who stayed up however. You see the Orioles are playing meaningful September baseball games and Orioles fans know they can’t take it for granted.
Staying up to witness the Orioles overtake the Mariners last night/this morning in an 18 inning game makes it even sweeter considering the win put the Orioles back in a first place tie with the New York Yankees atop the AL East.
The Orioles bullpen was nothing short of amazing. Why should that change? The Orioles bullpen has been the one constant all season long. Tonight was just another example of why the Orioles are playing in meaningful September games. The bullpen keeps them in games they would have lost in past seasons. Tonight/this morning the Orioles bullpen gave Buck Showalter 12 2/3 shutout innings! It was beyond impressive.
One member of the bullpen I want to highlight is Jake Arrieta. The Orioles opening day starter is quickly becoming one of the Orioles best relievers. This is the second straight appearance where Arrieta pitched multiple innings and looked dominant. I have a feeling we could be seeing Arrieta pitching late in close games soon. Arrieta pitched 3 1/3 shutout innings with four strikeouts. He was the first pitcher out of the bullpen to relieve Wei-Yin Chen and kept the Mariners at bay.
As I finish writing this post, proud once again to be an Orioles fan, I have to admit something. I started writing this post at the top of the 18th innning before the Orioles came to bat. I’m no psychic, but I had faith the Orioles would pull through so I began writing this article with victory in mind. As I finish writing and Johnson closes out the game, I can fill in the specifics.
It has been that kind of season for the Orioles and their fans. You just know they will figure out a way to win the game. It took 18 innings, but they won again tonight. Welcome back to the top of the AL East Orioles fans.