September 28, 2011 - Part 4

After the exhilaration of winning game one, the pressure of game two was squarely on the Red Sox. While Paul and I greatly enjoyed the game one win and the amusement of getting some revenge on Red Sox fans, that was all in the past when the first pitch was thrown on Tuesday Night. The game was symbolized by the typical Oriole traits of the last 14 seasons. An early lead blown by our youngest and brightest pitcher, Zach Britton. Most the of the damage was caused by rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnaway, who homered twice to keep the game just out of reach for the O's. For 8 1/2 innings, it was the pro-type of an Orioles loss. The low after the high.

But the bottom of the 9th was half an inning different than anything I ever experienced prior. Down 8-6 going into the bottom of the 9th, the energy from the Orioles players and fans was completely in tact. Even with Orioles nemesis and all around asshole Jonathan Papelbon coming in to close the game, there was something special in the output from the fans in the stands and the guys at the plate.

It took 28 pitches from Papelbon to get the save, including an 11 pitch Nick Markakis and 10 pitch Adam Jones at bat. The fans in the lower left field sections never stopped cheering for the Orioles for a second. When Matt Wieters got JJ Hardy across the plate for 7th run of the game, the tension from the Red Sox fans was thick. At this point, coming back from an 8-4 deficit, the final outcome didn't truley matter. The Orioles were able to hold their ground against the team with the second highest payroll in baseball. Winning game one made game two a must win for the Red Sox. Not the case for the Orioles.

Adam Jones at bat, ending with a sharp ground ball right at the third baseman, saved the season for the Red Sox for one last day.