Welcome to the ALCS Baltimore. The Orioles completed the Sweep with a 2-1 victory over the Tigers. The special thing about this sweep is that it was completed against all 3 of the Tigers' Cy Young Pitchers. Today, David Price tried to save the Tigers from elimination and besides from the one mistake he made, he had a pretty good game. Price pitched 8 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 runs.
That one mistake came in the tp of the 6th inning and it wasn't really a mistake. On a 1-1 pitch with Nelson Cruz at the plate, Price put the ball on the outside corner of the plate. Somehow, Nelson managed to make contact with the end of his bat, sending it to deep right field corner, barley missing the foul line. That homer gave the O's a 2-0 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
O's starter Bud Norris went 6 1/3 innings, striking out 6 and only allowing 2 hits. Bud hasn't pitched since September 24th and didn't know he was pitching until the flight to Detroit but came out ready to go. This was his first career postseason start but the moment was never to big for him. For a team with no aces, they sure did keep a very good lineup in check. Andrew Miller came in to relieve Norris, and I have to mention how instrumental he has been since being traded to the O's from the Ref Sox back in August. Miller has been that added support in the O's bullpen and the extra left hand that has some postseason experience.
I'm sure no one expected the Orioles to sweep the Tigers, especially since they have 3 Cy Young winners in their rotations. Every one knows that pitching is what gets the job done in the postseason, but what trumps good pitching is great managing. Buck Showalter this entire season has press the right buttons and it continued this series. With a man on second, Buck decided to walk Nick Castellanous, putting the winning run on 1st base with 1 out. Most managers wouldn't have made that unconventional decision but Buck puts a lot of trust into his players. Closer Zach Britton would force pinch hitter, Hernan Perez, to hit into a double play which ended the game and series.
The Royals also completed their sweep against the Angels in a more convincing fashion, winning 8-3 in front of a raucous home crowd. This sweep wasn't expected either Angels having the best record in baseball and a huge payroll. Mike Trout, who was 0-8 coming into this game, finally made impact with his 1st inning home run that went 429 feet. Things were looking up for the Angels but the Royals, like they've been the whole postseason, stayed resilient.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Royals found themselves with bases loaded and 2 outs with Alex Gordon at the plate. Gordon hit a double to left field which cleared the bases, giving the Royals 3-1 lead. CJ Wilson was the starter for the Angels but he didn't last through the inning, which is very unacceptable.
Royals didn't let up from there. In the third inning, Eric Hosmer hit a 2 run bomb to left center field, almost the same spot where Trout hit his. Then in the 4th, Mike Moustakas hit another homer, which was the equalizer for Albert Pujols home run that happened at the top of the inning. Anytime the Angels tried to build some momentum, the Royals would kill it. Even on the defensive end, Lorenzo Cain making back-to-back diving catches in center field that ended the 5th inning.
James Shields went 6 innings for the Royals, striking out 6, giving up 6 hits, and 2 runs. This wasn't Big Game James best performance but it got the job done. Angels on the other hand, use a total of 8 pitchers to give up 8 runs and 9 hits. The Angels has a team full of stars, one of which will more than likely be the AL MVP, but couldn't outshine the Royals at no point in this series. Mike Trout, who I am completely disappointed with, didn't really show up. Some call Trout the best all around player in the league and he was far from that this this series. Twice this series Trout was the last at bat for the Angels and twice he struck out. That ain't balling.
The Royals will now get ready for the Orioles, game one of the ALCS Friday in Baltimore. Both teams were not expected to be in this position and neither team has a heavy bank roll roster. This will be a very intriguing series because they have some similarities like a good bullpen, but some differences like the Orioles being the best HR team and the Royals being the worse. Both are coming into Friday with great momentum and the crowds will be crazy.