2012 AL Wildcard Preview – Orioles vs. Rangers

After 162 regular season games and 93 wins, the Baltimore Orioles’ postseason future went down to the final game on Wednesday against the Rays. The Baltimore Orioles were already granted a wildcard place for the postseason but needed a victory to ensure that they would play on their own turf against the Texas Rangers this Friday.

They lost.

Indeed, after relying on huge home runs to boost their MLB scores for the majority of the season, the Orioles needed just one more win to secure home advantage but Tampa Bay’s batting was inspirational, as they ran out 4-1 victors in St. Petersburg.

The loss means that Baltimore must fly to Texas for a one-off wildcard match to decide who makes the postseason this fall. Losing two of the three games in the series with the Rays is hardly good preparation before a major showdown way out west but manager, Buck Showalter, is nevertheless confident of his team’s chances:

“I told our guys how proud I am just to be associated with this bunch; they’re a baseball-playing bunch of guys,” Buck revealed to MLB.com. “They’ll let it rip in Texas, and it won’t be timid; I can tell you that.”

Despite Buck’s confidence, however, the O’s have a tough task ahead of them to overcome the Rangers.

In their last series on Texas soil back in August, the Orioles lost two of three and were humbled in the final game 12-3. Nothing went right that night with, Texas scoring nine runs in the fourth – if this Orioles collapse happens again, they have no chance of making the postseason.

To make matters worse, the O’s averaged under two runs a game against Tampa Bay and seriously need big hitters, Adam Jones and Chris Davis, to step up and perform Friday night. However, the betting on baseball seems to indicate that the Orioles could come up short tomorrow, much to the chagrin of fans.

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.