The Orioles were in a bit of hot water after bringing a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Closer Zach Britton, who had been fantastic all year long for the O’s, allowed back-to-back doubles to Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez. The Tigers halved their deficit and put the tying run in scoring position with no outs.
Britton buckled down, striking out Bryan Holaday after failing to bunt the runner over to third base. Orioles manager Buck Showalter called for the intentional walk to Nick Castellanos, putting runners at first and second but also setting up a potential game-ending double play. As fate would have it, the intentional walk worked, as Britton induced pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to hit a weak ground ball to third baseman Ryan Flaherty, who made the toss to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who completed the double play with a throw to first baseman Steve Pearce.
After sweeping the Tigers out of the ALDS, the Orioles await the winner of the ALDS between the Royals and Angels. Game 3 is under way in Kansas City. The Royals enter play with a 2-0 series lead. The ALCS will begin on Friday, October 10. The Orioles will be participating in the ALCS for the first time since 1997.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.