Most Orioles fans probably don’t have much rooting interest in the playoffs. It’s been just a week since the Orioles were eliminated in the painful wild-card loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, and in those seven days, the Jays have already moved on to the American League Championship Series to face the Cleveland Indians.
Toronto swept the Texas Rangers in three games, and seeing the Rangers’ weaknesses in the series could only get Orioles fans who were watching, envious.
During the regular season, the Orioles lost four of seven games to Texas, but won two of three in Baltimore just after the Rangers acquired Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy.
A Blue Jays-Red Sox ALCS would have been even more painful, but the Cleveland Indians from whom the Orioles won five of six this season, swept Boston, too.
Orioles fans who are still interested will be rooting for the Indians. The only ex-Oriole remaining in the series is Andrew Miller, who again has come up big in the postseason just as he did in 2014.
With David Ortiz and the Red Sox abruptly out of the postseason, Orioles fans can root against Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion.
Terry Francona aggressively used his bullpen, and his early use of Miller was striking. When the Indians’ starting pitching wavered, he brought in Miller as a swing man.
Toronto hasn’t been to the World Series in 1993, and if the Indians go, it will continue Cleveland’s good sports fortune.
The only former Oriole on the Blue Jays is Scott Feldman, who brings back some unpleasant memories.
Along with Steve Clevenger, Feldman was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in July 2013 in exchange for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.
Arrieta hit a three-run home run on Monday night in the Cubs’ 6-5 13 inning loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Orioles fans aren’t over the loss of Arrieta, who has been wonderful for the Cubs, but was a disappointment with the Orioles. At the time of the trade, Arrieta had been given multiple chances with the Orioles and needed to go elsewhere.
It would have been interesting had the Orioles held onto Arrieta to see if now departed pitching coach Dave Wallace could have worked well with him.
Arrieta and Strop are both terrific guys, and it’s great to see them doing well with the Cubs who seemingly were on their way to a three-game sweep.
The game finally ended around 2:40 this morning, and the Cubs will have another shot at hosting the National League Championship Series.
Chicago is the only team remaining in the postseason that the Orioles didn’t face this season. Since the Orioles last played the Cubs when they lost three straight games in Aug. 2014, Chicago has turned over its roster.
The Cubs and Arrieta will make their first visit to Baltimore since 2003 right after the All-Star break next July.
In August, the Orioles beat the Giants in two of three games at AT&T Park. Jonathan Schoop’s two out, ninth-inning three-run homer was the difference
The Nationals are a game away from their first visit to the National League Championship Series after an excruciatingly long nine-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Orioles won two of three in Los Angeles in July, including their longest game of the season, a 14-inning affair that look nearly 5 ½ hours, and in August took three of four against the Nationals.
The Dodgers feature Rich Hill, who was with the Orioles in 2009 and Justin Turner, who played briefly with the Orioles in 2009 and 2010. The Giants and Nationals don't feature any former Orioles.
MORE ORIOLES: Orioles begin search to replace Wallace