There's a lot of reasons why the Orioles lost to the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALDS Friday night. They're the same reasons the team had to scuffle throughout the series -- lack of offense.
Adam Jones, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds. None of them generated any offense, especially when the time was right. They pressed too much, swung too early in counts, helped the Yankee pitchers time and again. Ten runs in five games won't win many playoff series.
But that's baseball.
These Orioles had never been in the playoffs before. They'd never even had a winning record before.
That's why, in this hyper-critical world in which we live, everyone shouldn't rip on the Orioles for having offensive problems in this playoff series. What they should remember is, despite all those problems, the O's still almost pulled it off. One hit in the eighth inning, and this team might be on its way to Detroit.
After all of the surprise success of 2012, the Orioles might have awakened their fans again. People didn't believe in this team for a long time, mainly because of the problems of the recent seasons. But no matter what happened, the Orioles kept finding ways to win this season.
And when fans realized the Orioles were for real, they jumped on board. The electricity in the stadium last weekend for the first two games of the ALDS with the Yankees was amazing.
There's probably not a man in the Orioles' organization that will be disappointed with the outcome of this series. The Orioles could have won this -- if a few things had broken differently, they could have even swept the Yankees -- but that didn't happen.
This playoff series was a learning experience for the young Orioles. When they return to post-season play, they can remember this year, and they'll learn from it.
In the end, they've got nothing to be ashamed of. They gave it their best shot.