You’ve probably heard this Buck-ism before. But it’s pertinent to use it now following the Orioles’ come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night.
“I know sometimes you just can’t get into that sky-is-falling syndrome,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Friday post-game. “Because if you do, it will fall.”
The sky was at least cratering Tuesday. The Orioles had just dropped two to the Boston Red Sox, and were on the precipice of separating themselves – in the wrong direction – in the AL East standings. They had lost seven of their last nine and it looked like the mojo from their hot start was finally eroding.
And then, with the club’s two shakiest starters on the mound, the Orioles found their offense and won slugfests against the Red Sox to split the series. On Friday, the Orioles’ best pitcher, Chris Tillman, allowed five runs, digging the Orioles into a 5-2 hole. But they rallied again, winning 6-5 to put together a modest, three-game winning streak and, believe it or not, jumped back in front of Boston in the AL East standings with a 31-22 record.
The sky is apparently orange-and-black again.
That is one of Showalter’s primary strengths as a manager. He knows the season is 162 games and he manages as such – whereas other Orioles’ skippers in the past were playing Game 7 of the World Series every night each summer.
It’s not a coincidence that the Orioles never think they are out of games. Part of that is a great bullpen and a powerful lineup. But a large part of that is a no-panic mindset.
“You can’t come in here real high one day and real low the next day. I’ve told you many times. You come in here and match up playing a team that’s been struggling and you’re going well, and you go home (after a loss) and you go, ‘What happened?’” Showalter said. “And then you come in here sometimes and you’re facing one of the best pitchers in baseball and you may have a guy that’s been struggling, not swinging the bat, and you go home (after a win) and go, ‘Geez, where did that come from?’”
It’s the beauty of baseball. And it’s the knowledge of a veteran manager. Be consistent. Be steady. And you have a chance to play for something at the end of the season.
The bottom line is that sometimes in baseball parts of the sky will fall. It happened earlier this week.
The key is how your team picks up the pieces.