Buck Showalter didn’t do Tuesday what he did do in July

Buck Showalter, after refusing to do Tuesday what he did in July cost him and his Orioles a season . . .Charlie Dressen (Ralph Branca over Carl Erskine, 1951), phone home. Casey Stengel (Jim Coates and Ralph Terry over Luis Arroyo, 1960), there’s a call for you on line 60. Mike Matheny (Michael Wacha over Trevor Rosenthal, 2014), come out from under the rug.

All is forgiven. Buck Showalter died for your sins Tuesday night and slaughtered the Orioles’ season while he was at it.

Showalter wasn’t even close to the first manager ever to make the wrong bullpen decision in a postseason win-or-be-gone game. But he may yet prove the most ignominious. Especially because the decision he refused to make Tuesday night was one he made on 31 July—and got the result he could have gotten Tuesday making the same move.

Showalter’s vapour lets the Jays have a blast

Encarnacion, dropping his bat from a high hand, acknowledging he knows what he's just hit is sending the Blue Jays to an ALDS . . .

Encarnacion, dropping his bat from a high hand, acknowledging he knows what he’s just hit is sending the Blue Jays to an ALDS . . .

You can ask yourselves which is going to hurt for the longest time. Will it be Ubaldo Jimenez, after surrendering a wild card game-winning three-run homer on the first pitch to Edwin Encarnacion in the bottom of the eleventh Tuesday night? Or will it be Buck Showalter, after he’s roasted all the way around the Beltway for leaving Jimenez in rather than bringing in Zach Britton.

The crowned Royals ride the roach coach to the Series

Greg Holland, Salvador PerezJ.J. Hardy’s two-out, down-to-the-Orioles-last-strike hopper caught Mike Moustakas right where Moustakas wanted it on the third base line. Moustakas’s high throw across the infield caught first baseman Eric Hosmer right where he wanted it. OK, a little bit high, but nothing to it. We do this kinda stuff to ‘em all throughout the picture.

Just like the only two runs the Royals would need to put on the board all day long scored on a pair of grounders and a sacrifice. Big deal. We do this kinda stuff to ‘em all throughout the picture.

The Oriole elephant falls to the Royal mouse again

Cain channeled his inner 1969 Met in Game Two . . .

Cain channeled his inner 1969 Met in Game Two . . .

Have you noticed the same two things I’m noticing about the Kansas City Royals? Thing one: They seem to have positioned themselves as giant killers. (And who knows that they won’t get a chance to be Giant killers, too?) Thing two: Contrary to swelling popular opinion, they don’t always need extra innings to make a postseason statement.

It might have shocked enough people that they dispatched the Baltimore Orioles, 6-4, in Game Two of the American League Championship Series in nine regulation innings. It probably has shocked enough people that they’re halfway toward a second consecutive sweep of a regular season powerhouse.

Uh oh, these Royals can hit like—well, Orioles, if need be

Gordon opens the tenth with a blast---who did he think he was, an Oriole?

Gordon opens the tenth with a blast—who did he think he was, an Oriole?

If you learn Buck Showalter asked the Oriole front office for a team cardiologist after Friday night’s American League Championship Series opener, try not to be too surprised. You might, too, if you were the manager whose closer opened the ninth of a tie game by walking the bases loaded before getting a run-erasing force at the plate.

Bombs, schmombs, these Orioles can be road runners, too

De Aza sliding across the plate in the eighth as a slightly stunned Miguel Cabrera (24) looks homeward.

De Aza sliding across the plate in the eighth as a slightly stunned Miguel Cabrera (24) looks homeward.

The one thing Detroit Tigers fans probably fear more than anything else happened Thursday night. The Baltimore Orioles got into the Tigers’ bullpen at all, never mind while holding a one-run lead.

The one thing Orioles fans knew above all else going in was that their power game was probably their most obvious asset, assuming they didn’t run into pitchers who could tie them up. Who knew the Orioles could perform any impression of the Kansas City Royals, never mind the one they performed in the bottom of the eighth, after homering their way for the most part to that one-run lead?