By knocking the Red Sox out of the playoff hunt with a walk-off ninth inning win in the final game of the season, the Baltimore Orioles enjoyed being relevant this late in the season for the first time since the team’s last playoff appearance in 1997.
“Even though everyone was cheering for the Red Sox in our own stadium, this feels great,” said Orioles catcher Matt Wieters after his team delivered what would soon become the crushing blow to Boston’s playoff hopes. “I can’t imagine what this game would have meant to us if we weren’t 28 games out of first right now.”
Baltimore OF Nolan Reimhold is about as anonymous as a big league player can be, but Wednesday night he felt like he actually meant something after he drove in the tying run off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon and later scored the winner on a base hit by Robert Andino.
“The world might not have known who I was going into the game and they might not remember later today,” said Reinhold, speaking with reporters after the game. “But I’m on top of the baseball world for a couple more minutes, which is something no one on the Orioles has been able to say since Cal Ripken back when I was just 13 years old.”