Some of you may consider me blasphemous for what I’m about to say, but hear me out: Adam Frazier‘s game-tying double in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday afternoon was reminiscent of the Delmon Young double in Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS.
I’m certainly not going to call it Delmon Young 2.0, because that implies an improvement. I will, however, assign it the moniker of Delmon Young LITE.
First things first: obviously, the biggest difference between the two hits is that Young’s came in a playoff game, and Frazier’s came in a regular season game in the middle of
BUT. It was as close to a playoff game as you can get! Coming into the four-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles owned a 2.0-game lead in the AL East. The Rays took a nailbiter in game 1, then smacked the O’s around in dominating fashion in game 2, on Adam Jones day of all days. The O’s came back with a beatdown of their own in game 3, sealing the crucial season-series tiebreaker for 2023. But the Rays were still in position to leave Baltimore with a share of the division lead heading into the season’s final two weeks.
Instead, thanks to Frazier – and Adley Rutschman, and Austin Hays, and Cedric Mullins, and Yennier Cano, and D.L. Hall, and… – the O’s sent them home just the way they came in – trailing by two – but slightly worse off, having lost the tiebreaker and with four fewer games to make up their deficit.
Let’s talk about all the ways that Frazier’s hit was eerily similar to Delmon’s nine years ago…
As pointed out to me on Twitter by @CurtSPerkins, the baseball gods were in the same exact mood that day in October 2014 as they were yesterday: giving us completely overcast skies on a Charm City afternoon.
In both games, the O’s were trailing. In Delmon’s case, it was 6-4 Detroit, and the O’s had five outs left. Yesterday, it was 4-3 Rays, and the Orioles were down to their final out.
This one’s simple. Both balls were shot into left field. While Young’s rolled to the wall in fair territory, Frazier’s went to the PERFECT spot down in the corner in foul ground after scooting inside the third base bag.
Runner Scores from First
Young’s double scored, as we all remember: Nelson Cruz (is in), Steve Pearce (is in), and J.J. Hardy (around third and he’s gonna try to score). Hardy scoring from first shocked all of us. Yesterday, the much speedier (to put it mildly) Jorge Mateo was on first base, having pinch run for Hays, who singled with one strike. Most of us watching the game were screaming at Mateo for not yet stealing on every pitch of the AB. As it turned out, he chose the perfect time to go on the move. He may have scored regardless, but since he was running with the pitch, Randy Arozarena didn’t even attempt a throw home as Mateo crossed to tie it.
As alluded to above, the call of the Young double, by TBS’s Brian Anderson, is forever etched into our collective memory.
Yesterday’s by Kevin Brown, was every bit as electric.
FAIR! FAIR BALL! INSIDE THE BAG!
(Herewego…herewego – Ben McDonald)
HERE HE COMES! MATEO AROUND THIRD! HE IS GOING TO SCORE! THIS GAME IS TIED! ADAM FRAZIER COMES THROUGH!
Delmon’s double put the O’s up for good, as they’d win the game 7-6. Frazier’s only tied the game, and despite Aaron Hicks‘ laser in the game’s next AB, it went to extras. However, the O’s came back again in the 10th before winning the game on Mullins’ sac fly in the 11th.
While it would take another win in the Detroit series to bring on a locker room champagne celebration, this one resulted in a party the same afternoon.
We have to talk about what we don’t want to be the same as 2014, of course. While the Young double was among the final good memories we’re left with from that magical 2014 season (Bud Norris‘ gem, Nelly’s blast, a game-ending DP rounded them out), we certainly hope there are many, many more exhilarating moments to follow here in 2023.
So, what do you think, Birdland?
Is Adam Frazier’s double “Delmon Young Lite?” Or am I getting too caught up in the moment?