If we're looking to blame some Orioles, there's plenty to go around. The pitching did not show up against the Texas Rangers, and arguably the second-best lineup in the postseason (sorry, Braves earned that No. 1 spot) has its eyes on an ALCS appearance.
Baltimore had to wait half a week, which arguably gave them a pretty severe disadvantage for a team which won its division. The Rangers, meanwhile, won their AL Wild Card series against the Blue Jays with relative ease and now has made the O's look pedestrian at best.
Despite their age, the O's were expected to make some noise in the playoffs. Baltimore did finish with the best record in the American League, after all. Suddenly, the Rangers look like the real threat, and the Orioles could be stuck watching from the couch if they slip up on the road.
Baltimore Orioles to blame: Brandon Hyde
Brandon Hyde has not handled his pitching staff, that much is certain. In Game 1, seemingly every choice Hyde made was a bad one. Hyde made at least two poor pinch hit decisions in the first game which put the O's behind the eight ball. By asking Adam Frazier to pinch hit for Jordan Westburg, Hyde thrust a player who frankly wasn't ready for the attention into the public eye. Frazier went 0-for-3 in that game, and was in for matchup reasons. That sounds like over-managing at its finest.
As Alicia de Artola wrote about Game 1, Hyde's choices were in question the entire game:
"Brandon Hyde has done a helluva job with the Orioles this year, but his first playoff outing was a total dud...The decision to pinch-hit Adam Frazier in the fourth for Jordan Westburg was a headscratcher. Frazier didn't need three at-bats in the game over Westburg, nor does he bring exceptional defense to the table. Where was the upgrade by having Frazier in?"
Game 2 didn't look much better. Hyde's choice to start Grayson Rodriguez made sense, but his bullpen decisions were brutal. Jack Flaherty, after his struggles late in the season, should not have seen the mound. Yet, he walked three and gave up a run.
Hyde needs to be better in Arlington