Handing out labels following Baltimore’s opening-round sweep of Detroit.
Nelson Cruz — As if he wasn’t enough of a free-agent steal already after leading the league with 40 HRs, he hit two more against Detroit, including the series-winning blow. Now has 16 HRs in 37 career playoff games, and he slash lined .500/.500/1.000 for the series.
Buck Showalter — Pulled all the right strings. Example: With one out and a man on second in the ninth inning of Game 3, he intentionally walked Nick Castellanos to put the winning run on base. The next batter grounded into a series-ending DP.
Delmon Young — That bases-clearing triple in Game 2 was incredible, providing this Vine of the year candidate.
Bud Norris — Matched up against David Price, he threw six-plus innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits. Bud Norris!
Andrew Miller — High-level bullpen boss. Threw three-and-a-third innings in two appearances, giving up no runs or hits and walking one.
Kevin Gausman — Provided valuable long relief in Game 2. Dennis Eckersley said he’s “got some hair.” High praise.
Pretty much the entire lineup — Faced three Cy Young winners, scored 21 runs. Also committed just one error.
There are no losers here, not on Baltimore’s side at least.
Chris Davis — Crush could be back by the end of the ALCS.
Game 1 of the ALCS is Friday, time and opponent TBD.