The 11 seed moment of Ed Reed hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in his hometown of New Orleans knocked off a 6 seed to get to this 2nd round match up against the 3 seed moment of Joe Saunders outpitching Yu Darvish in the Wild Card game for the O’s. Winner advances to the Sweet 16.
#11 – Ed Reed Hoists Lombardi Trophy In New Orleans
No matter what Ed Reed does this offseason, at least he was able to get a ring and do so in front of his hometown. Winning the Super Bowl and raising the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans likely meant more to Reed than any other moment in his career.
#3 – Joe Saunders Outpitches Yu Darvish In Wild Card Game
A lot of people will remember the 2012 Orioles in a lot of different ways. I prefer to remember them as the Kings of the Garage Sale. Over the course of the season, they picked up a lot of players considered to be at best subpar and at worst junk, and re-purposed them. Joe Saunders wasn’t quite at Nate McLouth’s “broken vacuum cleaner” value, but he wasn’t really considered a prize coming over from Arizona (4.22 ERA with ARI). Which is why it was such a shock to see him staring the Orioles first playoff game against a Rangers team that had taken him for a ride more than once (after the playoff game, his ERA is STILL 6.48 vs Texas).
Opposing him was rookie phenom Yu Darvish, who after a roller coaster season had settled in as one of the most dominant pitchers in the month of September (3-0, 2.21 ERA). Even with the Rangers slumping, this looked like quite a mismatch. But the Orioles Magic rubbed off on Saunders, and he went out and shut down a potent Rangers lineup for an adequate 5.2 IP, and Darvish couldn’t match him. Maybe it was the Orioles Magic, maybe it was the slumping Rangers, but it was great to see it happen to Saunders, a local product who couldn’t have been more proud to get the start, until he ended up getting the win.
Voting is open from 10:00 AM on Wednesday February 27 to 10:00 AM Thursday February 28.