On Saturday, we gave New York Yankees fans a little rundown about what had happened during the beginning of the ALDS, specifically as it pertained for players who formerly donned the pinstripes. It was frustrating all around.
Aroldis Chapman got out of what seemed like an impossible self-inflicted jam. Andrew Heaney put forth a good enough start to give the Rangers a win. It was a same old stress-free, seamless postseason victory for the Astros.
And then there was Aaron Hicks. He went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout in Baltimore's loss to Texas, but the box score didn't tell the whole story. He weakly fouled out to first and struck out in the bottom of the ninth in his other two at-bats.
Even that doesn't tell the whole story, either. During his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth following a Gunnar Henderson single, the O's got aggressive and called for Henderson to swipe second, but Rangers catcher Jonah Heim made an incredible throw to gun him down.
Perhaps Hicks could've prevent that if he had ... swung at the 89 MPH strike like he was supposed to? (It was called a ball but it very clearly caught the outside part of the plate.) After the play, the cameras cut to Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, who appeared to be in disbelief. It's because Hicks didn't execute the hit-and-run like he was supposed to.
Orioles manager calling out Aaron Hicks after ALDS Game 1 is no surprise to Yankees
Hyde didn't exactly put Hicks on blast, but he did reveal that the slugger was the reason for the miscommunication that resulted in Henderson being thrown out and the momentum being killed after Hicks struck out.
Hicks not swinging? Yankees fans have seen plenty of that. Hicks' head not in the game? Also a common theme during his last couple years with the Bombers. His misplay against the Rays last September that resulted in Aaron Boone benching him for the remainder of the team's home games was the final straw.
Hicks might have improved his play in Baltimore, but does it surprise Yankees fans he missed something as crucial as this, or simply wasn't dialed in during an all-important moment?
The Orioles ended up leaving five men on base and going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, so Hyde was right. The team had other opportunities to score runs and Hicks' failure to execute the hit-and-run didn't necessarily cost them.
But the reality is that the Orioles had a tough day and didn't need a mental lapse to tip the scales when they were down to their final three outs. And that's what happened. And there was a need by Hyde to let everyone know it was Hicks' wrongdoing. Just like we told Rangers fans about Chapman, maybe this should be our official "we told you so" to O's fans with Hicks.