"You spend the winter pumping weights, running, doing strength exercises," says McDonald, who had a 1.07 ERA in his last three starts, including a four-hit, 3-1 win over the A's last Saturday night. "You go to spring training and work your butt off for six weeks. And this is what it's for: the last two weeks of the season, playing the two teams you've got to beat, with a crowd that's going to be into it."
Every day Oates is asked about the pressure on his team. Every day he says the same thing: "There's no pressure. Pressure is having 95 dollars in your checking account and a mortgage payment of 150 bucks." To the Orioles, that is the worst conceivable hardship.
Losing one's home.