Pitcher Dean Kremer started the Baltimore Orioles’ postseason baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday with his family in Israel on his mind.
Kremer is a dual Israeli-American citizen, and has family members who currently live in Israel. The country declared war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas after a multi-pronged attack on Saturday saw as many as 1,000 assailants infiltrate Israeli territory, kill hundreds of soldiers and civilians, and take dozens of hostages back into Gaza.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the 27-year-old said that his family in Israel was ok and played against the Rangers wearing a Star of David necklace.
Kremer, who represented Israel at the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, had said despite the turmoil in Israel, it was never in doubt about whether he would have played against Texas in the Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason.
“Obviously, it’s a very sad situation. A lot of things are being brought to light. But everybody’s OK right now,” Kremer said. “[Orioles manager Brandon Hyde] and almost every single person in the clubhouse has come in and checked on me at some point over the last 48 hours. And I’m very grateful for that.
“Is there a hesitation? No. I still want to pitch. But I mean, it’s going to be in the back of my head.”
Kremer played in a losing effort for the Orioles. The Rangers ended Baltimore’s season thanks to a 7-1 defeat in Game 3 of the American League Division Series (ALDS) to ensure a 3-0 clean sweep.
Appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2016, Baltimore struggled from the onset, especially Kremer during his time on the mound.
Kremer – who was making his first career postseason start – couldn’t make it out of the second inning, allowing six runs in the 1.2 innings pitched.
The Rangers raced into a 6-0 lead, powered by home runs from Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia. Nathaniel Lowe added another homer late to take on an insurance run.
Rangers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi threw seven strong innings, allowing just one run and striking out seven.
Prior to Tuesday, the Orioles had not been swept in a series all season.
By being swept by the Rangers, they became just the second team in MLB history to go a whole regular season without being swept and then get swept in the postseason, with the 1998 San Diego Padres the only other after they were swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series.
“It’s difficult. It’s ironic, in a sense,” Baltimore center fielder Cedric Mullins said. “We go the whole season without getting swept in any way, and then get swept in the postseason. “It’s a learning experience for all of us, a young team as a whole.”
The Rangers will play in the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2011. It will face either the Houston Astros or the Minnesota Twins in the next round of the postseason.