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What Went Wrong: Orioles' Dream Season Ends in Nightmarish Fashion

The Baltimore Orioles' first postseason appearance in seven years last just five days

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 6 months ago 3 min read

A lot of attention was directed toward the Baltimore Orioles entering the 2023 MLB Postseason. There were reasons for that. In the time that has passed between their last postseason appearance in 2016 and now, it had been very rough for the franchise. The seasons were disastrous. The pitching was getting knocked around and beat up. The hitting wasn't coming through. They were paying Chris Davis $23 million/year to strike out three times a game and hit about 40-60 points below the Mendoza Line. It was just terrible all around.

All of a sudden, however, 2022 actually saw the Orioles in the postseason race. They failed to make it, but they finished with a winning record. That, alone, was a big victory. Many talking heads saw this as the beginning of a revival for the O's, and this year proved them right. Baltimore not only won the American League East, they won 101 games and finished with the Junior Circuit's top record. There were high hopes for this team, as many had them possibly winning the whole thing.

There was just one thing they didn't count on: momentum from a Wild Card.

The Orioles faced off against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS and they were just outmatched from the get-go. Baltimore lost Game One, but it's usually seen as "just one of those things" when a Wild Card wins Game One on the road. When they blasted Texas in Game Two, however, that's when things were serious. The urgency was supposed to be there in Game Three, but the O's found themselves down 6-0 early, and dealing with Nathan Eovaldi, who delivered a hell of a quality start in Game Two against the Tampa Bay Rays. No chance for Baltimore; the Rangers won, 7-1, and completed the sweep.

Cedric Mullins went hitless in the entire ALDS against the Rangers

The thing that went wrong for the O's is the same thing I often see in these upset specials: the big bats disappeared. There were quite a few key hitters for the O's this season; players such as Gunnar Henderson, Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, and Aaron Hicks (who the Yankees should have kept). Henderson and Santander finished tied for the team lead in home runs with 28. In this series against Texas, they each homered once, though at least Henderson had six hits in 12 at-bats. Santander's homer was one of only three he had in 11 at bats. The O's homered three times in the series. Who had the other home run? Aaron Hicks. Again, the Yankees should have kept him.

Ryan Mountcastle went 2-for-11 in the series, while Adley Rutschman, another big bat, had only one hit in 12 at bats. As for Cedric Mullins, he had a dozen ABs as well, but was held hitless in the entire series. Ouch.

So the first piece of MLB's Final Four is filled in. The Texas Rangers are in the American League Championship Series for the first time since winning back-to-back pennants in 2010 and 2011. They will start the ALCS on the road, as Game One will take place in either Houston or Minneapolis. Amazing. The ALCS will either be a Lone Star State battle, or it will pit the Washington Senators against the Washington Senators (Google it). As for the Orioles, while the result is disappointing, they shouldn't fret too much. A vast majority of this group received their first taste of October baseball, and I think it won't be their last. Time will tell if the Orioles continue to build off this, and it results in deeper runs in the future.

I just want to point this out. The American League East sent three teams to the postseason this year, yet none of them reached the Final Four. Wow!

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

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