Thursday, September 28, 2023

Orioles return to the postseason for the first time since 2016

BALTIMORE — The bill has caused the Orioles to take a step back this year. FanGraphs’ ZiPS projections have Baltimore projected to reach 80 wins, three fewer than in 2022. There were many questions about whether the Orioles had done enough over the winter to continue their upward trend.

The Orioles never hesitated. They showed up to the first day of spring training knowing exactly what they could accomplish in 2023.

And now Baltimore returns to the postseason for the first time since 2016.

On Sunday afternoon, the Orioles secured their spot in October thanks to the Rangers’ 9-2 loss to the Guardians. Baltimore made the mathematical pass with the final game of its series against Tampa Bay still in the ninth inning before the Orioles won a thrilling game for 5-4 thanks to a sacrifice fly by Cedric Mullins in the eleventh over.

“Honestly, we were treated disrespectfully at the start of this year just because we were in the forecasts. Smart people thought they knew what the records were going to be at the end of the year,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think we were undervalued. Everyone thought we were going backwards this year and I wanted our players who were here last year to be a little offended by that.

“I thought that wasn’t correct. “I thought we would be a good club.”

Baltimore’s return to the postseason marks the culmination of the rebuild that began after the 2018 season when Mike Elias was hired as general manager and Hyde as manager. At this time, the Orioles’ primary focus was rebuilding an extensive farm system.

In the first three years under Elias and Hyde, Baltimore predictably had a tough time in the major leagues, posting a 131-253 record (a .341 winning percentage) from 2019 to 2021. Things began to change in 2022 as the Orioles finished 83-79, their first winning season since 2016, and stayed alive in the AL Wild Card chase until the final week of the regular season before falling three games out of a playoff spot -space left behind.

The key to Baltimore’s success in 2023 has been its consistency. The team has not lost more than four games in a row, which only happened twice. Additionally, they have not been defeated in 87 consecutive series, a streak that dates back to May 2022.

Earlier this year, Elias made it clear that his goal was for the Orioles to reach the postseason. Since then, much larger goals have become realistic. They have a chance to win their first AL East title since 2014 and are a real threat to go far in October.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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