As an Orioles fan, it has been tough sledding since 2018. Enduring three 100-loss seasons in four years, the rebuild was wearing on fans everywhere.
Headed into the 2022 season, not many fans, nor pundits for that matter, expected much to change in terms of losses. In fact, if anyone was to predict where the Orioles would be with five games until the All-Star Break, most would expect Baltimore to prepare for sell mode.
The one thing about baseball is you play the game on the field, not in the papers. And this year’s Orioles have a different mindset about them.
Coming off sweeping their first series of the season, the O’s welcomed the Los Angeles Angels to town, with arguably the top two players in the game in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
By the end of the game Sunday, the Orioles had secured their eighth straight victory, a feat not achieved since 2005. On top of that, they are a game under .500 and currently two games back in the Wild Card standings.
Against the Angels, there was dominant pitching from Baltimore, including a 1-0 gem from Dean Kremer, with the fifth best bullpen in baseball locking down the game once again.
There was the come-from-behind 5-4 victory Friday that saw three Oriole hitters come down to their last strike with two outs and each knock in a run, including Trey Mancini’s game-winning single.
Jordan Lyles gutted out a six-inning performance that saw him throw 104 pitches, with the team picking him up, including Adley Rutschman’s first Camden Yards home run.
The triumph Sunday saw Austin Voth, the cast-off from Washington, pitch five innings allowing two runs while striking out six, one below his career-high of seven.
“This is a really fun team. Go into our clubhouse right now. There’s a lot of energy. Guys really like each other. They’re a very, very tight group. It’s fun right now.”– Orioles manager Brandon Hyde on the vibe of his team
The Orioles are finding ways to win; look at Sunday’s victory. Two runs, part of a four-run fifth inning, scored on a wild pitch and passed ball, with a third run set up by a balk.
The Orioles found ways to win against the Angels. From clutch defense, to pitching, heads up base running and timely hitting, this series put on a full display of the potential this young team has.
The ❌-Factor heading into this series was the bottom portion of the O’s lineup. This included players Rougned Odor, Ramón Urías, Jorge Mateo, Tyler Nevin, Robinson Chirinos and Jonathan Araúz.
While pitching gets the first nod for the series sweep, the bottom portion of the lineup would bat .250 for the series, scoring three runs, stealing two bases and amassing five RBIs.
They would do just enough to help, especially in the last game where Urías would pick up a multi-hit game and three RBIs. For the series, Urías would hit .333 with four RBIs, helping pick up production from the bottom of the lineup.
The Orioles head into Monday, with a much-needed day off before they begin a series visiting the Chicago Cubs for two.
With five games left before the break, the Orioles would need to go 3-2 to finish .500 at the break. Will the win streak reach nine games and counting?
Either way, Orioles Magic is back in Birdland!
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