The season for the Orioles ended on Sunday, as they won a 7-6 thriller over the Boston Red Sox.
They rallied from a 5-0 deficit, as they used a five-run fifth inning and a two-run sixth to down their divisional rivals. The Red Sox didn’t have their ‘A’ lineup in the game and pulled starter John Lackey at the last minute to save their big weapons for an October run. They didn’t go down without a fight, and neither did the Orioles.
Then again, I left like I was watching a Spring Training game at times.
Well, the place was sold out and fans were happy to see the Birds live for one last time this season.
Of course, the massive crowd also showed up for Chris Davis bobblehead day, but most also stuck around for the game too.
Chris Tillman got roughed up in his final start of the year; meanwhile, the bullpen came through one last time as T.J. McFarland and Jason Hammel held down the fort Despite giving up a run in the ninth inning, Jim Johnson earned his 50th save of the 2013 season.
Johnson had rough patches from time to time in 2013 and was not effective as he was in 2012. That being said, the fact he has now gotten 50 saves in consecutive years says a lot. We should assume that Johnson will not only be back with the Orioles, but get a hefty pay raise as well.
Nate McLouth, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flahery each drove in two runs.
Chris Davis, who was named the Most Valuable Oriole before the game left the game due to a wrist injury.
Being in attendance, it was painful to see and became another “holy s&8t” moment for this team. Considering what Manny Machado went through last week and the news afterwards (which was good), fans held their breath.
Like with Machado, Davis may have avoided serious injury.
From the AP: The final blow came when Chris Davis sprained his left wrist in the fourth inning on a play at first base. X-rays were negative, but the injury ended his season a couple of hours earlier than expected. The player who accepted the Orioles' MVP award before the game walked off to a standing ovation, finishing tops in the majors in both homers (53) and RBIs (138).
"Nothing serious, no broken bones, no fractures, just sprained my wrist," Davis said. "They said it would probably be sore for a few days. It's not going to affect anything going into the offseason, nothing like that. I was really glad to hear that."
Davis was hurt on a nubber by Jacoby Ellsbury. The ball stopped only a few feet in front of home plate, and catcher Steve Clevenger's throw hit Ellsbury on the left side of the back just as Ellsbury was arriving at the bag. Davis' attempt to catch the ball left his outstretched hand in the path of Ellsbury's torso.
Davis' glove flew off, and he immediately grabbed his wrist. He attempted a few throws under the supervision of the trainer before heading to the dugout.
"We dodged a bullet there, hopefully," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "Next week or two passes and he's still got problems, we'll go into more detail with it."
At least something like this happened at the end of the season, not in let’s say … July.
With the season over, the Orioles and we fans should not be disappointed with the way things turned. Yes, they did miss a chance to make the postseason for the second consecutive year; however, they did win 85 games and have a core of good, emerging players to contend for the next several seasons.
Remember the way things were before 2012.
The season for Baltimore just proves how hard the business of winning is.
They did finish over .500, but the record in one-run games was far worse than it was this season than last; furthermore, this squad had an inability at times to push runners home and that perhaps doomed them in the playoff hunt.
Dan Duquette built a good, but not an elite team in 2013. He and the front office just have to tweak a few things in the offseason – mainly, getting another arm or two, figuring out what to do with left field and getting in another bat/designated hitter.
Despite not matching last year’s ending, the Orioles put on a good show in 2013 and the future is bright.