This year has been one hell of a ride for us fans, and on Sunday, the Orioles closed out their final regular season game at home by defeating the Boston Red Sox, 6-3. The Orioles would complete a weekend sweep of the Red Sox, who have been nothing short of a train wreck.
In front of a crowd that numbered over 41,000 – the vast majority in orange – the Birds of Baltimore put themselves in reach of a playoff spot as Nate McLouth, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis all homered.
Joe Saunders – who on the afternoon – came through on the mound, pitching 7 1/3 innings and giving up three runs in a workman-like performance; thereafter, Jim Johnson got his 50th save.
With a win, the Orioles earned their 92nd victory on the season – a feat that I think few people even envisioned in March. As well, if the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lost either of their two games in a day-night doubleheader, the Orioles secure a playoff spot.
The Orioles finished off the Red Sox, and the players along with the coaching staff took the field and watched the scoreboard. Like everyone else in attendance, the Orioles were watching the scoreboard waiting to see if the Angels would lose to the Rangers in game one of their doubleheader.
It was going to be a picture-perfect moment, the players would see the Angels lose in the ninth inning, and they would get to frolic and celebrate in front of the fans. Everyone left in the stadium was waiting for a magical moment; however, it would not come.
The Angels would score twice in the frame, and the Rangers did not come back.
When all was said and done, the Angels would keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Fans at Oriole Park left somewhat disappointed; however, almost everyone was amazed by what they saw and have faith that they will come out of Tampa Bay and secure a playoff spot.
Finally, 15 years of futility is coming to a conclusion. Then again, the job is not done for Baltimore. Although they are tied with the Yankees for the American League East led, and hold the first wild spot by a game, the Orioles want the division.
Fans are giddy, and have renewed faith in the Baltimore Orioles. It was a beautiful day out in Charm City and it’s awesome to see everyone out and about excited all about baseball.
After the game, I had to meet with a friend to drop off something near home plate gate and noticed that fences were set on the third base side of the stadium for the Orioles to get on a bus for their charter flight to the Tampa Bay area. I stuck around and watched all of that; however, before the players boarded the bus, an older, smallish man with his wife left the stadium escorted by a taller man in a suit and got into a Cadillac near the Home Plate plaza.
That man was Peter Angelos, majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s a man who has been derided for a long time because of his team’s performance by fans, the media, and whoever else you can think of.
However, on Sunday, he was cheered by a group of fans in attendance.
Yes, that happened. He didn’t really acknowledge the crowd much, but it was surprising to see Orioles fans give him love.
In a year of improbable events and accomplishments for the Baltimore Orioles, that was one of the small – but poignant moments – from a wonderful Sunday out at the ballpark.
Now the Orioles have to get down to business and close out the deal. The playoffs are waiting.
As of now, the Texas Rangers hold a 8-4 lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the 6th inning.
If the Angels lose, the Orioles lock up a playoff spot.