As Orioles fans woke up today, they realized something. That was not a dream last night. That happened.
The Red Sox were one out from winning in the ninth and Tampa Bay was one out from losing in the ninth.
How about this stat: The Red Sox entered last night's game with a record of 77-0 this year when leading after eight innings. They are 77-1 now.
The Orioles can certainly be criticized for another losing season, but they also have a reason to be proud of how they played and handled themselves during the season's final weeks.
Here are some other stats and notes from a wild, season-ending night of baseball:
* Jonathan Papelbon suffered three blown saves this year in 34 chances and two of them came against the Orioles during the season's final eight days.
* The Red Sox blew a nine-game wild-card lead in September, going 7-20 in the month with a team ERA of 5.84. This is Boston's most losses in September since 1952.
* Over the season's final 17 games, the Orioles went 11-6 against playoff or playoff-contending clubs. Included in that stretch, the Orioles went 2-1 against Tampa and 5-2 versus Boston over the last nine days.
* Nolan Reimold entered last night's game needing one RBI to tie his career high and J.J. Hardy needed two to tie his. Hardy got two on his third-inning homer and Nolan got his on that game-tying double in the last of the ninth.
* The Orioles saw 15 of thier final 23 games decided by two runs or less and went 10-5 in those games. They had 10 of the games decided by just one run and went 6-4 in those.
* The Orioles went 1-for-9 batting with runners in scoring position until the ninth inning, when they went 2-for-2 to win the game.
* During the season's final nine days, in those seven games against Boston, Robert Andino went 8-for-29, for an average of .276 with two homers, five runs and nine RBIs.
For Boston, it was the curse of the Andino. I have to give credit to Mel Antonen, who came up with that line. You get to see Mel on MASN's Mid-Atlantic Sports Report.
Soon, everything about the Orioles shifts toward the offseason and future. We should know soon the fate of Andy MacPhail and just who will be running this team moving forward.
But for now, it's probably okay to take a few more hours to reflect back to that amazing final night.
I want to also let readers know there has been a technical issue or two the last few days which resulted is some of your comments not getting published or getting published much later than normal. Sorry for that, but the problem is now rectified.
So send a few commets here this morning. What are your thoughts on last night's amazing games in Baltimore and Tampa-St. Pete? How did you feel about how the Orioles played down the stretch? What moves would you like to see the club make over the next few months heading into 2012? Who are you rooting for in the playoffs?