Another look back at the winning season we saw in 2022

If you were told there would be no math here, you got misled. Today’s blog will include plenty of numbers, most of them good for the Orioles. As we are about to end calendar year 2022, we today take another chance to note the season in ’22 for the Orioles produced the club’s first winning season since 2016.

On top of that the club has the No. 1-ranked farm system in the majors and is about to send players such as pitcher Grayson Rodriguez to the majors for the first time.

But first some notes on the 83-79 regular season for the Orioles:

* It produced a 31-win gain, going from 52 in 2021 to 83.

* The Orioles were the last American League team to be eliminated from postseason contention.

* The previous three full seasons had produced 333 losses, including 115 in 2018.

* The year produced a 10-game winning streak from July 3-13, the O’s longest in-season win streak since they took 13 straight in September 1999.

* The Orioles also went 59-44 (.573) from June 11 on, the fourth-best record in the American League behind only Houston, Seattle and Cleveland. Yes, better than every other AL East club in that span. And a team playing at that win percentage would have 93 victories in a full year. They played .573 ball for 63.5 percent of the season. 

In 2019, the Washington Nationals won the World Series – with 93 wins. This year the Orioles finished three games out an AL playoff berth as Tampa Bay got in with 86 wins. Philadelphia played for the World Series after winning 87 games. The Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series after a regular season with 88 wins.

While there is some angst in Birdland with some fans feeling the club hasn’t done enough or made significant enough moves, particularly to bolster its pitching for next year, that point is up for debate.

I get the fan sentiment but also think we can’t lose sight of the progress that has been made to get this far. It’s nice validation of sorts for the organization that the moves they made to build that elite talent pipeline have mostly worked. Now they need to keep pushing to get better, as 83 wins very likely won’t be enough next year, and of course there are no guarantees that the club will win more games next season. They will have to earn it.

But full years from Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson should be huge, and so should the addition of Rodriguez to the starting rotation. Some vets could produce more in 2023, including Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins, and lefty pitcher John Means could be a midseason rotation addition. Plus, more young talent is on the way. The club still has time to make more additions and there still could be a trade to produce a starter to slate more toward the top of the rotation.

The rebuilding is not complete and the O’s still have been out of the playoffs since the 2016 season, but the club took a huge step forward in the 2022 season that produced many pleasant surprises.

Where once fans wondered how the club could possibly make up the ground from a 52-win club to play with the AL East big boys, the Orioles not only made up big ground but exceeded those clubs in wins from June 11 on in 2022. They exceeded the big boys in the East. Hopefully, Birdland still can savor the progress that has been made while realizing there are more important steps to take.   

More memorable Orioles moments from 2022 season
Some memorable Orioles moments in 2022

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