Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and fans of this blog today and I hope everyone has a great time with family and friends. Hope everything on your plate is hot and delicious.
But the topic here is always baseball and the Orioles and O’s fans have a lot to be thankful for this year.
How about a playoff team, 101 wins and an AL East championship. The 2023 season was an amazing ride, one that started with the Tampa Bay Rays lapping the field and winning all the time. But they struggled badly in July and the Orioles gained about six games or so in the standings pretty quickly to pass them.
The club took the Rays’ best shots and stayed on top. Even when Tampa Bay came to town in mid September and took the first two games of a four-game series. That moved the Rays into a first-place tie with the Orioles. But on a Saturday night at Camden Yards, with first-place riding, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez pitched eight scoreless in an 8-0 win. The next day the O’s won a wild one in 11 innings to clinch a playoff berth and touch off a wild celebration.
They went 9-5 down the stretch after the Rays tied them atop the division and they answered the Rays’ first two wins in that series in Baltimore with four straight wins – two over Tampa Bay and two at Houston. It was their greatest chance to crack under the pressure on the year and they did not. Four straight wins against playoff clubs.