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Saturday Bird Droppings: Orioles eliminated from playoff race in October

The O’s won, they clinch at least a .500 record, and they are signing a new lease at Camden Yards.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles will not be going to the playoffs in 2022. Although they beat the Yankees 2-1 on Friday night, the Mariners and Rays also won. That means there is a five-game gap with five games to go, so the best the O’s could do is tie, but even that wouldn’t be good enough since they lost the head-to-head season series against both teams. The dream is over.

There will be plenty of time for a post-mortem on this season’s Orioles team, but today feels more worthy of a celebration, especially in light of last night’s performance.

The ingredients for a pressure-packed night were all there: Late September, at Yankee Stadium, Aaron Judge chasing history, and the Orioles’ playoff lives hanging in the balance. They could have wilted. Instead, they rose to the occasion and went toe-to-toe with a very good division rival.

Jordan Lyles turned in a spectacular start, maybe even more impressive than his recent complete game, and the bullpen was great behind him. September was not kind to Félix Bautista, so it feels important that he finish strong this last week. He looked good! As did DL Hall, who nabbed his first career save.

The lineup was less impressive, going just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. However, there were those glimmers of the future that you can’t help but enjoy. Gunnar Henderson was on base twice. Ryan Mountcastle had an RBI. Cedric Mullins walked twice and scored a run. Adley Rutschman walked and scored. Even on a bad night for the bats, it just feels better than even a year ago.

Also, it cannot be ignored that last night was the Orioles’ 81st win of the year. It guarantees that they will not be a losing team this season, a turnaround from a season ago that seemed impossible back in March. Let’s get all the way up to 86 wins!


O’s honor Minor Leaguers Westburg, Watson with awards |
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Jordan Westburg nab the honor for top hitter rather than Henderson. Perhaps the organization wanted to spread the love around, or at least give Westburg a carrot since he didn’t get a big league call this season.

Orioles intend to sign new lease committing team to remaining in Baltimore, document says | The Baltimore Sun
Well this can’t be right. I was told the Orioles were moving to Nashville. How can they move if their stadium is in Baltimore? Weird!

Playoff elimination shouldn’t dim the light that shined on Orioles | Roch Kubatko
Amen, Roch! There’s no guarantees, but 2023 should be a whole lot of fun.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Cedric Mullins turns 28 today. The centerfielder has had one of the more circuitous routes to MLB stardom in recent memory. In 2019, he was arguably the worst hitter in the sport. Now, he is one of the better all-around centerfielders in the league on a team with big ambitions.
  • Mitch Atkins is 37. He pitched in three games for the 2011 O’s.
  • Chuck McElroy celebrates his 55th. The southpaw spent two seasons with the Birds from 2000-01, appearing in 61 games, mostly as a reliever.
  • The late Bob Boyd (b. 1919, d. 2004) was born on this day. From 1956-60, Boyd was the O’s first baseman and had a .758 OPS.

This day in O’s history

1997 - The Orioles beat Randy Johnson again, this time in the ALDS. The future Hall of Famer has a winning record against every AL team, except the O’s. He is 3-8 against them.