Good morning, Birdland!
That sucked. The Orioles went down to Texas for game in which their postseason lives were on the line, and it got ugly quick.
Dean Kremer was bad on the mound. He was unable to get any pitches past the Rangers’ bats. They were swinging with no fear and seemingly no doubt about what was coming. It’s the sort of performance that is later accompanied by a story in which it’s revealed Kremer was tipping his pitches. You almost have to hope that’s what happened, because the other option is that he was just that poor.
The fight that the offense showed in Game 2 was not there last night. Gunnar Henderson did well to go 3-for-4 with the team’s lone RBI. The rest of the lineup combined to go 3-for-29 with nine strikeouts. They had no extra base hits.
If you chose to doom scroll last night on your preferred social media site you likely saw many among the Orioles’ faithful experiencing the anger stage of grief. Much of the discontent focused on roster building. “Why didn’t we go and get a better starter than Kremer?” “Why is the bullpen almost exclusively waiver wire finds?” “Why didn’t we sign a superstar veteran like Seager for the middle of the lineup?” None of those questions are necessarily unfair.
Everyone was clamoring for a top-of-the-rotation starter at the trade deadline. Had that happened it probably shifts each starter back one game in the series and maybe the O’s snag at least one game.
The bullpen was perfectly fine in the first and third games of this series. It needed to be better in Game 2. Perhaps it would have been if Dillon Tate and Félix Bautista were healthy, and if Mychal Givens had worked out. Their presence would have shifted roles around and maybe prevented Jacob Webb and Bryan Baker from even making this roster. The front office also should have done more than buying a lottery ticket in Shintaro Fujinami at the trade deadline that came up empty.
There is less fault to find in the lineup. It’s a talented bunch that we knew lacked elite power, but did other things well that allowed this team to win 101 games. Unfortunately, they struggled as a group in two of the three games here.
Today probably isn’t the right one to look back on the Orioles’ season with any sort of clarity. This series hurt. It’s OK to sit in that for a minute.
We will shift to an offseason mindset in the next couple of weeks, and at that time we can think more coherently about where this club goes from here. On paper, this should be the very start of a fun era of Orioles baseball. Let’s hope the front office actually acts like it in the four months between now and when pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota.
Orioles’ thrilling 2023 season a success despite disappointing finish: ‘Nobody can take that away’ | The Baltimore Sun
Of course. Anyone that does try to take this bad series and spin it into a narrative that the Orioles were a disappointment overall is off base. But you definitely would have expected a better showing these last few days than we got.
A few quick thoughts as the Orioles lose Game 3 and get swept in the ALDS | Steve Melewski
Many of the quotes here are platitudes, but they make me feel nice. It’s a theme of “Yep, we stunk. We will come back stronger.” It will be interesting to see who all does come back next year. Obviously, the young core shouldn’t be going anywhere, but there almost has to be a shakeup in the outfield, and you would imagine some sort of addition to the pitching staff.
Orioles’ season was special, which is why the last four days were so painful | The Athletic
Yeah, this is where I’m at. I cannot say that I expected this team to actually win the World Series, even after earning the AL’s top seed. But they deserved some sort of tangible reward for how well they did this summer. That reward could have been as simple as a single postseason win, but I was hoping to advance at least one round. Maybe next year.
ALDS Game 3 Recap (Ep. 115) | The Warehouse Podcast
My pals and I shared recapping duty for each of these disastrous games. You can listen to the final one here, and maybe consider subscribing if you want another Orioles podcast to enjoy this winter.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Ty Wigginton turns 46 today. He spent two seasons in Baltimore, including a 2010 campaign in which he was the team’s lone all-star representative.
- Gregg Olson is 57. The righty was named the 1989 Rookie of the Year, the same season he earned down-ballot Cy Young and MVP votes thanks to a dominant year at the back of the O’s bullpen. He stuck in Baltimore through 1993. In 2008 the team inducted him into their Hall of Fame.
- Mike Fiore celebrates his 79th. His O’s career lasted just six games in 1968.
- The late Joe Ginsberg (b. 1926, d. 2012) was born on this day. He was a catcher for some of the earliest Orioles teams from 1956 through ‘60,
This day in O’s history
1971 - Brooks Robinson sets a World Series record by reaching base five straight times. The O’s beat the Pirates 11-3 in Game 2 win.
2012 - The O’s even the ALDS, beating the Yankees 2-1. J.J. Hardy knocks in Manny Machado for the winning run in the 13th inning of what is the longest postseason game in O’s history.
2014 - The Royals beat the Orioles 6-4 to go up 2-0 in the ALCS