Inspired by Taylor Swift re-releasing her own songs as (Taylor’s version), Camden Chat writers will spend the rest of 2023 re-releasing some Orioles game recaps and giving them better endings. Today we look at the not-so-distant past at the 2022 Labor Day doubleheader against the Blue Jays. In the original version, the Jays swept the O’s and Baltimore and put a big dent in their playoff dreams. Today we imagine a much better outcome for the Orioles.
With their Wild Card dreams hanging in the balance, the Orioles scored a big sweep over the Blue Jays in a Labor Day doubleheader, bringing them within half a game of the final Wild Card spot.
In Game 1, the Orioles faced off against former friend Kevin Gausman and Anthony Santander started the game with a bang. After two quick outs in the bottom of the 1st, Tony Taters launched a 3-2 splitter onto Eutaw Street to give the O’s a 1-0 lead.
The early fireworks started the holiday celebrations the right way for the Orioles, but spirits didn’t stay high throughout. Mike Baumann made his first start of the season for Baltimore, and after working a scoreless 1st, things got rocky for him in the 2nd. Big Mike gave up a one-out double to Matt Chapman to give the Jays their first runner in scoring position. Cavan Biggio wasted no time capitalizing, bouncing a 1-0 fastball through the right side to drive home Chapman and tie things at one.
Things got worse before they got better for Baumann and the O’s. The Jays led off the top of the 3rd with a single from George Springer. Two batters later, Bo Bichette lined a single into CF to give the Jays runners at first and third. And just like in the top of the 2nd, Baumann didn’t do too well with a runner in scoring position. The big righty hung a knuckle curve to Alejandro Kirk. and the Jays catcher gave Toronto a 2-1 lead on a slow roller to short.
Baumann would see history repeat itself in the top of the 5th, as back to back singles and an RBI groundout gave Toronto a 3-1 lead. From there, the Orioles would start to mount their comeback. In the bottom of the 6th, perennial Blue Jays killer Ryan Mountcastle ripped an RBI double off the right field scoreboard to drive home Adley Rutschman and cut the lead to 3-2.
The drama only heightened from there. Teoscar Hernández launched a solo HR off Bryan Baker in the top of the 8th to restore a two-run lead for the Jays. Tony Taters then made an encore appearance in the bottom of the 8th, this time homering from the right side of the plate as he hooked a solo shot around the left field foul pole.
Things almost completely fell apart for the Orioles in the top of the 9th. DL Hall came in to try and keep the O’s in the game, but instead allowed the first two runners to reach on a single and walk. Springer then singled on a ground ball through the left side and at first glance seemed like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. beat Austin Hays throw to the plate. However, after a Brandon Hyde challenge, they reversed the call on field and the O’s stayed within a run. The emotional lift from the overturned call lit a fire in Hall, as he came back to strikeout Vladimir Guerrero and Bo Bichette and strand the runners.
One electrifying rookie performance gave way to another as Gunnar Henderson led off the bottom of the 9th. After fouling off a 2-1 sinker inside, Henderson stuck his bat out and flipped a sinker low and away down the left field line for a lead off double. Two batters later, Hays backed up his web gem in the top of the 9th by launching a walk-off HR into the Toronto bullpen, securing a 5-4 Orioles win.
That flair for the dramatic followed the O’s into the second game of the doubleheader. The beginning of Game 2 started out as a carbon copy of Game 1. Rougned Odor gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead with a solo HR off José Berríos in the bottom of the 2nd. Then Keegan Akin—who like Baumann was making his first start of the season—ran into trouble in the 3rd. Akin gave up a one-out double to Jackie Bradley Jr. and then walked Springer to give the Jays two on with one out.
At that point, Brandon Hyde yanked Akin’s short leash, turning to Nick Vespi to put out the early fire. Vespi turned out to be more accelerant than extinguisher, however, as he hung a slider to Bichette—who promptly deposited it over the Great Wall of Baltimore to give the Jays a 3-1 lead.
After Vespi’s failure to keep the ball in the yard, the O’s turned to long man Bruce Zimmermann. After an up and down first half of the season that started off well but ultimately ended in a demotion to Norfolk, Brandon Hyde turned to the Baltimore native with Baltimore’s Wild Card dreams in the balance. Zimmermann went on to deliver his best performance of the season, going six shutout innings and keeping the Orioles in the game.
Thanks to Zimmermann’s heroic efforts, the Orioles were in the perfect position when the bats finally got going again in the 7th. Odor led off the inning with a walk, before Kyle Stowers and Robinson Chirinos hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Cedric Mullins then reached on catcher’s interference, driving home Odor and cutting the Toronto lead in half. That run chased Berríos, but the pitching change couldn’t shut down the Orioles rally.
Rutschman then delivered his first of two heroic acts, grounding into a fielder’s choice to bring home Stowers and tying things up at three. Captain America’s next act of heroism, however, was much more awe-inspiring than a simple RBI groundout. With things tied at three and two outs in the bottom of the 9th, Rutschman launched a 2-1 fastball into the CF bleachers to give the O’s two walkoff wins in as many games.
The hard work the Orioles put in to earn a Labor Day sweep now leaves them a half game back from the Blue Jays for the AL’s last Wild Card spot. After navigating today’s doubleheader with an undermanned pitching staff, Baltimore turns to Kyle Bradish tomorrow as they look to make it a three-game winning streak against Toronto. Another win against their neighbors form the North, and the O’s are no longer just in the mix but fully in control of their playoff destiny.
Who is the Most Birdland Player of the Day for September 5th, 2022 (Camden Chat’s Version)
This poll is closed