The Baltimore Orioles have 130 games in the 162-game table. They played 80.2% of their games in 2022, in case you don’t have a calculator handy.
The Orioles were the biggest upset of the majors over those 130 games. They went from one of the worst teams in baseball to a competitor.
And with more than three-quarters of their season in the books, the Orioles can no longer be considered luck.
The Orioles showed it again Thursday night when rookie Kyle Pradesh made seven goalsless runs, and Baltimore beat the NBA center guards 3-0 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
“I think that puts us in the know that we are a real team this year,” Pradesh said. “We will come and play with everyone hard. It doesn’t matter who you are.”
At 69-61, the Orioles are just one game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for their third and final wild card. Pretty amazing stuff for a streak that has lost 115, 108 and 110 games in the last three full seasons – it was 25-35 in the 2020 season that has been changed by the pandemic.
And they do so with a salary of $43.7 million, the lowest in baseball.
The Orioles still have 32 games left, but the idea of a playoff for the first time since 2016 is no longer out of reach.
“I think our guys are playing with a ton of energy,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’re playing an exciting game of baseball. I think our guys welcomed it (at the Pennant race). Nobody thought we’d be in the situation we’re in right now. It’s really thanks (to the players) that they put themselves in a position to play games in September that’s it.”
The biggest reason the Orioles put themselves in the post-season image is the good promotion.
Baltimore ranked 3.79 ERA at No. 10The tenth Among the top 30 league teams. The Oriole shaved more than two full rounds from a level 5.88 last season, which was easily the worst in MLB.
The Orioles do not have any bowlers who will earn any votes in a Cy Young Award ballot. At the age of 10-9, veteran Jordan Lyles was the only rookie with double-digit wins.
Still, the Bullpen has been great even after trading closest Jorge Lopez to the Minnesota Twins a month ago. Rookie Felix Bautista smoothly climbed into the ninth inning and made eight saves since Lopez was dealt.
“The first thing is our show,” Hyde said. “I have improved a lot. They have been able to keep us in ball games all year round. Our office has held the lead most of the time and given us a chance to win.”
Orioles only 20The tenth In points he scored 4.20 games. However, key players such as first base officer Ryan Mountcastle, quarterback Cedric Mullins and right-back Anthony Santander are still pointing higher as they enter the prime of their careers.
The most exciting aspect of the Orioles, though, might be the two rookies, catcher Adley Rutschman and player Gunnar Henderson.
Rutschman was the first overall pick in the 2019 Amateur Draft from Oregon. The 24-year-old was considered the best consensus prospect in baseball when he was called up on May 21 from Triple-A Norfolk.
Most outlets rated Henderson as either the best or second best prospect in the game when he got a call from Norfolk on Tuesday. The 21-year-old then hit a home run in his second biggest attack in the league.
“It is fun to see these guys graduate to the major leagues and what a great experience for them to play in their first year in these kinds of environments,” Hyde said. “It’s really a case of throwing it in the fire but we were confident that both of them could handle it.”
Perhaps Rutschman and Henderson will be pushed into the post-season crucible next month. The Orioles definitely think they can get there.
“It’s an amazing group of guys,” Hyde said. “The club is incredible. The bunker is incredible. Our guys really care about each other and that means a lot. It’s a special group, a special team. It’s been a really fun year.”