After grinding, scrapping and clawing through a never-ending roller coaster of a season, the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled.
Ladies and Gentleman, your Baltimore Orioles have punched their ticket to the dance that is October baseball, and man, what a wild ride it’s been…through all of the electrifying highs and the worrisome lows that we have been through this season, this team has persevered and deserves nothing less than a shot to go deep into the playoffs.
And all of this is possible because this resilient squad refused to say die all season long.
When it’s all said and done, few will remember the Orioles stellar 8-1 win in the series opener or the crushing 8th inning collapse in the 7-3 loss on Saturday, but game #162 will be etched into the Orioles history book forever.
After such a long and winding road that was the Orioles 2016 campaign, the Birds were going into a win-and-in scenario before first pitch on Sunday. The stakes couldn’t have been higher.
In the end, Kevin Gausman’s remarkable gem and two wild-card clinching home runs from star catcher Matt Wieters will go down in Orioles folk lore for the rest of time. Zach Britton locked up the ballgame, recording final five outs of the memorable 5-2 victory, which is only fitting because without his flawlessness, who knows where this club would be…He’s our star closer, and he’s our true MVP.
With that being said, every member in this clubhouse played a part in this. From the excellence of Manny Machado, the presence of Matt Wieters, the energy of Jonathan Schoop, the danger and power of Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, the consistency of J.J. Hardy, the leadership of Adam Jones, and the impact of Hyun Soo Kim, Michael Bourn and Pedro Alvarez.
They did this together.
That’s not to mention the ace, Chris Tillman, the breakout stud Dylan Bundy, the skyrocketing Kevin Gausman, the revived Ubaldo Jimenez and the ever-reliable quartet Zach Britton, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens and Donnie Hart.
Oh, and of course, cheers to the gaffer, Buck Showalter!
Together, this team has earned a third trip to the postseason since 2012.
Together, they lit up the Yankees visitor’s clubhouse during the post-game celebrations.
Now, we set our sights on the one game, winner-take-all showdown in Toronto on Tuesday where both clubs will be fighting for their playoff lives.
Not too bad for a team pegged to finish in the cellar, eh?
To borrow Bart Scott’s infamous words- ‘’ I can’t wait’’.
But until Tuesday;
Cue the party music and let the good times roll!