Baltimore Orioles 2022 season recap

The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of Major League Baseball began the 2022 season late, due of course to the lockout over the winter. It was what it was. The Birds unceremoniously began the season getting swept by the Tampa Rays before their home opener against Milwaukee. But that series sweep was far from a harbinger of how the season was about to go.

Opening Day at Camden Yards dawned bright and full of sunshine. And the finally homestanding Orioles didn’t disappoint, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-0. However April wasn’t easy for the Birds. Several close losses, and an offense that wasn’t clicking. They also lost ace John Means for the season to Tommy John’s surgery. But one month a season doesn’t make.

But once things started clicking, they really clicked. And they clicked incredibly well. This was a team that was predicted to lose 100 games. Suddenly they were getting seven inning outings from no-name starters such as Dean Kremer. Stellar bullpen outings, and contributions at the plate from the likes of Autin Hays, Anthony Santander, and many more. At a certain point, we had a season on our hands.

And I’m not sure when that point was. Just before the All-Star Break they went on a 10-game winning streak. That’s probably what this season will be remembered for. It was during that winning streak that they somehow transformed from a would-be 100 loss team, to a nice story, to a contender. Various national outlets called the O’s the best sports story of the year. The players, and manager Brandon Hyde, ate it up as best as they could. But the fact is that they just kept winning.

At the beginning of August, they traded Trey Mancini, which was a tough moment. It wasn’t as if Mancini wasn’t already cemented into the hearts and minds of Birdland forever. But the fact that he smacked an inside-the-park home run in his final at-bat as an Oriole at Camden Yards didn’t hurt. And it’ll be remembered forever.

There was a brief moment in August where the Orioles were in the final Wild Card spot. For a team that was supposed to lose 100 games, that was an amazing feat. However as the season wound down it was evident that they just didn’t have the horses. And that’s okay. The Orioles finished the season 83-79, and in fourth place in the AL East.

Critics will highlight the fourth place finish. But you have to look at the expectations before passing judgement. They were supposed to lose 100 games. they finished with a winning record for the first time since 2016. THAT’S why Brandon Hyde’s a serious contender to be Manager of the Year. And in my view he should win the honor hands-down.

You also have to look at the division. The top four teams (including the Orioles) in the AL East had records above .500. The lone exception is the Boston Red Sox. In the face of swift competition, the Orioles thrived. I suspect they knocked off 1.5-2 years of their rebuild. And as a result, they’re currently in the hunt for a postseason spot in 2023.

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