I wish I could say I saw that coming, but let’s be honest, who did? Finally, after a decade and a half of losing baseball, the Baltimore Orioles clinched a playoff berth after sweeping the Boston Red Sox, and having the Los Angeles Angels lose to the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
The Orioles finished their season-long beat down of the Red Sox by sweeping them at home this past weekend and going 13-5 against them this season.
The O’s now head down to Tampa to face off against the Rays in a decisive three game series (provided they don’t have any further plane trouble…yikes!).
With this article being written on Monday, by time this gets to print on Wednesday, the playoff picture could be a bit clearer, but here is how things stand now:
Baltimore is tied atop the AL East with the New York Yankees, both posting 92-67 records thus far. New York welcomes the Red Sox to Yankee
Stadium for a three game series to close things out for them.
Baltimore can take the AL East title if they can sweep the Rays and have the Yankees lose at least one game to the Sox. That would be the preferable scenario being as that would mean Baltimore’s season wouldn’t come down to a one game Wild-Card playoff.
The way it looks now is that Oakland will possibly grab the last Wild-Card spot and travel to either New York or Baltimore for a one-game playoff, depending on who loses the AL East division.
The next round would pit the Texas Rangers against the Wild-Card winner, and the Detroit Tigers will play whichever team won the AL East.
The good news is that Baltimore controls their destiny…sort of. If they can sweep the Rays (which is no easy feat) they can at least force a tiebreaker if the Yankees sweep the Red Sox. The bottom line is they just need to keep on their roll. Either way, it’s great to see some playoff baseball in Baltimore!
Random notes: Special congrats to Jim Johnson for nailing down his 50th save Sunday, which further extends his own Oriole record for saves in a single season, and also to Adam Jones who was named the Orioles MVP.
Jones admits, “(MVP) is given to me, but I think the whole team deserves it.” True, but Jones has had quite a season and completely deserves the honor.
by Andy Mindzak