It is not a surprise to anyone that the poor Orioles are arguably one of the worst teams in baseball. We are well over a third of the way done with the season and the Baltimore Orioles notched only their 19th win in their 60th game last night… Barely.
The O’s are currently visiting the red-hot Texas Rangers who have won 13-of-18 prior to last night. For what it’s worth, it was pretty surprising to see Baltimore take down this team at home when they have one of the best home records (20-10) in the AL. If you decide to take a peek at the box score from last night you’ll see that the Orioles beat the Rangers by a score of 12-11. Those final two run totals are not in any way indicative of how this game actually went. It was all Baltimore for literally every single inning except for the final 20 minutes of this game. Buckle up for the rest of this article folks, because this one is going to be a helluva ride.
The O’s Were Cooking
Going into the bottom of the 7th, the Rangers were trailing somehow by the score of 11-3…
That’s right. Eleven. To. Three. How the hell did we get here exactly? Oh that’s right, it was the 1-2 punch of terrible pitching followed by an additional serving of more terrible pitching–courtesy of the Rangers starting and relief efforts. Despite reliable pitchers being the metaphorical, yet some how literal kryptonite of the Texas Rangers, they have a surprisingly good ball club this season—especially when it comes to producing runs. But at this point in the game, the only run support the Rangers had received had come from Choo’s 200th career HR, an Andrus Sac Fly, and a decent Kiner-Falefa RBI single.
On the other side of things, the O’s had torn apart Drew Smyly causing him to leave the game after allowing 7 runs in just 3.1 innings. Orioles Catcher, Pedro Severino, had 2 home runs on the night going into the bottom of the 7th and was just another AB away from hitting his 3rd in the top of the 9th. Cool bit of history right there for the Orioles as Severino became the first Baltimore catcher to hit 3 dingers in a game. This home run came after the Rangers scored a paid of runs in the 7th and 8th inning; bringing our score to 12-5 going into the bottom of the 9th. Now the fun begins.
Trailing by 7 whole runs with only three outs left in the game has historically been next to impossible in baseball history. Going back to 1957, in the history of MLB, this exact situation has happened 2,942 times. Only 5 of those games had the home team come back to win the game. This puts the Rangers at an outrageous +58,724 underdog and gives them a 0.17% chance of winning.
The bottom of the ninth started with an Elvis Andrus AB in which he reached second on a 2-base error by Orioles SS, Richie Martin. After this, Nomar Mazara and Hunter Pence both walked to load the bases with no outs still recorded in the inning. After a couple of mound visits, the Orioles replaced reliever Josh Lucas with Richard Bleier in hopes of getting out of the jam Lucas had created.
*Rangers winning percentage now at 5.56%*
Asdrubal Cabrera immediately doubled to left and scored both Andrus and Mazara bringing our score to 12-7. Odor then singled to right to score Pence and move Cabrera to 3rd. 12-8, Orioles. STILL no outs recorded in the inning.
*Rangers winning percentage now at 8.40%*
Logan Forsythe entered the game to pinch-hit for Ronald Guzman to force the lefty on righty matchup, and proceeded to score both Cabrera and Odor on a clutch double to raise the score once again this inning, to 12-10. At this point, the crowd was going absolutely ballistic. Everyone could sense that what was happening on the field could only be described as a complete collapse of the Baltimore Orioles. For the few left at Globe Life Park, this was completely worth the wait. Also, there are still zero outs recorded in the inning.
*Rangers winning percentage now at 17.38%*
Isiah Kiner-Falefa finally recorded the first out for the Orioles with a ground ball to second base that moved Forsythe over to 3rd. Right when you would think that the Orioles might’ve finally righted their ship, Shin-Soo Choo hit an infield single off of the glove of Bleier to score Forsythe making the score 12-11. Rangers broadcaster Dave Raymond’s commentary on this game was filled with so much emotion and passion, it felt as if those who were watching this game live were part of some insane baseball dream. With the heart of the Rangers order coming up, Texas fans who were shaking their heads with disbelief just two innings ago were now on their feet ready to witness history.
*Rangers winning percentage now at 20.14%*
Keep in mind here, the Texas Rangers have improved their chances of winning 118 times over in the span of 8 AB’s. The Orioles finally decided to counter with what was happening, and switched the struggling Bleier for the hard throwing Mychal Givens.
Givens proceeded to strike out Delino Deshields to face Elvis Andrus with now two outs, and the tying run at first. A few pitches later, Givens tried to pick off Choo, but missed badly and allowed Choo to advance to 2nd base. After battling back from an 0-2 count, Elvis Andrus swung and missed at a 2-2 changeup in the dirt and was almost safe at first after a dropped-third-strike by Severino. This would then heartbreakingly end the game, and the insane rally of the Texas Rangers.
Final score, 12-11 Orioles.
I’m Not Even Mad
As many of you know and as I have said before, I am a diehard Rangers fan. They have been my team since I started playing when I was little and I will always stand by them during their best and worst seasons. But for any baseball fan, it’s tough to see your team get beat to a pulp and have the opposing ball club reach double digits in the run column. No one enjoys that, and to be frank, I tuned out from the game close to the 3rd inning last night because of that exact reason.
I was absolutely schlumped last night and got home close to 10pm with no intention of watching the game when I got back. But as soon as my phone started lighting up and buzzing with what was happening down in Arlington at that very moment, I could not resist sprinting downstairs to witness firsthand what was going on.
Despite the loss to the worst team in baseball, I am still fired up from last night. The Texas Rangers still have possession of the 2nd wild card spot, and after all of the hate this team got before the season started, being 2 games above .500 with one of the most dynamic run scoring teams in all of baseball is pretty damn awesome. Hats off to Baltimore for getting the win last night, and hats off to the Rangers for giving us one of the most wild 9th innings baseball has ever seen.