Baltimore Orioles Are Running Out Of Magic As Season Draws To An End

By James Williams
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the 2013 Baltimore Orioles this has been another fun ride, but alas there simply is not enough “Oriole Magic” left for a repeat appearance in the AL Playoffs. The lost weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays was the dagger for Baltimore’s postseason hopes.

The race for the final playoff spot in AL Wild Card shows that with seven games left in the season the Birds are 4.5 games back. The math is not in their favor considering there are four teams in front of them in the race, so even if they were able to win out — which is unlikely– they still would not assure themselves a spot in the postseason.

After today Baltimore will close out the 2013 season in Charm City with six games at Camden Yard. They will host the Toronto Blue Jays for a three game series before ending the season against the AL East Champion Boston Red Sox over the weekend.

What made the Orioles so magical last season was their return to the playoffs for the first time since 1997. They were the darlings of MLB. They won 93 games, locked down the final AL Wild Card spot, and then went on to beat the Texas Rangers on the road in the first ever play-in game.

Baltimore advanced to the ALDS where they lost a hard fought best of five series to the New York Yankees three games to two.

So where did all that Orioles Magic go?

There are just two numbers that I would like to share with you today. The 2012 Orioles led all of baseball in two very important areas: They were an amazing 29-9 in games decided by one run, and Baltimore was 16-2 in extra inning games.

In 2013 the Orioles are a more down to earth 8-7 in extra inning games while here is the single stat that might be the most telling: In one run games this year they are just 17-29. That stat is likely the one that shows you why this season Baltimore will be staying home. Going from 29-9 to 17-29 in one run games shows you how amazing it was that the 2013 Orioles were able to remain so competitive as long as they did without that edge in close games.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc.  

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