Adley Rutschman saves Orioles from replay controversy with electric walk-off winner

Another blown umpire call nearly cost Baltimore on Wednesday, but everything worked out in the end.
Arizona Diamondbacks v Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks v Baltimore Orioles / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

Going into their matchup on Wednesday with the Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles' offense had been scuffling for a little bit. In their back-to-back losses before the game, they scored two runs in both contests, which is not what you would expect from what is supposed to be one of the best offenses in all of baseball.

During the game itself, those offensive struggles continued, and the Orioles found themselves down 2-1 in the eighth inning with Anthony Santander on third base. Despite having seen what happened to the Angels on a squeeze play the night before (presumably), manager Brandon Hyde called for a similar squeeze with James McCann at the plate.

McCann got the bunt down, and that is when things went south for the Orioles.

Orioles News: Baltimore screwed by bad process and crummy umpiring

Just to clear the air, bunting in this situation is a pretty terrible idea. Aside from the fact that we feel reasonably confident that McCann isn't actually practicing such plays all that often, you have a guy at third in Santander who runs like he is wearing cement shoes. If you are looking to scratch runs together this way, get someone that can at least run down the line without needing oxygen.

That said, the replay seemed to show that Santander still beat the tag, and Orioles fans were quite irate to find that the original ruling of "out" was the call after the play was reviewed.

It looked like the play was going to be very consequential as the Orioles would remain down a run in the bottom of the ninth and at risk of being swept for the first time since 2022. Instead, Adley Rutschman came to the plate with a runner on and proceeded to hit a walk-off, two-run bomb to keep the Orioles sweepless streak alive.

Sometimes, karma works out quite nicely, doesn't it? Baltimore fans went home happy just two batters into the bottom of the ninth, a half-inning which began with a chopper clanking off Isiah Kiner-Falefa's body and ended with Rutschman's blast being cleared of all fan interference. While there might not have been quite enough evidence to overturn the play at the play (BY THE LETTER OF THE LAW), there will be no disputing that Rutschman is (checks legal pad) exceedingly clutch.

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