Just about two months into the 2023 season, the Baltimore Orioles have the second best record in all of baseball. The Birds sit at 33-17 and have a +45 run differential, good enough for sixth best in the bigs. The Orioles have truly looked like one of the best teams in baseball to this point, and they haven't come close to reaching their potential.
The three best Orioles comebacks of 2023 so far
The Orioles are a young team that got a taste of success in 2022 and these kids are chomping at the bit to break the teams six year playoff drought. After Wednesday's big comeback over the rival New York Yankees, Gunnar Henderson stated "Don't count us out. We'll battle back. There's no quit in this team,". Manager Brandon Hyde said "Ton of fight. Ton of energy in out dugout," and Orioles fans have felt that energy. 19 of the Orioles 32 wins have been comeback victories. Let's look back at the top three comebacks so far.
#3: April 16, Orioles erase a four run deficit against Dylan Cease
The Orioles entered the game at 8-7 and had Grayson Rodriguez making his third career start against a tough Chicago White Sox lineup. GrayRod struggled early and allowed four runs in the first inning on two home runs by Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger. Burger's homer gave the White Sox an 86.3% win probability. That probability jumped to 88.6% when Cease struck out Terrin Vavra to end the second inning, leaving the bases loaded without the O's scoring a run. With an ace like Cease on the mound that 4-0 lead seemed nearly insurmountable.
But then everything turned around. Rodriguez and the bullpen combined to shut down the White Sox for the remainder of the game. The offense broke through with three runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two run Cedric Mullins triple. The O's tied the game in the sixth against Cease when Top Gunn scored his second run of the game on a wild pitch. The Orioles added three more in the seventh and another in the ninth to double up the White Sox and win a thriller 8-4.
#2: May 24, 8 run innings are fun
Tyler Wells has been great in 2023 but he's still young and bound to hit some bumps in the road. The New York Yankees played the part of the bump. Wells did have eight strikeouts against five hits allowed in five innings, but three of those hits were home runs. Gleyber Torres hit a two run homer in the third inning and a solo home run in the fifth. His second homer of the game followed a two run home run by Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and at the end of five innings, the Yankees were winning 5-1 with a 93.2% win probability.
Then in the seventh the Orioles bats went ballistic. Anthony Santander lead off with a walk, followed by six consecutive Orioles hits. Adam Frazier homered, Top Gunn continued his recent hot streak with a pinch hit double that scored two runs, Santander stayed hot and had an RBI single and Austin Hays' second hit of the inning drove in the eighth run of the inning. The Yankees did score one more run in the bottom of the inning but never got any closer. Felix Bautista closed the game to pick up his 12th save of the season.
#1: May 20, O Canada wasn't big enough for O'Hearn
In another game started by Rodriguez, the O's got off to a good start. Ryan O'Hearn singled to drive in Adam Frazier in the second inning. Mullins homered in the third for a 2-0 lead and the Orioles had a 70.4% win probability. GrayRod ran into some trouble in the fifth and gave up a two run homer to George Springer. Bryan Baker and Mike Baumann then gave up three more runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings, and suddenly the Toronto Blue Jays had a 94.5% win probability after seven innings.
That changed very quickly when O'Hearn stepped to the plate in the eighth inning. With two outs and two runners on base in a 2-2 count, O'Hearn blasted a 406ft bomb off of Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano to tie the game. With the scored tied in the ninth, Hyde set his watch to mountain time and called in Felix Bautista who pitched a scoreless inning. Austin Hays drove in Ryan Mountcastle in the tenth inning before Bautista came back out for the bottom of the inning.Bautista again pitched a scoreless inning giving the Orioles the win in heart stopping fashion.
The Orioles have proven they're ready to run with the big dogs. This young team gains experience every day and is only getting better. There is still a lot of season left and some hiccups can be expected but this team is starting to draw some well-deserved attention as a legitimate contender.