Brandon Hyde makes clear how impressive Orioles’ four-game sweep over Rays really was

“Our younger guys, they don’t really understand it, that this is not normal. You just don’t go on the road and beat a team four times.”
Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Birdland is rewriting the history books this season, and the just-completed four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays away on the road at The Trop is definitely one for the ages.

It also marks just the second time in franchise history where the Orioles have had multiple four-game sweeps in a single season, and like the last time they accomplished the feat in 1987, both sweeps again came on the road this year — the White Sox in May, and against Tampa for the first time ever this past weekend.

Baltimore Orioles hit impressive sweep mark (and it's only June!)

Entering games Tuesday, the Orioles were one one of only five teams with 40+ wins so far this season, posting the third-best record-to-date in MLB at 43-22 (.662). The next three series will be a serious test of this team, which features the game's 11th-youngest 26-man roster, at an average age of 28.4.

They’ll play two three-game series at Camden Yards, hosting the always tough Atlanta Braves and NL East leading Philadelphia Phillies, before heading back on the road to face the AL East leading Yankees in the Bronx in a key matchup; they only sat 2.5 games back of New York heading into games Tuesday, with three games in hand. Their lone day off over that stretch comes next Monday.

Manager Brandon Hyde was full of superlatives for his club after the sweep of the Rays, saying, “I think our guys are too young, honestly — and maybe our older guys understand how hard that is — but our younger guys, they don’t really understand it, that this is not normal. You just don’t go on the road and beat a team four times."

Normal, it is definitely not. More like super impressive, or as ace and emerging AL Cy Young favorite Corbin Burnes said afterwards, “This is a good team that has done a lot of winning in the past year. So to come in and really do everything well — pitch great, play good defense, hit the ball well — it’s tough to beat us when we have all those things working."

To put this in perspective, five regular Orioles hitters have an OPS above .800, led by 23-year-old Gunnar Henderson at .974, 26-year-old Adley Rutschman at .835 and 25-year-old Jordan Westburg at .834. The Orioles have five players with 10+ home runs, and Ryan O’Hearn had nine following games Monday. No other team featured more than three players with 10+ homers in games through Monday.

Clearly the coaching staff has the team playing out of their minds and doing things that aren’t normal, like sweeping the Rays in Tampa in a four-gamer for the first time in franchise history. They’re being led by the kids, with some outstanding starting pitching to boot led by Burnes, 24-year-old Grayson Rodriguez and Cole Irvin, as well as some solid relief from the likes of Yennier Cano and Craig Kimbrel.

So enjoy this impressive stretch, Birdland — the kids are playing with abandon, and are perhaps too young to know any better about making history with their great baseball. And their manager is all for it!