Baltimore Orioles’ 91-Game Streak Ends in ALDS Sweep: A Harsh Lesson in Playoff

Dominant Orioles’ Regular Season Streak Shattered: An Ominous Lesson in ALDS Sweep

In a shocking turn of events, the Baltimore Orioles, who had enjoyed an impressive 91-game regular season streak without being swept, were met with an unexpected defeat in Game 3 of the ALDS in Texas. It was a crushing blow for a team that had showcased their dominance during the sprawling 2023 regular season. The Orioles hadn’t faced a regular season sweep since the Tigers achieved this feat back in May 2022, spanning an incredible 91 straight regular-season series.


Even for a team as exceptional as the 101-win 2023 Orioles, this record was truly remarkable. However, the standout detail here is that the last regular-season sweep predates the major-league debut of their franchise catcher, Adley Rutschman. Rutschman, the embodiment of the Orioles’ rebuild and recent successes, has now set a unique MLB record. He has completed an astonishing 90 consecutive regular-season series without being swept, making it the second-longest “sweepless” streak to start a career in MLB history.

But there’s a critical qualifier to these impressive streaks – it pertains to the regular season. The Orioles’ 2023 season came to an abrupt end without registering a single playoff win, resulting in an unexpected ALDS sweep at the hands of the Rangers. This defeat was all the more surprising given the Orioles’ standing as the top seed in the AL. So, what led to this unprecedented sweep when the stakes were at their highest? The answer predominantly points to what experts had been warning about all along: the rotation.


In the wake of a 2022 season where a few strategic moves could have secured a playoff berth for the Orioles, the team failed to address their glaring rotation issues. Their offseason acquisitions were notably scarce, limited to signing Kyle Gibson and little else. As the trade deadline approached and the rotation deficiencies persisted, they made a half-hearted attempt to bolster their pitching with Jack Flaherty. However, in the recently concluded postseason series, both Gibson and Flaherty found themselves relegated to the bullpen.

The Orioles’ starting rotation, led by Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, and Dean Kremer, posted a dismal 14.63 ERA in the ALDS, succumbing to the relentless offensive prowess of the Rangers. Whether it was the owner’s reluctance to invest in a World Series contender or the general manager’s penchant for safeguarding prospects at the expense of immediate needs, the decision-makers shoulder the blame for this ignominious exit.

The glaring counterexample lay just across the diamond in the Texas Rangers. They acquired Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, who proved instrumental in their Game 3 victory. When injuries struck, the Rangers swiftly addressed them by trading for Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer. Their bold moves represented a significant buy-in from ownership and the front office, a commitment conspicuously absent in Baltimore.


While there’s no guarantee that different actions during the offseason and at the deadline would have altered the outcome, taking bold steps is part and parcel of the unpredictability of baseball. What’s more consoling is giving it your all and accepting the randomness of the sport rather than going in unprepared and facing a crushing defeat, or in this case, a sweep.

John Angelos and Mike Elias owe it to their devoted fans and promising young players like Rutschman, Rodriguez, and others to make the necessary changes. The Orioles’ future remains promising, but for the team to maximize their chances of securing a championship in the years to come, ownership and management must step up, learning from this year’s unfortunate outcome. They need to exhibit the same level of commitment that the Orioles themselves have shown on the field for years.


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