Eulogizing the 2013 Orioles

Friends and fans, we are gathered here today to remember the extremely promising, but ultimately unfulfilling life of the 2013 Baltimore Orioles, as their season officially came to an end.  Building on the playoff appearance last year that many analysts called “lucky”, the Orioles made a valiant effort to return to the playoffs, only to fall out of contention (mathematically) with 5 games remaining, due to an ill-timed losing streak at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 2013 team excelled on offense, scoring the 5th most runs in all of baseball.  Additionally, the defense led all of baseball in fielding percentage and finished 3rd overall in UZR/150 according to Fangraphs.  Even though the offense and defense were among the sport’s best, the 2013 Orioles were ultimately brought down by their pitching.  While the expectations of the team’s starting pitching were not especially high at the beginning of the season, it was the relief pitching that became one of the biggest disappointments of the year.  An area that had been such a large part of the success in the previous season, had become one of the team’s biggest weaknesses in 2013.

Additionally, and not completely unrelated, the baseball gods who showed so much favor to the 2012 team, failed to do the same in 2013, as the Orioles went from having baseball’s best record in one run games in 2012 (including a 16-2 record in extra innings) to baseball’s worst record in one run games in 2013.  To add insult to injury, the baseball gods thought it fit to have the team’s brightest young star, Manny Machado suffer a knee injury at the beginning of the last week of the season.  Thankfully, the injury did not end up being as serious as originally thought, and Machado should be ready for spring training in 2014.

So as we lay the 2013 Orioles to rest, we can take comfort in the knowledge that despite missing the postseason, they actually were a more talented team than their 2012 counterparts.  While the 2013 Orioles are no more, we can look forward to the hope and promise of 2014, with a healthy Manny Machado and a (hopefully) improved pitching staff leading the team back to the playoffs, and helping us forget the disappointing end of the 2013 season entirely.

One Response to “Eulogizing the 2013 Orioles”

  1. […] wild card race up until a 6 game losing streak beginning on September 19 ultimately did them in.  As I mentioned last week, despite winning 8 fewer games than they did in 2012, they arguably had a better team this year […]

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