The Orioles are headed to the playoffs — and the rise of the O’s has just begun

David Schoenfield, ESPN Senior WriterSep 17, 2023, 04:15 PM ET

CloseCovers MLB for Former deputy editor of Page 2 Been with since 1995

DURING THE SECOND game of the 2023 MLB season, on a cloudy 56-degree day at Fenway Park, the Baltimore Orioles were looking to start the campaign with their second straight win, after barely holding on for a teeth-clenching victory on Opening Day in which they nearly blew a 10-4 lead. The Orioles led 8-7 with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth. Masataka Yoshida lofted a routine fly ball to left fielder Ryan McKenna, a can of corn in Little League, in high school and certainly in the major leagues.

McKenna dropped the ball.

Adam Duvall followed with a walk-off home run off Felix Bautista.

When the Boston Red Sox won the next day, the early verdict was in: The Orioles were 1-2, had allowed 27 runs and, just as everyone had predicted, didn’t have nearly enough pitching and were destined to finish near the bottom of the tough American League East.

The Orioles have been so methodically consistent all season and now that they’ve clinched a playoff spot while on their way to 100 wins —

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