Sunday night’s victory in Detroit had a bit of a different feel.
In 2012, when the Orioles defeated the Rangers in the Wild Card game, I was ecstatic. I celebrated that win as though it was a world championship. Prior to that point, the most exciting game I had seen in over a decade was the Orioles walkoff win against the Red Sox on the final game of the 2011 season. I entered the season hoping to see the Orioles win over 81 games, everything extra was icing on the cake.
Watching the O’s lose to the Yankees in game five of the ALDS was painful, but I woke up the next morning feeling proud of what that team had accomplished. It was a turning point from the franchise and they outperformed mine and everyone else’s expectations.
This season, my aspirations for the Orioles are a bit more lofty. Sweeping the Tigers in the division series was incredible and it deserves to be celebrated, I admit that I took a few celebratory sips of champagne at the viewing party I attended, but the Orioles are still eight wins shy of their ultimate goal. I can’t get too excited about what they’ve accomplished quite yet.
“I kind of respected that they weren’t over the top,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about his team’s locker room celebration. “They got a lot to be proud of, but you know, it’s a step.”
Amen to that, Buck.
The Orioles faced three Cy Young award winners and walked off the field victorious against them all. They put together a postseason roster without All-Stars Manny Machado, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis and still defeated one of the American League’s most dangerous teams, a club that has won their division four straight years and an AL Pennant in 2012.
But the Orioles aren’t going to be happy with anything less than eight more wins and the way to celebrated last night at Comerica evidence of that.