Orioles optimistic despite sweep: 'We were supposed to win 76 games'
The Baltimore Orioles kept things in perspective following a tremendous season that ended with a sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers in the ALDS.
"We were supposed to win 76 games," manager Brandon Hyde said postgame Tuesday when talking about preseason projections, according to Nathan Ruiz of The Baltimore Sun. "Won 101, won the American League East. Really proud of our group. They defied all the odds. Nobody gave us a chance. These guys played their butts off for six months.
"We just didn't play well for these last three (games), unfortunately. And it's definitely a successful season, and these guys are going to be really good going forward."
All-Star catcher Adley Rutschman vowed to return to the postseason.
"It doesn't really feel real right now," Rutschman said following the 7-1 loss, according to Jake Rill of MLB.com. "It's not where we wanted to end up. I'm proud of our guys, though. I'm proud of everyone who was a part of this journey. And we'll be back."
Meanwhile, AL Rookie of the Year favorite Gunnar Henderson said this is just the beginning for the Orioles.
"We made great development all year," Henderson said, per Tim Kurkjian of ESPN. "This was a good step in the right direction. This is going to fuel us for next season. We've got to get better to make a World Series push."
Baltimore led the AL in wins in 2023 after losing at least 108 games in three out of four years between 2018-21 during a prolonged rebuild. The club's success came despite owning MLB's third-lowest payroll.
The Orioles are also armed with arguably the best minor-league system in baseball, which includes No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday.