The Orioles were off today. Today was the "evening" of the schedules as every team that matter to the Orioles now has only six games left. The idle Orioles could have been in a much more precarious position, or a much more advantageous one. It would all depend on who lost and who won.
So far today the Yankees, Athletics and Angels all lost.
What that means is the Orioles sit in the first wild card seat with a one game cushion over the A's and three games ahead of the Angels. But most importantly the Orioles now sit only one game behind the Yankees for the AL East title with six games remaining.
The important thing at this time of year is not to look at the wins, but rather the losses.
Orioles - 67
Angels - 70
Rays - 70
The Rays are currently playing the White Sox in a close 2-2 game. If they were to lose that game then they would have 71 losses heading into the final six and giving them a very tough road to hoe. If the Orioles can go 3-3 over the next six it forces the Angels and Rays to play perfect baseball to simply tie the Orioles and force all sorts of Rube-Goldberg Device tie-breaker machinations and play-in games. One would assume that the Orioles have a very good shot of at least winning three of their last six, and if they can't win three of their last six then they really don't deserve to make the playoffs and this magical season would deservedly come to a bittersweet end.
But that is not all.
The Orioles now have a very legitimate shot at the division thanks to a Blue Jay's thumping of the Yankees today. The Yankees have three games remaining with the Jays and then three more with the Red Sox to finish the year.Think about it, if the Orioles can take care of their business then the final three games of the season we could see the Orioles, the BALTIMORE ORIOLES, could be playing for the 2012 AL East Championship.
This team was left for dead in March by the baseball world. Every baseball mind said there was no hope and it could never be done. At every juncture of this impossible season they all said "wait two weeks" or "wait for this next stretch of games." All this team and its fans heard was "they can't," "they won't," and "it can't continue". They can, they did and it has. An unbelievable end to this impossible season is within reach.
Now, bring me that horizon.