For the first time in almost a decade, the season outlook is bright for the Baltimore Orioles. The franchise, which had no expectations last year, rallied in the second half of the second to finish just a few games out of the final Wild Card spot when the season ended.
A lot of that had to do with the call-up of mega-prospect Adley Rutschman. Rutschman, who was the top prospect in baseball, came up in late May and made an immediate impact. He slashed .254/.362/.445 and was stellar on defense, every bit of the franchise player he was billed as.
And, you add fellow top-ten MLB-ready prospects like Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez and Colton Cowser, plus established solid major-leaguers like Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Anthony Santander, and the team has real playoff aspirations.
And, on opening day on Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles beat the Red Sox 10-9, as Rutschman went a remarkable 5-5.
And, they looked likely to win in their second game of the year on Saturday, behind another 5-5 performance, this time by Austin Hays.
With an 8-7 lead, the Orioles had the Sox down to their last out. But, disaster struck.
Red Sox fans say thank you, Ryan McKenna. pic.twitter.com/224YpxNZfJ
— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) April 1, 2023
Nothing hurt, though. There’s just a runner on first, and they still only need one out. Newly signed outfielder Adam Duvall had other ideas.
OH MY GOD ADAM DUVALL WALKS IT OFF AFTER THE DROP IN LEFT FIELD RED SOX WIN!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) April 1, 2023
Yeah, that’s a terrible way to lose for the Baltimore Orioles. Yes, it’s only game two of 162, but every game can matter in a pennant race, and you can’t be losing because players are dropping can of corn fly balls.
The memes and jokes were out in full force.
BOSTON – At Fenway Park, there was no bigger April fool than Orioles left fielder Ryan McKenna
— CTBC Brothers (@NaturallyKatz11) April 1, 2023
RYAN MCKENNA get off my team pic.twitter.com/AqJNsQuLRH
— ZFARM (@ZFarm__) April 1, 2023
Do NOT ever let Ryan McKenna put on the orioles uniform ever again pic.twitter.com/ABnXecUuXq
— RavensFlock20 (@Bateman_Szn7) April 1, 2023
Don’t worry, Baltimore, 160 games more to go.