The 2017 Major League Baseball season didn’t end the way the Baltimore Orioles would have hoped, but that doesn’t mean the season was all wrong.
The Baltimore Orioles started the first month and a half as one of the best teams in baseball.
After that, the starting pitching was unsustainable, and the Birds fell back to the pack and eventually the bottom of the American League East. However, there were still plenty of highlights to the season.
Adam Jones hit his 25th home run for the seventh straight season. Trey Mancini emerged as an essential piece in the Baltimore Orioles’ lineup, finishing third in the American League Rookie of the Year race.
The Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop broke out and became a star in 2017, earning his first selection to the All-Star Game and being voted Most Valuable Oriole to end the year. Ultimately, the Orioles created several memorable games last season.
Let’s take a look at the top five most memorable games of the season.
5. Manny Machado Blasts Walk-Off Homer vs. New York Yankees
Four of the five wins on this list were walk-off victories, although the excitement revolved around more than just the game’s ending. The first of those on the list is a Sept. 5 victory over the New York Yankees.
This win was the last walk-off victory for the Birds in 2017 and was the third in five games to start September.
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The pitching matchup featured C.C. Sabathia versus Jeremy Hellickson. Nonetheless, Hellickson wasn’t long for this game. His defense didn’t do him any favors though. He did have an early lead though. Jonathan Schoop walked with two outs in the first inning and scored on a Trey Mancini single to give the Birds a quick 1-0 lead.
In the third, things came apart for Hellickson. A leadoff single by Austin Romine, a walk to Aaron Judge. Ultimately, the bases were loaded after Starlin Castro takes a hit by pitch. A two-run single by Didi Gregorius after the hit by pitch made it 2-1 Yankees. Hellickson walked Matt Holliday next, and Hellickson got the early hook.
Adam Jones then made his third error of the season and opened the floodgates, and by the time Richard Bleier got out of the inning it was 6-1 Yankees.
Manny Machado came up to start the bottom of the third and got one run back, hitting a solo home run off Sabathia. In the fifth inning, Schoop added his own solo shot to make it 6-3, but the Orioles weren’t really putting together a lot of offense.
Move to the sixth, and Trey Mancini led off with a single. Mark Trumbo followed with a two-run home run and the Orioles were right back in the game.
A combination of Bleier, Jimmy Yacabonis, Ubaldo Jimenez, Darren O’Day, Brad Brach and Zach Britton kept the game scoreless all the way into the ninth inning. The Orioles faced Dellin Betances, who had come in to close out the game for the Yankees.
Machado’s two-run blast gave the Orioles a walk-off win and helped keep the Orioles afloat at 71-68.
The Orioles gave fans hope that maybe a late push for the division was coming after this game, but they went on to lose their next six games, ending any hopes of not only winning the division but also making the playoffs.