The Baltimore Orioles won four of their last five, taking two of three in their final two series against the Boston Red Sox, which includes a 7-6 victory in the season finale to go into the offseason with a little momentum.
The Orioles finished with a winning record for the second straight season, the first time that happened since 1996 and 1997.
Jim Johnson picked up his 50th save of the season, becoming one of only four closers to accomplish that feat in back-to-back years. Johnson really struggled at times this season, but he actually pitched pretty well after a rough start to the year.
Given the way the 2013 season went, there had to be at least some bad news. Chris Davis left the game early with a wrist injury after being honored as the Most Valuable Oriole of the 2013 season and on the day when the first 25,000 fans into the ballpark received his bobblehead doll. The good news is that the injury is not considered serious and Davis was removed from the game out of an abundance of caution.
Manager Buck Showalter was emotional after the game, clearly proud of the way his team continued to battle throughout the entire season and disappointed that his group was not rewarded with a trip to the playoffs.
The Orioles certainly won't be spraying champagne over their finish, but at least the team built some momentum into next season and has proven that last year was no fluke.
With the book now closed on the 2013 season, the Orioles will quickly turn their attention toward the offseason and how to improve the club heading into 2014. That won't be easy given the lack of quality options out on the free agent market, which will turn the fight for the top available players into a bidding war.
Dan Duquette has already hinted that locking up Chris Davis and Matt Wieters to long-term contracts in the offseason is one of his top priorities. Whether he can get one, or both, to commit to a long-term deal remains to be seen. Both players seem very interested to stay in Baltimore, but at the end of the day, it will come down to the financial terms of any proposed deal.