At the onset of the season, the Orioles started off fairly well. If you read my blog, you know that this isn’t the first time I’ve posed this question. But after 26 games, the Orioles stand at 17-9 and only a game and a half behind the Rays. And while it’s very early to start looking at Wild-Card standing, the O’s are leading by a game and a half.
Their first series vs. the Yankees was shaky. Although they were swept, two of the three games ended in extra’s. But then they traveled to NY and turned the tide playing some great baseball!
The bullpen is playing exceptionally well. As of now, the ERA of the ENTIRE bullpen is about 1.70. And it’s steadily decreasing with the scoreless, and often hitless, innings that continue to come.
The starting pitching is also playing well, and although they often are pulled in the 5th or 6th inning, with a bullpen like we’re carrying, why wouldn’t you want to get them on the mound?
Odd fact: At this point in the season, the team leader in wins isn’t a starter. Pedro Strop is 3-1 having appeared in 11 games. Jason Hammel is also 3-1 but has only appeared in 5 games.
Offense is spotty. Wieters and Jones are having a great spring. Wieters has a team leading 7 HRs and 18 RBI’s whereas Jones is leading the team in Runs scored with 20. Andino is really making a case for himself to stay on the field not only with his spectacular play on the diamond, but his team leading Batting Average hitting a solid .337. Kind of a surprise, Wilson Betemit. 3 RBI’s, 12 RBI’s, and some very good situational hitting.
Where it has to, and has begun, turning around- Reynolds and Hardy. Reynolds finally went yard this week and has began seeing more pitches. At this point in the season, he’s striking out 50% of his at-bats. That stat has to change and his power numbers need to increase. Hardy has finally gotten his average above .200 which is a good sign. He’s seemed to be all or nothing at the plate either hitting a homer or flying out. Once these guys find their swing, the O’s have an awfully good looking line-up from top to bottom.
Year after year, O’s fans ask “is this the year we break the crappy streaks?” The O’s haven’t made the play-offs in over a decade nor have they even finished with a .500 or better record. This season, it looks very very possible that those odds change.
The pitching has to remain solid and consistent.
Wieters and Jones have to continue hitting well.
Reimold needs to get healthy.
And we have to stay healthy as a club all around.
My take: The Orioles DO finish with a record of .500 or better and end up in a wild-card battle with the Yankees and Tigers.
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