Good evening Orioles fans. I have returned. I was on vacation for a bit and just have not been on in a while. I have decided not to really recap the game but more just give my two cents for whoever is interested from a fan's prospective.
This team continues to just amaze people. As fans we will be down on them and waiting for the usual boat to start sinking and they just find ways to bounce back. They remind me so much of the 1989 "Why Not" team. Not only are they scrappy and finding ways to win, it always seems to be coming from somebody who may not have been with the team all year or just somebody you do not expect to come through.
History repeated itself Wednesday night as Steve Johnson, son of former Oriole Dave Johsnon known for his amazing call up in 1989, gets called on tonight and does the same thing his dad did. He gets the win in his first major league start striking out nine Mariners.
The Mariners came into Baltimore one of the hotter teams in the league winning eight of their last 10 and the O's sweep them. Amazing.
On paper this team should be in last place. They are the only team with a winning record and negative run differential (now -48), they are last in the American League in defense with 87 errors, eighth in overall pitching with team era of 4.06, and are 11th in team hitting with a .245 team average. You see these stats and think they would be 10-15 games under .500. Here is the difference. They are 22-6 in one run games and 12-2 in extra inning games. They are winning the close games.
The negative run differential comes from a few blowout games that tarnish the numbers. The Orioles bullpen has been the heart of this team. It is because of them that they are where they are. Buck Showalter has done an amazing job of rotating guys in and out, up and down, crazy roster moves. He just always seems to make the right decisions. He has this team believing they can beat anyone. He does not want to talk about a wild card spot. He wants to win the division.
It remains to be seen if the O's will add anyone down the stretch who may be put on waivers by another team. I know there was some talk of Lyle Overbay. He would not be a splash but a upgrade defensively at firstbase. We will have to see what happens.
The O's offense seems to be coming together at the right time. If the offense hits the way they are capable of down the stretch Charm City could have a lot of fun in September. This has been a fun season with a lot of emotions and a lot of ups and downs. The city has come to expect bad things to happen due to the past 14 years. We are not quite the glass is half-full fans when it comes to the Orioles. It is going to take some consistency to change that.
Let's keep riding this wave though and enjoy some real meaningful baseball in August. It sure is nice to have some baseball buzz now that the Ravens have started camp. Usually this is red headed step-child time of the year for the Orioles and the seats just a green background when watching on TV. I am loving this and I know all of us die hard Oriole fans are.
Lets hope the O's can keep the great play going as the Kansas City Royals make their way into the yard tomorrow. Their starting pitching is awful and hopefully the Orioles surging offense can take advantage of that. The O's have Wei-Yen Chen going tomorrow on his T-shirt night. Sounds like a win to me. Go O's!!!!!!.