September 12, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (26) in the dugout during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
On a site that is dedicated to the Cubs, I thought it would be interesting to see a couple of articles about the amazing playoff race currently happening. What better place to start than the team that absolutely no one had in this position: the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles finished 69-93 last year and had their fair share of bad games. They were last in a very competitive AL East and their most notable achievement came on September 28th when they knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs. They helped make the last day of last season truly unforgettable.
That brings us to this year. They have 2 walk-off wins in a row and there are 9 games remaining. They are coming off of a sweep of the 3rd place Tampa Bay Rays. To get to this point they have been 27-7 in one run games and had to win a 15 inning game. The winner of that game, you guessed it, Chris Davis the corner infield. He also went 0-8 in that game. The Orioles called up top prospect Manny Machado earlier this year and he has been very impressive; he seems to have given them quite the shot in the arm.
The Orioles are proving to be a real deal. Look at these records8-4 against Boston, 6-2 against the White Sox, 9-6 against Tampa Bay. The only teams in the league they have a losing record against are the Rangers and Angels. They are .500 or better against everyone else. The Orioles have been led by manager Buck Showalter and center fielder Adam Jones, who may be an MVP candidate. The lineup has not been great, but they have been just good enough all year. The starting rotation will also not wow anybody. This team is filled with players stepping up. All logic and history says that they should have fizzled out by the all-star break, but this team defies that. They are good, but it is hard to point at specific strengths. The team leader in wins has 12. The team leader in RBI has 74. The team leader in HR has 29. The team leader in BA is batting .298. The only great stat is wins and there is no reason to think it would stop. The Orioles have an easy schedule after this weekend’s series against the Oakland A’s.
The Orioles have none of the makings of a traditional winning team, but no one has told them that. I can’t help but root for this team and I hope they make the playoffs. A team like this is competing and beating the Yankees. This is one of the two biggest surprises in the MLB this year.