A week sure is a long time in baseball, ain’t it?
Such is the current situation plaguing the American League – where seemingly no team wants to grab a wildcard berth – the difference a good week of results can make is rather significant. For the Orioles, who just one week ago languished at an unsightly 61-65, seven consecutive wins has seen the team surge back into contention. As America wakes up this morning, Buck Showalter’s men are just 1.5 games out of playoff position with 29 games still remaining.
The turn-around in form has been quite remarkable and it all started with a resilient 8-7 win over Oakland last Wednesday in 12 innings. There, the O’s blew a 6-1 lead after six innings and Zach Britton blew his first save opportunity in well over a year, however Miguel Castro’s stellar relief coupled with a walk-off bomb from Manny Machado eventually guided them home. Since then, they swept the Red Sox in Boston over three games, out-scoring them 25-4 along the way, before sweeping the Mariners back in Baltimore on the back of a phenomenal outing by Dylan Bundy and a mashing offense.
Throughout the seven game undefeated stretch, the O’s have out-scored their opponents 52 to 24 – averaging 7.4 runs per game. In three of the seven occasions they’ve conceded six or more runs, however the offense has bailed out the likes of Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez who continue to pitch poorly.
During the win streak, the offense has belted 17 home runs, including four in a game on three separate occasions. With runners in scoring position, they’re hitting at an incredible .388 clip (26-for-67). The lineup, which has been very consistent throughout the streak, contains nine hitters hitting .300 plus during this period.
- 12-for-23 (.522), 3 HR, 8 RBI, Welington Castillo
- 12-for-19 (.414), 2 HR, 9 RBI, Trey Mancini
- 5-for-13 (.385), 1 HR, 4 RBI, Craig Gentry
- 11-for-30 (.367), 3 HR, 6 RBI, Jonathan Schoop
- 1-for-3 (.333), 1 RBI, Ryan Flaherty
- 10-for-31 (.322), 3 HR, 5 RBI, Manny Machado
- 9-for-29 (.310), 1 HR, 3 RBI, Adam Jones
- 10-for-33 (.303), 1 HR, 6 RBI, Tim Beckham
- 3-for-10 (.300), 2 RBI, Seth Smith
Another key to the success this past week has been the strength of the bullpen which has allowed just three runs in 23 1/3 innings of relief. Leading the charge has been the continually impressive Miguel Castro who has tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings over three appearances.
With a 68-65 record and seven more games remaining on the current homestand, the O’s now find themselves in a great position to launch down the stretch. Four games await against the last-placed Blue Jays, before a three game set against the slumping Yankees who suddenly see chaos in their rear-view mirror.
We’re in for a great month Birdland, so buckle the hell up!