Anybody get the reference?
So lets look at the good, the bad and the ugly from this past week.
30-3. Odd how most diehard Orioles fans laughed this off but many dopes in the national sports media actually read something into this. As if 30-3 is really indicative of what this team is about. (The Orioles are not a great team but we surely aren't Devil Rays bad...). Which is worse? 30-3 or 12-0 and 16-0 over two games (I'm looking at you guys in pinstripes...) It was a perfect storm and now it's over.
0-7 against the Twins? Sure, when Johann Santana's on the mound they're one of the best teams in baseball but without him are they really that much better? 0-7. And 2-4 against the Rangers. 30-3 doesn't bother me nearly as much as dropping that series.
The Baltimore Orioles' record now stands at 58-71 meaning they have to go 24-11 to close the season to hit .500. Guess what true believers? That ain't happenin'. So play the kids with abandon and keep the bullpen audition rolling.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
- Arab Proverb
Using this axiom, it is difficult for me to hate the Red Sox that much. I would rather anyone win the division than the Yankees and it's nice to see them finally falling off the pace and AL East title has officially slipped away from them. Now if Seattle (Or Detroit) can snatch the wild card away too...
Erik Bedard did not have a great outing but did finally take over the top spot for most strikeouts in Baltimore Oriole history on Sunday. He is now third in franchise history:
Rube Wadell 232 1908
Bobo Newsom 226 1938
Erik Bedard 221 2007
Mike Mussina 218 1997
With an average outing, Bedard should pass Bobo Newsom on Friday.
Congratulations to Kevin Millar for setting the club record for consecutive games reaching base that ended on Sunday. 52 games is pretty impressive, I don't care how you do it. His combination of patience and modest power has made him at least the third best Oriole at the plate this season.
The good news? Tampa Bay is up next.
There's a lot of talk about the Orioles' annual September swoon. This team is not going to go 4-32 to close the season. No way. But I don't think there's a lot of wins to be had when Garrett Olson and/or various AAA pitchers are getting a crack at teams. That's just the way it is.
An interesting article over at The HardballTimes about great platoons of the 60's and 70's. No surprise that Hank Bauer and Earl Weaver are featured as putting together some very effective platoons overt the years.
Barring a September tear by somebody, no Oriole will hit 20 homers this year, the first time that will have happened since 2001. What is so shocking to me is that when I looked up and down the lineup in Spring Training, there was no pure 30+ HR slugger but a bunch of guys who could have reasonably hit 20:
(a healthy) Jay Gibbons
Hell, you even figured Millar and Patterson to be good bets to hit at least 15 if they got enough at bats. Guess you never know...