Friday, April 8, 2011

Anatomy of a Miracle Season

I used to do a yearly preview called "How the Orioles Can Win the East" in which I would talk about 5 things that could go wrong with the other AL East teams and 5 things which could break Baltimore's way and how all these things could combine to allow the Orioles to take the division. It was tongue in cheek but the underlying premise was absolutely true. Miracle seasons happen but they happen for a number of converging reasons; lots of stuff goes right for your team and a lot of stuff goes wrong for the opposition.

This season, part of that equation is falling into place. The pre-season favorite Red Sox and the defending AL East champs are both winless through 6 games. The Yanks are getting old and have questions about their rotation. If you tell me that the toughest competition in the division will be the Blue Jays, well, I'd almost give the Orioles a puncher's chance at making the playoffs.

But the other half of the equation is not. Despite the 5-1 start, the Orioles have already seen Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer got to the DL, Jeremy Guthrie hospitalized, Luke Scott missing games with a groin injury and JJ Hardy missing a game with a cryptic ribcage injury.

For the Orioles to surprise, pretty much everything would have to go right and so far, that has not been the case. Overall, the offense has been sluggish. There have been various levels of injury already. The young pitchers haven't all come out of the gate spectacularly.

Even though it is only 6 games into the season, I could be more optimistic about the 2011 season if the Orioles were keeping up their end of the bargain. As it is, we can enjoy it while it lasts but this isn't 1989.

If this was going to be a miracle season, things would be going better for Baltimore right about now.


Jeff said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Shouldn't the imperfect start be a good sign? If the O's are winning DESPITE injuries, sluggish offensive performance, etc. that would lend to the idea that they have yet to reach their potential as a team.

I think that as the bats heat up (as they undoubtedly will) the team could be in pretty good shape.

DempseysArmy said...

Right, but now Brian Roberts is hospitalized...I don't know. Seems like the team has been more lucky than good up to this point. And that catches up with you eventually. The hitting and pitching needs to improve a lot if they are to continue winning...and I still don't think they could win 90 games even if lots of thing break right.

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the winning but I don't think this is a 2010 Padres season.