So, the Orioles are only eleven games into the 2012 season. I felt that they would struggle throughout the season considering the state of their pitching; however, so far that has been wrong.
The Baltimore Orioles won again in Chicago as they defeated the Chicago White Sox, in a razor thin 3-2 victory. Wei-Yin Chen earned his first major victory, and the bullpen – Darren O’ Day, Troy Patton, Troy Patton, and Jim Johnson – came through in the end.
Baltimore loaded the bases in the ninth inning, and Johnson was taking a tight-rope; however, he got the final hitter of the game, Brent Morel, to groundout and secured the win.
Chen – who went 5 2/3 innings – was rolling through the game until the sixth inning. With Baltimore leading 2-0, he ran into trouble and labored through the frame, giving up a two-run double to A.J. Pierzynski before O’Day came in and stopped the Chicago threat.
The Orioles too did their scoring in the sixth inning, plating in three runs. Two homers – a two-run shot from Nolan Reimold, and a solo shot from J.J. Hardy, back-to-back – made all the difference for Baltimore.
Hardy’s homer was his third on the season; meanwhile, Reimold hit his fourth on the season. Boy, has Reimold been super hot. Good for him. I’m glad he’s finally getting a chance to play every day and succeeding so far.
Yesterday, Peter Schmuck in a column on the Baltimore Sun is cynical of the team’s performance so far. Considering the history of the franchise over the last 14 years, a fall will happen sooner or later.
It’s in the back of my mind, and perhaps many fans.
I will say though that this Oriole team looks different. The young players – so far – are coming through at the plate, and almost all of the pitching performances have been solid.
Will the Orioles keep the impressive play going? Well, probably not, if I were a betting man.
However, I have underestimated this squad in the early weeks of the season. They have more veteran presence on the squad, and they are winning games they would have lost in the past.
Whatever is going on with this team, whether it is Buck Showalter or they going through a nice hot streak – let’s hope they keep it up.
I predicted they would win 66 games this season, but I will probably have to amend that to 76 now.
I think they may come closer to .500 than we think, and won’t be ungodly horrible as many have predicted.
Of course, if the Orioles believe they can win – it might happen.