The Toronto Blue Jays have won 10 games in a row and sit one game over .500. The Blue Jays’ run has been mightily impressive. They have been getting amazing production from their bullpen and the offense finally seems to be gelling together. That being said, I sincerely doubt that the Jays will suddenly run the table for the rest of the season and I also doubt that the myriad of issues that plagued the team for the first months of the season have suddenly just vanished. The Orioles still go to RA Dickey on Friday, I doubt Wang has suddenly rediscovered his pre-injury self and Josh Johnson still needs to prove he can stay healthy and effective at the same time.
Still Toronto has been impressive over their run, the issue for them will now be sustainability. The Orioles have been the flagship for sustainability all year, they just keep winning series. Yesterday’s loss against the Jays marked the first time series loss for the birds since the beginning of June. Before that you have to go back to the six game losing streak in the middle of May. Bottom line, the Orioles have consistently won series all year and there is no real reason to think they won’t continue. The Jays will lose games again, they need to find a way to sustain success.
The Orioles’ bullpen has not been as good as last year’s. That should not surprise anyone because last year’s pen was historically good and the likelihood of that repeating itself was next to impossible. However, while the pen has not been as good it is still a solid unit. Pedro Strop has been the weakest link and it is an issue that will probably need to be addressed soon, outside of that Tommy hunter, Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz, Jim Johnson and company have been consistent enough to be a positive for the team.
We all knew that the Orioles would need to find a new way to win games if they were to continue the success of 2012. While the bullpen took a step back it has been more than made up by the massive steps the offense and defense have taken over last year. The bullpen no longer needs to be the greatest pen ever assembled, they just need to be consistent and they have been.
Having covered the last two areas it brings me to this: Birdland needs to calm the hell down. The Orioles’ fanbase has been a long suffering one and last season brought a lot of people back to the table. Frankly, the bandwagon is overloaded and while that is fantastic, consider the following: the baseball season is long, and all teams lose games. Bullpens give up runs; great players strike out in key situations; errors are made. These things happen, stop freaking out over every bump in the road. Stop starting threads on message boards calling for the head of “player X” every time something goes wrong.
Yes, Matt Wieters is struggling. He is not, however, the first good player to struggle nor will he be the last. But I honestly read the legitimate opinion of someone who stated that Taylor Teagarden was worth more than Wieters. Seriously? Calm the hell down. Learn maths. I hate to sound like the hipster-orioles fan (although I do have a beard and live in Remington) with the phrase “I liked them before it was cool” weaved between the previous lines but people need to understand that this is a long season and the team will have ups and downs. The thing is, so far, there have been far more ups than downs the team is nine games over .500, consistently winning series and they are showing no real signs of slowing down.