The baseball season has reached a sort of weird, uninteresting part of the calendar. It’s not early, it certainly isn’t late. Nothing is being won right now, but there is lot that seems likely lost. And unless you are more than 20 games removed from .500, in either direction, there is nothing that can be spoken of with any certainty going forward.
Mid May is the interminable Tuesday of the baseball season.
What do we know about the Orioles? Chris Davis and Manny Machado are situated to have near legendary seasons. Adam Jones seems to have not slowed down one step. JJ Hardy seems to have found his bat again, while Matt Wieters is not the second coming of Johnny Bench and we all need to accept the fact that he will continue to be very very good and not the once-in-a-generation type player he was billed as. The pitching has been struggling and while it is still sitting comfortably in the middle of the AL, it will likely need to get better.
But none of these things that I just said are necessarily going to continue throughout this year. That is the problem about this part of the season. We really want to believe that the season is old enough to start making predictions or assumptions about the rest of the season, but it really isn’t. One really good or bad two-three week stretch in the next month could drastically change the narrative of this team. Sure it certainly seems like the die has been cast in Houston and Miami; the Cubs and Minnesota aren’t looking good either, but in most other baseball cities all we can do is sit and watch.
The Orioles came off their worst losing streak of the year taking the final two games of the Yankee series and losing the first game of the Toronto campaign. Last night the Orioles bombed their way to a 10-6 win over the Jays and look to be getting their groove back in a way. Before the six losses the team seemed to be winning so easily. That is not to mean that they were winning everything nor were they blowing teams away, but the wins that the Orioles were piling up were following a definite repeatable script. Starting pitching is serviceable, but not great; the offense would be more than solid; great defense; superb bullpen; win. The script was so solid, and it was working so well that you could see it in how the team carried themselves. They simply expected to win every game. It seems like the idea of losing, a concept that was so ingrained in this team’s psyche not too long ago, was now an alien concept. Six losses in a row and questions popped up, mostly surrounding Jim Johnson but now they seem to be mostly gone, it is amazing the wound beating the Yankees twice will do.
The season rolls along and right now the Orioles continue to be in a very advantageous position. They are playing solid, competitive ball. They are winning more than they are losing and if they can find a way to stabilize the starting rotation they will be in better shape. There is no reason that the Orioles can’t keep winning with the script they have been employing so far, but it is only May and nothing is won in May.