After a tough week at the hands of the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles seem to like nothing better than some home cooking.
They pulled off their third straight win over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon as Matt Wieters – who did not start the game – hit a walk off two-run single in the 10th inning. The Orioles came back from two runs down and won 4-3.
The victory on Saturday pulled the Orioles within one game of the final wild card spot. The Tampa Bay Rays lost another game to the Mariners, and now the Orioles, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians could have a possibility to have a playoff race to remember.
The Indians seem to have a fairly easy schedule for the rest of the season. They seem have to flown under the radar for most of season, but they have done what they needed to do to compete. If Tampa falters, Cleveland would be the team to fear.
Despite their win, the Orioles still have some serious problems pushing men on base across home. That will be their Achilles’ heel in the last few weeks of the season if they can’t improve on that front.
On Saturday, the Orioles were 2-for-18 with runner in scoring position. Not good.
We all know that they have to do better. They can possibly get away with that with second division teams like the White Sox; however, against a contender – for example, the Texas Rangers – that is not happening.
This team seriously has to find a way to manufacture runs rather than depending on the ‘big hit’ or the long ball. They were lucky to earn win on Saturday.
Wei-Yin Chen, who started on Saturday for Baltimore, finally came through with a strong start. Considering the way the way Chen has trended in the past few weeks, it was good to see him come through on the mound.
The Orioles will need more starts like that from Chen in the final weeks of the 2013 campaign.
As for the Birds, hopefully they can get the sweep on Sunday against the White Sox as Bud Norris takes the hill. After Chicago leaves, the Orioles have the New York Yankees in town.
Obviously, their four game series against the Bronx Bombers is huge.
Then the Orioles for the rest of the season face the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on the road.
It will be quite the challenge for the Birds over the next two weeks-plus.