A month ago, I would have bet all my worldly possessions against the possibility, but the Orioles, with six games left, have equaled their win total from last year. It's probably a good thing that I am not a gambling man. In fact, I would have had all money on the O's hitting the much-ballyhooed 100 loss mark. These wins have not come against teams with nothing to play for who are running out scrubs intentionally. The O's have won eight of their last ten games, and these have been against teams that are competing for playoff spots, or heading to the playoffs. It is an inexplicable scenario, but it is reality. It is not a joke.
What does it mean? That is the grand question. Probably nothing more than that we could get a less painful send-off into the offseason than we initially thought. This is still better than nothing, although it would have been much better to be playing this way since June.
Tonight, the series continues against the Tigers. Detroit has something to play for, namely home field advantage in the divisional round. They need to have the same record as or better than Texas to do so, and they enter play today tied. Pitching this game for Detroit is Rick Porcello. The one-time contender for the Rookie of the Year award (3rd place in 2009) has yet to find the magic from that first season. This year, he's averaging less than six innings per start and he's sporting a 4.79 ERA over 169 innings. He may start game 4 of the ALDS.
The O's look to the Sauce, Alfredo Simon. He has made ten starts since the beginning of August and has given up four or more earned runs in six of these ten starts. He is looking more like Weak Sauce, but he has at least survived in the rotation this long, so he will probably be in the conversation for next year too, especially if he can close out the last two starts of this season well.
There are hitters involved in this game too. They are some guys. Miguel Cabrera is really good, Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy are pretty good, a few guys are good, some are okay and the rest suck. At least one run will score in order to assure that the game ends. This could be an expected outcome, like a Cabrera home run, or an unexpected outcome, like Chris Davis working an 0-2 count into a bases-loaded walk. Most likely more than one run will score. Maybe we will be the ones scoring them.
|Orioles (A. Simon - R) @ Tigers (R. Porcello - R)|