Results and Standings
The Orioles went 4-2 against Tampa Bay and Washington this week, scoring 27 runs and allowing 24 in the process. The team climbed back to .550 at 76-76, 3.5 back in the wild card chase with 10 games remaining. The team's predicted final record is 81-81.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
Steve Pearce finally gets a mention in this category, as he wrecked the competition this week. He hit .400/.500/.1000 with three home runs for an incredible 297 wRC+. I'd also like to give special mention to J.J. Hardy who cranked a home run of his own and put up a very good 149 wRC+. Meanwhile, trade acquisition Gerardo Parra continued his second-half struggle, hitting just .143/.143/.190 for a -22 wRC+.
Best Start / Worst Start
Wei-Yin Chen's start against Tampa Bay was fantastic. The lefty struck out seven and walked none without giving up a home run in seven innings. He also kept the ball on the ground over 52% of the time. That's good because the day before, Tyler Wilson was not good at all. He struck out only one and walked two while giving up a home run, lasting only 4.1 innings. (Thankfully he pitched much better in his next start.)
Have a Game, Why Don't Ya!
Hey, we haven't mentioned Paul Janish in these pages yet, so why not do so now? The Orioles lost to Tampa Bay 7-6 on September 20th, but don't blame Janish. In the top of the third with the Orioles behind 1-0, he doubled and scored the team's first run on a Manny Machado single. He grounded out in the top of the fourth, but in the top of the 6th with the Orioles behind 4-3 he singled to bring in Steve Clevenger with the tying run. Then with the score still tied in the top of the 8th, he reached on an error by Evan Longoria that scored Steve Pearce, making the score 5-4. He advanced to second base on the throw and scored one batter later when Gerardo Parra singled him in.
That was all for Mr. Janish, but with all the running he did i'm sure he had a two-bagel breakfast the next day. Overall he increased the team's chances of winning by 53.6%, 5th-most by any Orioles batter this year.
Clutchiest Relief Performance
Sidearming fireballer Mychal Givens gets the nod this week. On September 23rd against the Nationals he helped preserve a 4-3 Orioles lead after Manny Machado homered off Max Scherzer. Givens retired every batter he faced for two innings, including Bryce Harper, to set up the save for Darren O'Day.
In the final full week of the season, the Orioles will face the Red Sox on the road before coming home to face the Toronto Blue Jays and then the Yankees. The teams to watch out for are the Angels and Twins, who are ahead of the Orioles in the wild card race, as well as the Indians who are just a half-game behind.
In the immoral words of Lloyd Christmas: "So you're telling me there's a chance ... YEAH!!"