The Orioles won their fourth straight game on Wednesday night, taking down the Indians 3-1 at Progressive Field.
This is getting scary…in a good way, of course. These Orioles look nothing like the team we watched for the first four months of the season. Since Buck Showalter took command, the season-highs and season-firsts are becoming an almost every-game occurrence.
Take tonight, for instance. Brad Bergesen pitched a complete game two-hitter for the win. Have you seen an O’s pitcher do that lately? Not just a complete game, mind you, but a two-hit victory? I didn’t think so.
Meanwhile, the defense behind Bergy was virtually flawless, and the offense stepped-up just enough to give him a cushion to work with. The Birds banged out 13 hits, and while they could only tack on three runs, it kept Bergesen sharp, focused and confident.
So…just nine games into the Buck Showalter era and the O’s have accomplished more in 10 days than they had all season. Two four game win streaks…I think that happened just twice over the past four months. Three straight series victories…a first this year. The seven straight quality starts was a new high; I think I read it was the best performance since 2003. The O’s victory on Monday night was the first Monday win since 2009. The Birds put up 14 runs on Tuesday, a season high. And while I don’t have the exact stats on hand, the clutch hitting with runners in scoring position has improved drastically. In fact, every single facet of this team has improved over the past nine games. No wonder the Orioles are 8-1 going into Thursday night’s contest.
Oh, and after the Pirates (39-74) lost tonight, the O’s (40-74) are no longer the worst team in baseball. It’s been a LONG time since I could say that! Forget the first draft pick; I want to see what this team is capable of. I know this season is over, but for the first time in a long time, the phrase, “We’ll get ’em next year,” actually has some meaning behind it. I think we’ve all waited long enough for a winning team, and it’s never too early to install a winning atmosphere for these young kids, as well as the veterans.
The Birds look for a clean sweep of Cleveland on Thursday night…Kevin Millwood takes the mound…Go O’s!