Birds Soar Into Break On A High Note
The O’s are flying high after completing a four-game sweep of the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon…the Birds won 4-1 and set a few important milestones in the process.
I haven’t actually researched these stats myself, so don’t get nuts on me if this is not accurate, but this was the first four-game road series the team has swept since 1995, and the first four-game sweep in Arlington since 1976. Thank-you Orioles.com.
END OF LEGAL DISCLAIMER!
This fact I know for sure…the O’s won it’s first series on the road all season long, and did it in glorious fashion with a four-game sweep of the first-place Texas Rangers. The team battled back from big deficits, won in extra innings, beat a Cy Young winner on his big homecoming debut and basically just looked like a team that could overcome any obstacle and would not quit.
Yup…the Orioles…worst team in all of baseball. Did that look like the same team you’ve been watching all season?
Let’s face the facts.
Dave Trembley had to go. This team has been playing with heart since Juan Samuel took the reigns. In the past three weeks the Birds have had two four-game winning streaks. They were able to manage just one three-game winning streak before that over the first three months! Granted, one of the streaks came at home and mostly at the expense of the Washington Nationals…but all four of those wins were come-from-behind victories! And to see the Birds sweep Texas in four games in Arlington was unbelievable…this is the same organization that trounced the O’s 30-3 just two years ago (coincidentally, the same day Trembley was announced as the manager).
Sorry…let me settle down here. Jake Arrieta (3-2) took the win Sunday afternoon after yet another stellar performance. Arrieta went 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one run (a first inning solo homer) on six hits while walking two and fanning three. Again, the bullpen held on, with Jason Berken continuing to look like the reliever of the year and Alfredo Simon picking up yet another save.
Yeah…I may be guilty of drinking the orange Kool-Aid…but what I have seen in the past month is what I had expected from this team all season long. I’ve said it many times before: I’d much rather see the O’s struggle in the first half and finish the season strong than the other way around. We are all used to watching the O’s fall apart through the last three months of the season; wouldn’t it be better to deal with the early season struggles and watch a competitive team dominate in the second half?
Of course, that may not happen either. The Orioles (29-59) are 30 games under .500 and are still the worst team in the league. The past few weeks have been encouraging, and with the added confidence that can only come from winning, this team could be hard to beat in the second half. Juan Samuel has stepped-up and put some life into his players, yet may be gone in the next few days.
With no O’s games to blog about, I’d like to delve into that topic Monday night…should Juan Samuel be replaced if Buck Showalter accepts the job? Obviously Buck has the prior experience Andy MacPhail desires, but Samuel has taken a team with no hope and transformed it into a team that believes it can win no matter what the odds or circumstances. Honestly, when can you remember more comeback victories then in the past few weeks? Samuel led the O’s to a 14-20 record in 34 games…that’s pretty much half of the O’s wins all season coming under Samuel’s watch. Again, the games weren’t blowouts…the Orioles played as a team and showed they are a Major League club with talent.
That’s it for now…I’ll post again on the managerial topic and once more on Wiggy’s performance before the Orioles start the better half of the season…
I have a poll posted on my blog about who should be the O’s manager after the All-Star Break…check it out and vote here…www.oriolesbaseball2010.blogspot.com