Archive for September, 2012

O's move into tie for first place – in September

September 4, 2012

Take a look at this.

Now, look at the date on your calendar (phone, desktop, whatever).

Now look back at the standings.

That’s right. It’s September 4th(or 5th, before 7 P.M. for the above numbers to retain accuracy), and your Baltimore Orioles are in a dead heat for first place in the American League East.

The Birds are 24-10 over their past 34 games (best in baseball), and just thrashed the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 12-0. They are 17 games over .500 for the first time since 1997, which is also the last time they could lay any claim at all to first place in the month of September.

Orioles Magic is alive and well. The O’s go for the sweep of Toronto on Wednesday, before opening up a four game set at Camden Yards with the Yankees on Thursday. New York is in free-fall mode, and will try to avoid getting swept in Tampa tomorrow. If they get the broom, and the O’s are able to bust out the brooms against the Jays, the O’s will return home for Cal Ripken, Jr. statue night all alone in first place.

Thursday is going to be insane at the Yard. It’s already sold out, but tickets remain for the other three games. Get out there and support your Birds, Baltimore.

Reynolds powers O's to series win in New York; Birds two back of Yanks

September 2, 2012

For most of the 2012 season, Mark Reynolds was a disappointment. His production – 12 HR 42 RBI entering Friday’s game – was way down from what he did in 2011, when he hit 37 home runs and drove in 86 runs, both team highs.

However, he has recently been a very pleasant surprise as a first baseman, solidifying the position defensively, while not quite putting up the kind of numbers you’d hope for from a corner infielder.

This weekend in the Bronx though, Reynolds got hot enough with the bat to almost single-handedly carry the O’s to a series win over the first place Yankees.

On Friday, Reynolds went 3-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored (click the link for highlights from MLB.com) as the Birds took the opener by a score of 6-1. He also made two great diving plays at first base to stifle any potential Yankee rallies.

On Sunday, after the Yanks had capitalized on a bevy of O’s miscues on Saturday to even the series at one game apiece, Reynolds again wielded the big stick to propel the Birds to the victory. The first baseman was 2-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI, and two runs scored (click for highlights from MLB.com), and his three-run shot in the top of the sixth helped put the Bronx Bombers to sleep for good.

In the three game set, Reynolds was a stellar 5-for-11 with four home runs, five runs scored, seven RBI, and two walks. If Mark can stay hot like this, his bat has the ability to carry the Birds for a week or two.

By taking two of three, the O’s closed the gap between themselves and the Yankees at the top of the American League East to a measly two games. In the Wild Card race, the O’s are two games back of Oakland (who may never lose again) for the top spot, but are 1.5 games up on Tampa for the second spot.

With Tampa and New York about to start a three-game set of their own before the Yanks come to Baltimore for four next weekend, the O’s need to take full advantage of the three games they are about to play against the basement-dwelling Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto is still a tough team at home, where they have a 33-32 record in 2012, but the O’s need to take at least two of three to avoid putting themselves firmly behind the eight ball here at the start of September.

It was a great, hard-fought, exciting series in New York, and the Birds came out on top. Let’s hope they can do the same north of the border.

Joe Saunders takes on J.A. Happ on Labor Day at 1:07 PM.

That’s right – it’s Labor Day and the Birds are within a stone’s throw of the division lead.

This is Birdland (it sure is nice to write that without it being a complete joke).


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