We are about two weeks into baseball season and the Orioles are holding on to a one game lead in the ever competitive AL East.
Ill take it!!!
In fact, if you would have told me four days ago that the Orioles would take two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto I would not have believed you. Most fans will chalk this up as an anomaly and I wouldn’t be surprised if our next series up north goes in favor of the Jays. That’s just how the Orioles seem to work; they surprise you one week and then want to give you hope the next.
So lets enjoy this one. It is after all the first time the O’s have won a series in Rogers Center since 2008.
It may not have been the prettiest series for the Orioles as they committed a total of four errors (three by third basemen), but they got the job done. They were able to get that one clutch hit that seemed to elude them during the home stand against the Yankees. There is no reason we could not have taken two of three from New York considering there were two nights in a row where the bases were juiced up in the bottom of the ninth with a chance for the Orioles to win but no one wanted to play hero.
That changed, at least for the moment, this weekend, as Wilson Betemit and Nolan Reimold showed up when they were needed the most to complete a pair of come from behind wins locking up the series W in the first two of three. The orioles even got a clutch solo shot that was blasted into the upper level seats by Adam Jones to give the Orioles a brief lead Sunday and chance to complete the sweep.
This brings me to the glaring problem that is our bullpen, namely Kevin Gregg. Despite all the positives you can find in these past two series, be it Chris Davis and his reliable play at first and suddenly hot bat, or Adam Jones and his impressive nine game hitting streak, one can not ignore the one man wrecking crew that is Kevin Gregg. Orioles fans know that Brian Matusz is nowhere near where we would hope to see him but any time your starter can get you through 6 innings and only gives up three runs, you have a chance to win.
Its just too bad Matusz only lasted 5 innings and 2 outs.
With one out to go in the bottom of the 6th and Brian Matusz at a pitch count of 106 Buck Showalter turned to his bullpen to finish the job. Gregg comes in and does his best to ensure the Orioles have no shot at getting the W as he quickly turned a one run lead for Toronto into an 8-2 blowout in favor of the Jays. Who know if the game would have been any different had Matusz gotten that last out, maybe Buck has a change of heart and decides to skip over Captain Chaos for another night or maybe he doesn’t and the same scenario happens only an inning later.
It doesn’t matter, in all reality the Orioles wont be contenders but in a season where I, as well as every other fan, wants to see a step towards the idea of contending why do you keep Kevin Gregg on this team and why do you bring him into a situation where he has proven time and time again he can not be trusted?
At 5-4 I’m not going to complain too much. We are three series in and not in the cellar of our own division. Lets chalk that up as a success and keep on hoping for some Oriole Magic as the O’s embark continue what is still a very daunting road trip.