Another week has come and gone here in Birdland, and guess what? The Birds are still alive. If you don’t believe it, all you have to do is look at the standings.
Crazy, right? After losing a monumental series down in Tampa before getting drubbed 8-2 in the series opener over in Arlington, the Orioles very well could have been down for the count. The hope was dwindling, and a massive road trip was turning into a disaster in a hurry.
Not so fast.
Instead, these Orioles had another idea in mind and flipped the script on us again. First was the Kevin Gausman-led victory on Saturday, and then it was the bats coming up big to take the series versus the Rangers on Sunday.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but this Orioles squad just never quits, and they never, ever say die. They’ll go out with guns blazing or fall on their own sword before waving the white flag- and I love it. I’d rather see these guys go down swinging than throw in the towel.
After all, there is still more than enough time to chop away in the hopes of reaching the postseason-two full months to be exact. The division is 6.5-games out of reach, and while a Yankees/Red Sox collapse seems unlikely, the wild card is even closer at 5.5-games away. It’s not like we’re talking about erasing a ten-game gap, for crying out loud. If this squad can go on a tear like Kansas City or Cleveland just did, we’re going to be banging on the door before you know it.
I’m not saying that this team will rally and go all the way- I’m just simply stating that they have the talent and the heart to make it interesting down the stretch. And I’m sure it would mean a whole lot to this club if you got behind them a little-momentum is an enchanting mistress after all.
So for all of you that are still with us to this point- buckle up. We’ve still got 58 games to grind it out. This roller coaster ride of a season is far from coming to an end.
Just don’t count them out before the final bell rings, eh?
Now, before we get too carried away, let’s take a peek at the past week of Orioles baseball:
– Believe it or not, the starters carried their weight (for the most part) this week, and they finished the road trip with a decent 4.25 ERA over 36 innings of work. Gausman is in sparkling form at the moment, and if we can get one or two guys to follow his lead, the Orioles will definitely stay in the fight for the home stretch.
– While they didn’t exactly shut it down during the six-game road trip, the Orioles bullpen did decent enough to carry the positive vibes with them going forward. The O’s relievers have now recorded a stellar 2.88 ERA over 81 innings during the past 23 contests and an impressive 3.19 ERA over 113 innings during the last 32 games.
– Just as they seemed to be falling into their cliché “All or nothing” approach during the latest road trip, the Orioles offense exploded to the tune of ten runs on thirteen hits and two homers in the series finale on Sunday.
– Over the last thirteen games, the O’s have recorded a sparkling .290 batting average as a team while scoring 80 total runs (6.2 per game) to go along with 22 homers and a sensational .324 average with runners in scoring position.
– Over the past twenty contests, the Orioles have hit .280 collectively while scoring 117 runs (5.8 per game) on 33 home runs, while also hitting .299 with runners in scoring position. Simply put, the bats are heating up at exactly the right time (for the most part).
Finally, it’s time for our three stars of the week!
Welington Castillo. After going 3-for-8 with two runs and a pair of RBI versus Tampa Bay, Castillo stayed hot by going 4-for-8 with a home run and four RBI in Arlington. Over his last ten ballgames, Castillo has been on absolute fire, going an incredible 14-for-38 (.368) at the plate with two home runs and seven RBI.
Jonathan Schoop. After clubbing his 22nd home run of the season in the series finale in Tampa, Schoop stayed red-hot in Arlington and finished the series having gone 4-for-11 at the dish with another two homers and four RBI. He now leads the team in batting average (.305), home runs (24) and RBI (76).
Schoop has been totally ridiculous over the past twelve games, going a superb 19-for-49 (.388) at the plate with six homers and an astonishing 21 RBI. Over his last 27 ballgames, Schoop is hitting a stellar .314 to go along with nine home runs and 27 RBI.
Kevin Gausman. Gausman is smashing the league at the moment. Not only did he cruise over six shutout innings at The Trop earlier this week, he then followed up by dominating the Rangers in Arlington over 8 2/3 shutout innings on Saturday. If you’re keeping track, that’s 14 2/3 innings of shutout baseball in ONE WEEK.
Over his last three starts, the Orioles uber-hot flamethrower has gone 3-0 with a microscopic 0.44 ERA over 20 2/3 innings while racking up 24 strikeouts in the process. Over his last seven outings, Gausman has notched an immaculate 5-0 record to go along with an impressive 3.15 ERA. He’s also held an opponent to one or zero runs in five of seven starts during that span.
Ladies and gentleman, the Gas Man is back!