Well folks, this roller coaster of a season has served up a few more loops and twists over the past week, and I really hope you all are buckled up for the home stretch.
And if recent times have revealed anything, it’s that we’re in for a wild ride to the finish line, and the Orioles are going to be in the thick of this scrap until the very end.
After sweeping the Mariners mid-week to extend their winning streak to a season-high seven games, the Orioles then followed up by splitting an insane four-game set versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
While a sweep would have been ideal, there’s nothing like two amplifying walk-off wins in the span of three days to get the club buzzing in the right direction.
Now, the Orioles will focus their sights on ending an outstanding home stand on a high note versus the current wildcard-holding Yankees to kick of the new week before jetting over to Cleveland over the weekend.
With the Twins and the second and final wildcard spot just 1.5-games out of reach, if the in-form Orioles continue to rack up notches in the win column through the final 25 games of the season, it could very well just be enough to crash the party.
Let’s take a look at the highlights from the past week of Orioles baseball.
– Orioles starters in between Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, and as of late Wade Miley can’t seem to find consistency and as a result, the rotation has posted an ERA of 5.40 over the last eighteen games.
– The bullpen had an uncharacteristic weekend versus the Blue Jays, but has been superb as of late. Despite the rough weekend, they’ve posted a stellar 2.47 ERA over the past sixteen ballgames.
– The Orioles offense was hit-and-miss over the weekend after a big showing versus the Mariners, but rest assured – these guys are hellbent on firing the Orioles to a playoff spot.
– Over the last thirteen games, the Orioles are hitting .304 while scoring six runs per game (79 total) on 28 homers.
– Over the last thirty games, the Orioles are hitting .298 while scoring 5.6 runs per game (169 total) on sixty home runs.
Let’s go to the three stars of the week!
Jonathan Schoop. After going 4-for-12 with two homers and four RBI in the series versus Seattle which included his 30th homer of the season in the finale, Schoop then followed up by going 8-for-21 versus the Blue Jays over the weekend in a series in which he recorded his 100th and 101st RBI on Thursday and Friday.
Schoop has been not only the Orioles MVP this season, but a major catalyst in the club’s resurgence during the second half. Over the last twenty games, the O’s star second baseman is hitting a sparkling .345 with five homers and sixteen RBI.
Welington Castillo. Another huge part of the Orioles recent surge has been Castillo. After torching the Mariners by way of going 8-for-11 with two homers and six RBI, he then went 3-for-5 with two solo homers, one of which forced extra innings in the ninth in the Orioles 5-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Castillo has been quietly lighting it up for quite some time now. Over his last 37 contests, the Orioles red-hot backstop is hitting a phenomenal .321 with ten homers and 23 RBI.
Dylan Bundy. Is this even a debate? Not only did he throw his first career complete-game shutout versus the Mariners on Tuesday, he did so by allowing just one bunt single in the fourth inning and struck out twelve Mariners over a highlight reel-esque nine-inning gem.
Bundy has been on top of the world as of late with a perfect 4-0 record and a sparkling 2.00 ERA over his last five outings. He’s also struck out 45 batters over 36 innings of work during that span.
Add it all up, and Dealin’ Bundy is your first star of the week.