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Carving a Spot In a Crowded AL East

Two months into the season, the Orioles sit in second place in the AL East, one game behind Tampa Bay. In a vacuum, we’d certainly have taken that scenario prior to the season. We might have even taken third or fourth place. But seeing what we’ve seen this year, it’s hard not to adjust expectations at least a little bit.

We’ve seen the Orioles be great this year and we’ve seen them be pretty awful. If they want to stay afloat in the AL East standings, they need to at least find a comfortable zone in between those two extremes. Regression was certainly due, but now it’s about leveling out. Maintaining ground. Just playing solid, fundamental baseball. It would be a shame to see the O’s plummet down the standings while they have the rare opportunity to keep pace.

Fortunately for us, we can still say on June 5th that this upcoming series is a big one. But if the O’s don’t right the ship soon, it’ll be back to the world of Moral Victories and Looking Toward The Future* and Meaningless Games. And doesn’t that just seem like a bummer?

Your pitching matchups, and they’re some good ones, look like this:

  • Jason Hammel vs. Jon Lester
  • Wei-Yin Chen vs. Josh Beckett
  • Brian Matusz vs. Clay Buchholz

Your AL East standings look like this:

  1. Tampa Bay, 31-23
  2. Baltimore, 30-24
  3. New  York, 29-24
  4. Boston, 28-26
  5. Toronto, 28-26

A series sweep at the hands of the Red Sox would likely vault Boston into second place or better; a pretty remarkable (yet at the same time not at all surprising) turnaround. The O’s have the right pitchers going and some key position players locking in at the right time. It could be a good series.

*Speaking of looking toward the future, I like the Orioles’ pick of Kevin Gausman (Obligatory Powdered Donut Reference) because he’s a power arm. For too long, it seems the O’s have tried to go with finesse over power and I’m not sure that plays well in the AL East. If he can command a 97MPH heater with a good changeup like the scouts say he can, then he has a chance to succeed in this division, possibly as early as next year.

10 comments to Carving a Spot In a Crowded AL East

  • sci

    Really like the Gausman pick. Seems like a bit of a goofball too, which should be fun. I am dreaming of a Bundy, Gausman, Matusz, Britton, and Chen rotation in 2014.

    We just drafted a Torsten Boss in the 8th round. That name says success to me…

    Really need 2 out of 3 in Boston.

  • dan the man

    Real nice win tonight. Coming right back after the blown save was good to see. Finally got to Aceves, but it’s downright amazing how Lester keeps managing to avoid the first official “L” against the Orioles. I know it doesn’t count, but it still bugs me.

    Heartening to see B-Rob collect 2 doubles down in AAA, although Britton doesn’t seem quite ready yet. We’ll see.

  • dan the man

    O’s tied again for first with Tampa, but NY only a half game behind. Jays only 2 games behind. It’s going to be an all out battle for awhile here if the O’s can keep pace.


  • sci

    O’s sign Moyer!!!! Ah, the absurdity…

  • sci

    He’s only 49 — just entering his prime.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    jamie moyer’s first win came against steve carlton. that will never not blow my mind.

  • Buck You

    So, checked ESPN to bask in the greatness of the O’s being in first again and what do I stumble upon on the front page?

    Mark Teixeira’s solo blast in the second inning got the Yankees going,
    as New York replaced the Rays atop the AL East.


    Sorry ESPN, your Yankee darlings are going to have to wait at least one more day before you can throw out that headline.

  • Buck You

    @ Buck You:
    Seems ESPN caught it. They made a slight verbiage change.

  • Andrew

    @ Buck You:
    Funny, when I went there this morning, Robert Andino graced the front page.

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

  • dan the man

    I love that they beat Beckett when he was Good Beckett. Nothing like a wasted pitching performance to really frustrate you. Good stuff.