Don’t look now, but the first place, 15-8 Orioles are one of the hottest teams in the league. After completing a 5-1 homestand, they flew to New York and beat the Yankees for the first time this year after being swept by them last month. The Birds have been on fire, hitting .252 as team which ranks them seventh in the American League. Adam Jones is having an all-star season thus far hitting .330, including 30 base hits, six dingers and 12 RBI’s. Matt Wieter, arguably the best catcher in the game, has been on a tear smashing 6 homers and driving in a team leading 15 RBI’s. Robert Andino has been another consistent bat hitting .324 over the last 20 games while filling in for Brian Roberts. Chesapeake native Mark Reynolds is in a horrific 3-31 slump, batting a mere .143.
But despite their hot bats, the birds are doing it with pitching. In April, the pitching staff finished with the fifth-best team ERA in the majors, and the second –best in the American League behind the Rangers (3.03). Their bullpen ERA of 1.83 is the best in the majors and the best for an Oriole bullpen in April since 1966. When asked, “can it last?” Manager Buck Showalter replied, “I don’t know after his team defeated the Yankees 7-1 in the Bronx. “I don’t have a crystal ball.”
Photos by Keith Cephus