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The O's going 16-2 in extra-inning games looks like luck. 7 walk-off wins to 9 losses looks like luck.
To make a run at 90, they're going to require multiple significant players outperforming their projections, with few undersperforming, or a lot of luck.
A)Is Buck Showalter really the level of manager that Davey Johnson is and has been?
B)Do they O's have a growing talent base ready to take the next step?
C)Is there a major trade on the horizon that could land a Gary Carter level of player, someone who not only puts up big numbers himself, but also helps improve the pitching or other results as well?
In 1984 the Mets gave up 24 more runs than they scored, with a Pythagorean projection of 78-84.
They actually went 90-72.
So at first glance it looks like a lucky team that should regress the following year. However:
If he can be anywhere as good in a full season this year as he was in 86 innings last year (144 ERA+, 1.047 WHIP, 6.9 K/9), the O's are going to have a legit young pitching star who's only 24 years old.
Guillermo Moscoso 0.222 2011Jeremy Hellickson 0.224 2011Justin Verlander 0.237 2011Trevor Cahill 0.237 2010Jamie Moyer 0.239 2010Josh Johnson 0.24 2011Bronson Arroyo 0.241 2010Daniel Hudson 0.243 2010Ricky Romero 0.245 2011Brad Hand 0.246 2011Josh Beckett 0.249 2011Jered Weaver 0.252 2011
I would actually answer those questions as Yes, No, and No. Still not enough to get the O's into the postseason, but I think Showalter is a truly impressive manager.
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