“We have a much better ballclub now than we did earlier in the year,” Duquette said. Then, the scholarly type, he assigns a research project. Everybody talks about the Orioles’ run differential — they’ve been outscored by 22 — as proof that they are playing over their heads, that they are lucky, that their 26-7 record in one-run games is a once-every-20-year fluke and that every injury or loss is a harbinger of collapse.
“See what we’ve done the last month or so,” says Duquette, aware that this time frame coincides with the arrival of Machado, who is hitting .272 and has improved the Birds’ entire infield defense, allowing Mark Reynolds to go from bad third baseman to good-fielding and now hot-slugging first baseman.
And Duquette, of course, is correct. In their last 29 games, including seven against the Yankees and 11 more against the contending Rangers, Tigers and White Sox and Rays, the Orioles have outscored their high-quality foes by 31 runs, a rate you’d expect of a 100-win team. Maybe Baltimore isn’t that good. But those who think they’ll inevitably collapse may not realize that in a league full of flawed teams the Orioles, even injured, are among the least shaky clubs left standing.
Still, the O’s are a team held together at times with spit and string.
Posted: September 13, 2012 at 05:42 AM | 41 comment(s)
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