Don’t Doze On The O’s

If you tell me you saw this coming, you’re lying.

The Baltimore Orioles – the putrid, acrid, talentless, poorly-run Orioles – are a game and a half out of the playoffs. After two straight 100-loss years, it turns out they’re not too bad. With 19 games left in this most irregular of regular seasons, The Birds are chirping.

I mean, they’re still a game under .500 and they’re seven games behind first-place Tampa Bay. But remember, they were going to be embarrassingly awful this season. Cause they sure were embarrassingly awful the past two seasons.

And except for the injured and benched Chris Davis, the formerly-good, right handed starter Alex Cobb and maybe the erstwhile so-so shortstop Jose Iglesias, you’ve never heard of any of this group of guys.

Never mind that now. Instead, check out second baseman Hanser Alberto and his hot bat. Watch center fielder Cedric Mullins bunt for a hit. Watch rookie Ryan Mountcastle hit the ball out of the park. Hell, watch DJ Stewart, heretofore a candidate for Worst Player in the Big Leagues, and his OPS of 1.051. Of course, he’s only hitting .185, but the big guy is on fire right now. Stewart was 0 for 2020 when he got sent down to the Orioles alternate site in Bowie, Maryland about a month ago. He came back last week and his first hits of the year were homers. He’s got four of them now.

By the way, an aside: doesn’t “alternate site” sound like a North Korean work camp?

The Orioles have hit a couple of rough patches this season, which accounts for the sub-.500 record. Baltimore had two especially crappy weeks in August, where they lost 11 of 13 games. That hurts bad when you’re playing a 60-game schedule.

But the upside is on display this year. Pitching prospects Keegan Akin, Hunter Harvey and Dean Kremer are showing that the team actually has developed some talent. Which is a nice change of pace for Baltimore, former owners of the “Saddest Farm System in the Game” award.

The O’s murderized the Mets in Queens last night, 11-2, pelting CitiField’s cardboard fans with homers. Another game against the Mets tonight and then four in the Bronx against the flailing Yankees and … well, who knows?

Most sports talk in Baltimore these days is centered on the Ravens – and for good reason. They’re stacked and they open on Sunday. But don’t sleep on the team across the Camden Yards parking lot. Because the Orioles just might surprise some people the rest of the way.

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