So, you think it’s frustrating being a fan of this enigmatic Orioles team?
Try being a writer/fake bartender who is expected to analyze this squad on a fairly routine basis. I feel like a psychologist dealing with a patient with multiple personality disorder.
Except these Orioles primarily have two personality traits: They stink. And they don’t.
And, right now, they don’t. Not after sweeping the American League East leading Boston Red Sox in three games at Fenway Park. Not after getting back to .500 for the first time since Aug, 7.
Not after getting within two games of the second Wild Card and – somehow – reducing the number of teams that stand between them and the playoffs to three: the second Wild Card holders in the surprising Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners, who come to Camden Yards starting Monday for a three-game series.
So, this is a huge series and … with a 10-game homestand and … yawn.
We’ve witnessed this storyline before. In fact, it’s been the Orioles’ primary storyline of 2017.
Just when you think they are done – like splitting six games at home against mediocre-to-bad clubs — the Orioles sweep the Red Sox on the road.
And just when you think things are headed in the right direction – like winning eight of 10 in late July/early August — they drop six of 10 on what was supposed to be a key West Coast jaunt.
After going 22-10 to start the season, and 15-8 in April, the Orioles finished the next three months with the following records:12-16, 12-16, 12-14. In August, however, they are 14-11.
Add it all together, and the Orioles are the picture of mediocrity at 65-65 with 32 to play. That includes 24 against teams in the AL East. The Orioles are 30-22 against their division rivals so far this season, the best among the five East clubs.
So, here’s my expert analysis: These Orioles are impossible to figure out. They win when they aren’t supposed to and struggle when they should have the advantage. They’re adverse to long winning streaks (they’ve had one, six-game run), but also have been fairly good at avoiding prolonged losing skids (they’ve dropped seven in a row once).
I guess my question today is: Do you think this is finally the start of the run that carries them into the playoffs, or it’s just another tease that will soon be followed by more losing.
My crystal ball smashed into pieces weeks ago. What says yours?
Tap-In Question: After the sweep in Boston, is this the start of a playoff push or just another temporary positive blip in a rollercoaster season?