No matter how you slice it, if you are an Orioles fan, you have to be relatively thrilled with this first week of the season.
Just winning each series against division rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees, has to be considered a success.
A 5-0 start would have been better, but 4-1 isn’t bad.
Plus, it got the rowdies in the Tap Room to end their “162-0” chant. That was getting kind of ear-splitting, to be honest.
There are 157 games left; the Orioles were going to lose one or 70-some along the way. That’s a fact.
I covered the 2008 Orioles that began 6-1 and produced an Orioles Magic video, only to ultimately lose 93 and finish last in the AL East.
So, as always, I’m dealing out shots of reality here. Because you can get too carried away with a fast start. The flip side, though, is the Orioles began last year 7-0 – five wins at home and two on the road for their best start in club history – and made it to the postseason as a wild card. Yes, every win counts.
Let’s not waste time today on debating the importance of a fast start, though I’d rather have some perspective from Week 1.
I want to know what struck you most through the first five games of 2017.
For me, it’s twofold: This 2017 Orioles’ bullpen is so very good. It’s excellent every year, but this one is so deep, experienced and varied that it may prove to be the best I’ve witnessed. Now, the second part: The rotation needs to pitch deeper into games or it’s going to burn out the sublime bullpen by June. You just can’t expect four innings or more each night. That concern sound familiar? Like a broken record on Connolly’s jukebox?
I wrote about that concept again Sunday night. I also had a chance to interview reliever Brad Brach about the 2017 bullpen, which was part of my WOYK1350.com radio show Monday evening. You can listen to that interview, my rant about some fans’ off-based beliefs about how to improve the rotation, and a lengthy look at the Orioles’ farm system with our minor leaguer reporter Dean Jones Jr., by clicking here or downloading the podcast version on iTunes.
As for today’s topic, I’m sure there are plenty of moments at Camden Yards that got your attention this week: Seth Smith’s performance, starts by Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, the infield defense. Give me the one that sticks out most to you and why.
Tap-In Question: What’s your lasting impression from Week 1 of the Orioles’ season?