The Baltimore Orioles have won six of their last ten games and sit a not-too distant 3.5 games in back of American League East leading Boston Red Sox. They scored 10 runs on Sunday in a win over the Tampa Bay Rays and are tied for the MLB lead in team homers with 85. That’s a pretty good day all in all but there were down sides to the Orioles victory on Sunday afternoon as well. The down side came from the little bump in the middle of the diamond. Pitching continues to be an inconsistency for the Orioles.
At one point mid-way through Sunday’s game the Orioles were up 9 – 1 on the Rays. Needless to say, an 8 run lead should be okay for a comfortable victory most days even in major league baseball. So what was the final score? The O’s finally took the W with a score of 10 – 7. That’s right, the O’s were outscored 6 – 1 over the last half of the game. Now, it goes in the win column and that is great. Still the bullpen is a place of worry for this team if they plan to go all the way.
Their staff ERA is right at the bottom of all of MLB with a mark of 4.56. The bullpen has a 4.00 ERA while the starters carry a 22-20 record and a 4.88 ERA. It is a good thing they have one of the more powerful offenses in the game. Without it they wouldn’t even be on the radar of the first place teams. As things sit right now, the offense has the O’s in contention comfortably. They could win it all with improved pitching but if that doesn’t change, I don’t see them going far in the playoffs even if they get into the first round.