The Orioles are one game back of the lead in the AL Wild Card race. This is not a roster of slouches; nearly every member of their lineup has been either an All-Star or a Gold-Glover, or topped some season category.
The 11-0 abuse that the Astros laid on the Orioles the previous night would have probably not gone over too well in the Baltimore locker room, and though they did not come out on Thursday and throw haymakers at their opponents, they were indeed systematic in scoring runs and taking the win.
Bud Norris made his debut on the mound for Baltimore in the midst of this somewhat strange trade crossover drama that the two teams are currently going through. Though he got off to a scratchy start, giving up two home runs to his ex-comrades and going down 2-0 early on, he settled down and eventually churned out a line good enough to earn him his first Orioles win.
The Orioles lead the AL in defense (in terms of errors and runs conceded) and they are fourth in offensive runs scored. One might assume that this is certainly a recipe for success in October, yet this little scare brought on by the lesser Astros must be a concern for manager Buck Showalter moving forward.
The Astros play the Minnesota Twins this weekend, and it will be very interesting to see if they can assemble all of the rookie hype and excitement into a team that can be competitive day in and day out.