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Coming Back To Earth

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

The last week for the Orioles has been just mediocre.  When you compare it to the last 14 years, it is stellar, but given their very surprising hot start, the team has run out of gas just a bit.  Injuries, poor starting pitching, and an exhausted bullpen are just a few excuses that we can use at the moment.

Yesterday's daytime loss to Boston, who took two of three, was troublesome.  Staff "ace" Jake Arrieta was way off.  His sub .500 record and ERA hovering around five concerns me a lot, especially given what is capable of doing.  I will say that the lineup yesterday was missing Hardy and Wieters but beating up on Boston has been our specialty since last September, and it would have been nice to nail the coffin shut again.  But giving up home runs to the Ruthian trio of Nava, Shoppach, and Posednik really was not cool.

So we lost the series, the first one we dropped since the shredding by the Rangers earlier this month.  Next up we have the hapless Royals, whom no one really has a fix on since they have been known to get a little streaky.  Currently they rest second to last in the AL Central, about nine games under the .500 mark.  This is a prime opportunity for the Orioles to dust tehmselves off, and go out and hammer Kansas City while serving notice that we are not going to wilt easily as the club has been known for in years past.

Jones, Markakis, Davis have all been producing.  Avery, Betemit and now Nick Johnson are stepping it up.  I would like to see Wieters turn it up a few notches and get back on track too.  Combine our pretty potent offense with a really solid starting staff, and that is why you have a winning record.  Nice to see at least some of the pieces fitting well so far this season.

On the injury front, we have Reimold on the shelf for still and indeterminable amount of time.  Some of the other DL boys like Britton and fan fave Brian Roberts are beginning their rehab assignments.  The roster moves could be hard to follow in the upcoming weeks as Buck and Dan try to assemble the best team possible while not fracturing the character and chemistry the club is building.

As we begin to wind down on the month of May, the "formerly lowly" Orioles have sent shock waves through the league.  Attendance is beginning to creep up and with more fan support and more love might come more wins than any of us bargained for this season. 

Return of the cartoon bird.  20th Anniversary of Camden Yards.  Karma.  Good management.  Place the praise where you will, but whatever the reason for the turnaround, we will take it.  A long time coming it has been. 

May 24, 2012

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