Each Monday, in this spot, I’ll try to give you fan’s look at what transpired with our Birds the past week and what lies ahead for the club. My only promise is that the piece will be totally biased and from a real fan, so here it goes.
Hey, in a season when your team is 41 games under .500 and you split an eight game set, you’re ready to hold a parade down Eutaw Street! On that note, for the third week in a row, this guy is going to focus strictly on the positives.
1. 4-4 and a series win!
After starting the week winning the first two of three from the Yankees (they dropped the fourth in the four game set), then dropping a make-up game to the Phillies, the Birds did something they hadn’t done since 22-24 June — win a series. It was their fourth series win at home and their seventh of the season. It was their first home series win since 11-13 May versus Tampa Bay. Another interesting tidbit for this week is the fact that the Orioles are actually .500 versus the Yankees this season with a 5-5 record against the second place Yankees (62-33).
2. Top third of the Order doing their part
While much has been made of the Orioles woes with the bats this season, remarkably entering Sunday’s game the top third of the order has done its job. Hitters one, two, and three are hitting .263 — good enough for sixth in the American League. Hitters 1-3 have an OBP of .326, Slugging of .424, and OPS of .750 — decent numbers. The bottom two-thirds of the order has slashed .207/.269/.424 with an OPS of .623. Difficult to explain these numbers in that the lineup is constantly juggled, but may say something about the mindset and approach of those top three hitters.
3. If this is it…
If this was our last series enjoying Manny in an O’s uniform, we’ll certainly have fond memories. Manny gave the club life in the bottom of the first after falling behind 4-0 in the top of the first by belting his 8th first inning homer of the year (second most in the American League and third most in MLB). Manny has now hit safely in 39-of-48 home games, hitting .360 (63-for-175) good enough for second in the AL and third in MLB. Manny’s removal from the game in the 4th inning had Twitter ablaze with rumors he had been traded, but he was seen later in the dugout encouraging teammates and laughing. If this was Manny’s last home games, he went out with a bang.
4. Brooksie named “Special Adviser”
Saturday evening the Orioles announced that Brooks Robinson had been brought on as a Special Adviser to the club. It’s largely held that Brooks will serve as a goodwill ambassador for the club- who are sorely in need of one after this horosious start. Brooks was greeted with a rousing standing ovation when he was shown on the jumbotron in the sixth inning of the Rangers’ game Saturday night. It was nice to see the fans appreciate the 81-year old legend and even better that he’ll be promoting the club in the community. People don’t get any better than Brooks Robinson.
5. First Win for Tanner
After a Friday 13th Tanner Scott will likely never forget, he rebounded Sunday and notched his first MLB win in his career. Scott went two-thirds of an inning yielding 2 hits but no runs and earned the win. Not the cleanest way to earn a win, but years from now he’ll remember that day and try to put his Friday the 13th night – when he pitched one third of an inning giving up 2 walks, 2 hits, and 3 earned runs after a nice start by Alex Cobb.
A nice respite for the club with a four game All Star break before resuming the season Friday night in Toronto. The club could have a much different look by next weekend.