Good morning internets!
The Orioles have had quite the season series against Tampa so far. First we sweep them in Tampa, then they sweep us in Baltimore. Friday Jeremy Hellickson shut the Birds out in a complete game, yesterday afternoon Brad Bergesen returned the favor using 108 pitches to make the Rays batters look silly for nine innings.
Can we take anything more away from these games? Probably not. But maybe it is a sign that confirms what a lot of people thought at the beginning of the year: Outside of the Red Sox, the Yankees, Orioles, Rays and Jays are all very evenly matched.And seeing as how the Red Sox have gotten off to a limping suppurating start to the year the entire AL East looks much more evenly matched than it did in March.
The Orioles are currently sitting in last place, but mainly by default. They are 4.5 games out if first, 2.5 games out of second and only half a game separates them from third. The margin between first and last in the AL East is the smallest in the MLB right now because each team seems to be much more flawed than originally thought and those flaws are keeping anyone from busting out.
The Orioles: Roberts and Markakis and still struggling, as are Lee and Reynolds. The overall offense is wasting away in the bottom third of the league because of these slow starts even as the pitching staff seems to be gelling and getting into a rhythm.