Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Orioles and the reality stretch

The Orioles have won eight of their last 12 games.

At the end of April Orioles fans were looking at this 15-game stretch and thought: "this is it, this is when it all comes crashing down." For many people just sneaking out five or six games would have been enough. The prospect of actually coming out ahead during this series, winning at least eight seemed alien and wrong.

We are Orioles fans, after April we were willing to think more positively but the thought of this team being legitimately good, well that was just silly. The The thought that the Baltimore Orioles would be on the tail end of this stretch of games more than 10 games over .500, in first place after playing the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Rays with only one day off and a string of nagging injuries; that was little more than the fevered dream of a madman.

And here we are. The Orioles have won eight games, they are guaranteed to finish this reality stretch with a better record then when they started. They have a very good shot of still being in first place at the end of the stretch. If the Orioles win today, then they will be guaranteed to finish this stretch at least 10 games over .500.
The Orioles have taken all comers, and despite getting roughed up a bit by the Texas Josh Hamiltons, they have met every challenge that they have faced.

Today the Orioles look to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore and open up a three-game lead in the AL East. The Yankees will come into town on Monday night as they look to get their scatter-shot season back on track.

The Orioles are playing great ball right now and it is beginning to translate in the stands. Last night the Orioles drew over 30 thousand to the yard and they were into the game. The energy was palpable. It was not a playoff level intensity but everyone in that stadium knew what was going on. A fanbase that has been burned so many times before, with memories of 2005 still seared into their minds, wants to believe in this team so badly. As I sat in traffic going home from the game, the crowd that was still leaving was walking past my car high-fiving me and the three other drivers behind - Orioles fans are a very happy bunch right now.

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