The Baltimore Orioles got a strong outing out of starter Alec Asher last night, inspiring them onto victory against Boston. Asher’s line: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K. This was obviously a massive improvement over his last outing in Houston, when he seemingly walked everyone who didn’t get a hit.
Oriole bats obviously helped and played a role in the game also, because you can be as shutdown on the mound as possible but if your offense can’t score you can’t win. The Birds took an early lead right off the bat when Seth Smith led the game off with a solo homer. Mark that into the category of great job, don’t ever do it again! You want your lead off guy to get on base. If he homers, great. But you’d rather he get on base and be driven in.
Next up after Smith was Manny Machado, and wouldn’t you know it…he smacked a solo shot as well. This was a shot-and-a-half in a sense however, because the ball hit off of the facade of the club level in left field. Very few Camden Yards home runs make it that far.
Boston would cut that tally in half in the third when Sandoval smacked a solo home run of his own, which incidentally was Boston’s first hit of the game. But they say that solo home runs won’t kill you, and the Orioles made sure that didn’t happen. Kim’s RBI-double in the bottom of that fourth inning extended their lead to 3-1. Boston would get to within 3-2 on an RBI-single by Bradley in the seventh, the the Orioles’ bullpen shut the door after that.
So news of the Orioles’ demise has been a bit overstated of late. A lot of people had tweeted me over the course of the dry spell saying that the real Orioles were showing up, and that this team was destined for last place. They still might be for all I know – I can’t predict the future. However what I can say is that you’re never as good as you think when things are rolling (Houston, for example), and never as bad as you feel when things are going south.
Teams go through phases over the course of the season – both good and bad. The O’s seem to be out of that poor phase for now. And while you hope not to go through a spell like that at any point, over 162 games it’s probably difficult to avoid.