Baltimore Orioles: Getting Back to Normal


Jun 7, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder David Lough (left), center fielder Adam Jones (10) and right fielder Delmon Young (27) celebrate a 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Is there really any such thing as normal for a team like the Baltimore Orioles? Probably not in this modern era of the game of baseball. Rosters and lineups were much more set and unchanging in the past. I remember when I first followed the Orioles as a kid in the late 60s and early 70s that there seemed to be few roster changes. Now they are a daily occurrence, or so it appears.

I thought I would test this theory by actually looking it up statistically, and it is not just my imagination; it is true. The Baltimore Orioles have already this year, through only 56 games, used a total of 19 pitchers. In the years of 1968 to 1971, the Orioles only went through 15, 14, 12, and 13 pitchers respectively.

It could be argued that the O’s 7-3 victory on Sunday over the Cleveland Indians had the look of a return to normal – that which we might expect from this team based upon our experiences of watching their historic performances.

It was the return of Bud Norris, a 15-game winner in 2014 who was off to a horrific start this year where everything went wrong, including his health. I’ll admit to being the #1 skeptic that bringing him back had any chance of working. Yet he gave the Orioles five strong innings of one-run ball.

Sunday continued as well with the weekend of the return of Matt Wieters after a 13-month, Tommy John hiatus. He added a home run to his totals – for the weekend going 5-for-12 with a double, homer, and three runs batted in. Again, I did not see this coming or expect it whatsoever.

It is no secret also that the Baltimore Orioles often rise and fall on the bat of center fielder Adam Jones. He carried them in the early portion of the season, before going into a period of minimal production. Now he seems “back to normal” by going 10-for-28 over the past seven games, hitting three home runs, including one on Sunday.

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And it is great to see the Orioles finally score some runs again. The seven runs were accomplished in the team effort of pounding out 12 hits. Every starter in the lineup had at least one, except Ryan Flaherty – more evidence of a return to normal!

The series-clinching finale over the Indians was the end of a 21-game stretch over 20 consecutive days. We knew this was going to be difficult. Indeed, the Orioles were 10-11 over this time.

Finally the O’s get a day off before beginning a three-game set with the Red Sox. And it is time to get back to the normal thing of climbing to the top of the AL East.