For all the angst over the recent bad stretch by the Baltimore Orioles, they continue to be right in the thick of the playoff race, for the wild card and the AL East.
After a series-opening victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles have now won three games in a row, and are showing signs of life.
The pitching has been somewhat better recently, including Tuesday’s game where the Baltimore Orioles left up one run! Yes, only one run! And the starter didn’t leave up any.
Print the playoff tickets, right?
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Look, I’m not going to say here that this team is a playoff team. The pitching has to improve significantly for that to happen.
But, that’s not impossible, is it?
I think the team can be a contender with the hitting it has.
The bullpen is set to become better, although it already has been lately. When Britton returns, and all indication is that he is healthy, the starters will be able to go six innings.
Even if the starters only go six innings, you can use these guys without actually getting into too many situations where all of your best relievers are down.
Asher is the long reliever here, capable of going deep if necessary to save the bullpen.
But, it all comes down to the starting rotation. Is it salvageable?
Yes, it is.
Kevin Gausman struggled somewhat in the first half of the season last year, then put together a great second half. Could a repeat be in the works? Tuesday night could be the start of that.
If Tillman could get close to past form, it would be a huge boost for the Orioles. It is easy to dismiss how good he was for the Orioles, but this is a guy who was 65-33 in the last five years, with ERAs ranging between 2.93 and 4.99. Three of those years the ERA was in the 3s. An ERA floating with an average of three runs and a guy who can go six innings in most starts would be huge for the Orioles in the second half.
Dylan Bundy has shown signs of being a stopper, an ace, but also not meeting expectations. Could he be in for a Gausman-like second half? It also isn’t out of the question.
Look, I can’t say what to expect from Ubaldo. He could be the pitcher who broke the streak of bad starts, or the one who just left up nine runs. He is impossible to predict.
As for Wade Miley, it would be nice if he could stop walking people. He hasn’t been hit a ton, but he often puts himself in danger.
With no one else looking qualified to start, the Orioles are going to need these five guys to put it together to regain this team into contending.
I don’t think it is a far stretch at all, especially as you see the issues cropping up for other teams in the division.
However, seeing previous performances and seeing the success duplicated in reality are two various things.
But, for Oriole fans who don’t want to sell the ranch yet, it is going to take these pitchers returning to the top of their game.
As we know, when it comes to the Baltimore Orioles, it is all about the starting pitching!