bill-swift - May 8, 2012
The Baltimore Orioles have not finished the season with a winning record since 1997. They have made losing look so easy that fans this season have taken to running around the field themselves during many of the early games (in case the players were not sure how).
After the team won the longest game of the season to date Sunday by a score of 9-6, a 17-inning affair with the Boston Red Sox, a strange thing happened. The Orioles actually had—hold on—have the best record in Major League Baseball.
As of Sunday night, the Orioles have a record of 19-9 and a half game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays by half a game (who are 19-10; the Orioles lead due to percentage points). Three teams (along with the Rays) are breathing right down their neck with records of 18-10, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals; all of which lost Sunday.
How are they doing it? Well, it isn't exactly with their bats. The team batting average is .255 so far this season; good enough for No 11 in the league, but not exactly mind-blowing. The pitching staff has had a lot of say in the team's new found winning ways. So far the staff ERA is just 2.78 (good enough for No 2 in the league).
While the pitching staff has helped, when it comes down to it the Orioles have simply managed to find a way to win. Sunday's game with the Boston Red Sox was a perfect example.
At one point late in the game the team found it had little choice, but to go with first baseman Chris Davis on the mound (they were out of options) who had last pitched in junior college six years earlier. Davis responded by throwing two shutout innings and notching the first win by a position player in the American League since 1968.
This of course could all change by Tuesday, let alone the end of the week, but for now all that matters is that the Baltimore Orioles are the best team in baseball.
Article by Travis Pulver
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