Baltimore Orioles: Coming on when it counts?
The Baltimore Orioles and Kevin Gausman are in the spot in which they find themselves due to a lackluster May and June. Some might not even call it lackluster; they’d say the O’s flat out were poor. But had the O’s won more games in those months, odds are they’d be in the playoffs right now if the season ended today.
But mind you that three games is all but meaningless in the grand scheme of things. But are the Orioles in the midst of coming on when it counts the most? They won a hard-fought game on Wednesday against Oakland, they bludgeoned Boston on Friday night, and they really took it to the same Boston team yesterday. (And had that Oakland game been back in May or June, odds are the O’s would have lost simply by default.) So are these three games the beginning of something memorable? We don’t know right now. However if the O’s are able to muscle into the post season, you might look back at this point in the schedule.
Gausman dominated the Boston lineup yesterday, keeping them off the board and for the most part off the base paths. Gausman’s line: 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Again mark this down in your minds; this was the Orioles’ third consecutive quality start. And it begins and ends with starting pitching.
The story of the game was in essence the second inning. Mark Trumbo and Craig Gentry got the Orioles on the board with RBI-singles to start things off. However the big blast came off the bat of Tim Beckham, who smacked a three-run homer and gave the Birds a 5-0 lead.
And if you want to go back even further, perhaps Beckham supplied the Birds with a shot in the arm also. He’s streamlined the offense because now they have a bona fide lead off man at the top of the order. He’s also incredibly fast, which makes the offense even better. And since he’s been here, he’s done nothing but get on base.
After that second inning Boston seemed to settle down a bit. However the Orioles had already done their damage. And Gausman was dealing, which made it tough for Boston to come back. And the fact is that they went away with nary a whimper. Gausman and the bullpen were that good.
Just for good measure, the O’s got a solo homer by Jonathan Schoop in the eighth, and another RBI-single by Trumbo in the ninth. While Boston mustered no offense in this game, it never hurts to have a few insurance runs. Again, does this mean that the O’s are on the way for a historic run to the post season as we move into the final five weeks of the season? No. But it doesn’t mean that they aren’t on their way towards that also. This is just a point in the season to which one might look back if they make a run.