Baltimore Orioles: Big series in the Motor City
The Baltimore Orioles motor into Detroit this evening to open a three-game series. However this isn’t just any three-game set – the very soul of the season may well be on the line for the Birds. And I don’t say that lightly. You can’t win a division in April (although Boston and the New York Mets seem to think you can), but you can certainly lose one.
And it’s interested that I brought up Boston above. The Orioles aren’t the only team on which they’ve beaten up this year, obviously since they’re 12-2. As good of a team as they are, they’ve probably over-achieved a bit thus far. And the Orioles, while not perfect, aren’t as bad as they’ve looked. However they’ve under-achieved thus far.
But it’s also fair to look at the teams’ schedules and compare them a bit. Boston got Tampa twice, Miami, New York (Yankees), and the Orioles. The Birds got Minnesota, Houston, New York (Yankees), Toronto, and Boston. Boston’s had a much lighter schedule – on paper that is.
For the firs time, the O’s will get to play a series starting tonight in which they’re playing an opponent that they should handle mightily. Now I say that with a fair amount of trepidation, as the games aren’t played on paper. They just aren’t. Detroit could well decide to take up that mantle of over-achieving, and take the fight straight to the Orioles tonight and for the remainder of the week. But the Orioles have to find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen.
And that means zeroing in on the strike zone, and anticipating pitches better than they’ve done. This season isn’t over by a long shot, and the battle to get back in has to start tonight. Incidentally regarding the schedule, the O’s have only played six home games thus far. Now granted they’ve only won two of them, but in reality it’s almost like a three-week road trip given the fact that they could never really unpack and stay awhile.
That changes after this series, as the O’s will play their longest home stand of the season. But there’s little relief in that right off the bat, as Cleveland comes in this weekend. But following them they’ll see Tampa and then Detroit again. But all of these games are only worth anything to the Birds if they can win most of them – and again, that effort must start tonight.