Welcome to September the leaves are starting to fall, but how rare is it that the Orioles are standing tall. Somebody cue Mel Allen’s “How about that.” It’s been a revival summer in Baltimore. Buck’s Birds head into Yankee Stadium with a 17-9 August record (12-4 at home). And they’re not tip-toeing in, these Birds have no fear and they shouldn’t.
After all the Orioles have won 20 of their last 29 games and just finished a 5-1 home stand by taking 3 of 4 from the first place White Sox. The Yankees are headed in the opposite direction. They had a 10-game lead on the Orioles back on July 18th, since the Yankees have gone 18-21 and have lost 6 of their last 9. And head to head the Orioles have won 5 of their last 7 against the Yankees.
Yes Mr. Girardi those are the Baltimore Orioles growing increasingly larger in your rear-view mirror. That 10-game lead has shrunk to 3. Yankee catcher Russell Martin gets it, asked to size up this weekends Orioles series he said “It’s a big one.” The Orioles didn’t mind life away from home. The Birds 35 road wins are tied for the most in the American League. Camden Yards, The Bronx Zoo, Yellowstone Park, wherever and whenever Buck’s Birds will show up and give you everything they got.
How else do you figure a team that has set a franchise record with 12 straight extra inning wins (the 2nd longest in MLB in the last 27 years). Baltimore has also set a franchise record winning 13 straight 1-run games. And let’s not forget that twice on the road the Orioles were down 5-0 in the first inning (Detroit and New York) and came back to win the game, how nice is that? Well they’re the first team to pull it off in 119 years.
The Orioles have some all-star caliber players in Jones, Wieters, Markakis, Jim Johnson and glove of gold JJ Hardy, but this is a franchise that has made an incredible 152 roster moves so far this season as Dan Duquette and Buck have bobbed and weaved through the first 5 months of the season. The McClouth’s, Ford’s, Miguel Gonzalez’s, Steve Johnson’s and Machado’s have all been surprise contributors in this amazing summer. And now as summer turns to fall comes the biggest test of all