Two Teams In The American League Have 20 Wins Or More....And Your Baltimore Orioles Are One Of Them!
Do you hear that folks? That is the sound of the Baltimore Orioles making some god damn noise! This team is as hot as hot can be right now. They're playing some of the best baseball in the league and their record shows it. 20-9. 11 games over .500 and only 3.5 back of the historically hot Tampa Bay Rays.
I thought they'd have a good start but not this good, them and the Rays are the only teams still with single digit losses, it's still May. Last night's come from behind thriller gives them 3 wins in a row, 8 out of their last 10, 12 of their last 15, 16 of 20 and 18 wins in the month of April. They're also 10-0 in series opening games. What a month for the Birds.
Baltimore being 11 up and the Yankees in last place in the division, it's just a gorgeous sight. Sure, some of it is the weak schedule they played, but you can't control that. You just play who you play. They won the games they should have won vs the Tigers, Nationals, White Sox, Red Sox, and Athletics, don't apologize for winning. Most wins they've had in a month since June in 2016 and they've won 6 straight series for the first time since they won the AL East in 2014. Team is cruising right now.
Over a month into the season and they are still top 5 or close in a ton of offensive categories. 5th in runs with 158, 13th in hits with 53, 11th in doubles with 53, 11th in home runs with 36, 5th in RBI with 153, 5th in walks with 117, 26th (!!!) in strikeouts with 236, 3rd in stolen bases with 30, 6th in average at .261, 4th in OBP at .341, 9th in slugging at .433, and 8th in OPS at .774. This team can hit. Just flat out rake. They're never out of a game, look no further than last night. Ryan Yarbrough was cruising through 4. Had a perfect game, struck out 5 of the first 6, Orioles couldn't do a thing. One inning later Yarbrough was out of the game and the Orioles were up 7-3 in the blink of an eye. This team fucking mashes.
The pitching is holding up decently as well. It's the weak link of this team, no doubt about it. But the guys are starting to come around and find their form. Grayson Rodriguez is the real deal. I told people not to panic when he had a few shaky starts to his big league career, now we're seeing the real Grayson. Saturday he was unreal with 9 Ks, 2 hits, 1 walk, and 0 runs in 5 innings, he's throwing up strikeouts left and right. Tyler Wells had a rough first 2 innings last night but came into the game leading the league in WHIP, Kyle Gibson has quietly become an awesome pick up with a 4-0 record and 3.93 ERA in 6 starts. And the bullpen, I mean it's just sexual. They have a bunch of god damn animals chained up in there just waiting to be let out.
Bryan Baker is the best reliever you haven't heard of but you should start paying attention. Not only is he a lights out reliever, he's a HUGE Misifts fan. He's also got a tinnnnnnnnny ERA at 1.76 and has 22 Ks in 15 1/3rd innings. And he'll let you know about it. The Baker bounce, the moonwalk, the 3 to the dome, doesn't matter. He's become a weapon out of the pen. Felix Bautista is still a top 3 filthy pitcher in baseball, they found an absolute STUD in Yennier Cano, someone they got in the Jorge Lopez trade last year. He's become one of the most dominant set up guys in baseball the last few weeks. 13 Ks in 12 IP, just have up his first hit after retiring like 29 straight, a WHIP of …..get ready for this….0.08. INCREDIBLE. He's such a weapon. Faced 37 batters, retired 35.
Other guys like Mike Baumann and Danny Coulombe have been fantastic too. And they are getting 2 of their better pen guys back from injury pretty soon, so the bullpen that came into yesterday leading baseball in ERA is going to get better, think about that.
And I haven't even talked about Adley Rutschman! Insane that I've gone this far without mentioning him. He's the best catcher in baseball. I told you this last year, I told you that this year, I will tell you that until I'm blue in the face. Another 4-hit game for him last night bringing his average to .315 with 4 bombs, 34 hits, 18 RBI, 3rd most walks in baseball with 23, and a .429 OBP. See ya in Seattle for the All Star Game. Also, the Orioles are 87-64 since calling him up last May. Literally the definition of MVP.
Ryan Mountcastle is crushing the ball, 2 bombs and 5 RBI last night gives him 8 homers and 26 RBI on the year, Jorge Mateo is the best shortstop in baseball right now. A guy who was in the low .200s last year but played Gold Glove level defense is now suddenly hitting .350 and leading shortstops in basically all offensive categories. There is a reason he was ranked as the #1 Yankees prospect in 2016 over Aaron Judge. Guys like Austin Hays are still crushing the ball, Adam Frazier was a fun pick up, even though he isn't hitting right now, Gunnar Henderson is still putting up crazy walk numbers, this whole team is clicking and they are the most fun team in baseball to watch night in and night out.
If there is one part of the team that is slacking it's the defense. They were fantastic last year and have not been great so far this year. But we did get the catch of the year so far from Cedric Mullins last night. Not only is his bat coming alive again, but the defense is still top notch. I can't believe that he made this catch. It's unbelievable that he was able to run it down. So much ground to cover and he almost went face first through the wall. Incredible play by Mullins in the middle of that Orioles rally.
This isn't a fluke. This team is good. They surprised us all with 83 wins last year, and now 83 wins would be a massive disappointment if they finished with that this year. Are they as good as this pace? No way, no one is. But they are really good and will be making the playoffs. Crazy that this team is supposed to still be a year away but right now they're just stepping on throats led by Adley, Mountcastle, and Grayson. Oh, and they still have the top prospect in baseball who isn't hitting, and several more guys on the farm ready to contribute like DL Hall, Joey Ortiz who we just saw, Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser.
Last year it took this club 48 games to win their 29th, they may have 35 wins by their 48th game this year. It's incredible what the team has done so far and they're just getting started. May will be tough schedule wise but they're up for the task. The boys are bopping, they're stacking wins, Adley is unreal, Grayson is fantastic, Bautista is a monster, and the boys are just having fun. What is better than that? This isn't a fluke, they are just good. Really, really good. Been trying to tell you guys that, get with the program.