Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zach Britton, 2011 Topps Lineage #61

Naturally, all that I had to do was write an incredibly pessimistic, reactionary lament about the current state of the Orioles in order to look stupid. Five consecutive road wins later, the O's have not only thrown the brakes on their backslide, they've regained their hold on second place in the American League East. Most of the credit goes to the pitching staff in general and the starters in particular, who have turned in quality starts in each of the last five games to allow the relievers the early-and-middle-innings naps they so sorely need. Some strong outings (Wei-Yin Chen) were expected. Others (everyone else - Miguel Gonzalez, Tommy Hunter, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton) were less expected. Britton looked sharp today in earning the first major league win of his injury-delayed sophomore season. He blanked the Indians over six innings, limiting them to four hits and two walks. The young lefty also struck out five batters, including Carlos Santana looking with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning. It would seem that all the 51-44 O's need to continue topping the Wild Card standings is six or so innings of above-average starting pitching each day, along with a couple of timely hits and strong net performances in high-leverage relief situations. Simple, huh?

As long as you're indulging my wild upward mood swing, I'll just nonchalantly mention that the Yankees just got swept out of Oakland in a four-game set, helping the Orioles to draw within six games of first place in the American League East. This could still be an interesting summer.

No comments: