Anthony Amobi: Can the Orioles sustain their success in 2012?

It has been an extraordinarily good week for the Orioles, as they have shone in interleague play, taking two out of three games from the Phillies and taking the first two in their series against the Pirates.

The Orioles had struggled until the middle last week during a brutal stretch, but found a way to turn it on against Boston. As of now, they are 36-26 and trail the New York Yankees by a game in the American League East standings.

The Orioles are off to their best start in many years, and at this point, fans are still optimistic. However, they are not making plans for October - yet.

Baltimore's impressive run this season ponders a question: Can this all be sustained?

Honestly, I have no idea. In a season where there have been many surprises and disappointments through mid-June, I believe anything can happen right now.

Think of it: The Orioles just have to play .500 ball from here on out and finish 86-76. Is that enough to win the division?

No.

However, it is a whole lot better than what we fans have had to endure for the last decade-plus.

A lot of people at the start of the season figured the Orioles would be a mediocre to horrible team; however, they have shocked the establishment. Thanks to the longball, timely clutch hitting, an excellent bullpen, plus an improved starting rotation, Baltimore could see its first winning season since 1997 and an outside chance at a playoff spot.

The Orioles are far and away a lot better than they were last year, but much like every team in the playoff hunt, their success will be determined based on their pitching, mitigating injuries and consistency.

These are two items that have come and gone throughout the season so far.

From what I have seen, the Orioles are fortunate to not be worse than their record indicates. I know fans have been pleasantly surprised by this team, and I hope the good times keep rolling. I do think they will have a winning season - for a change - unless they go on a devastating slump and just lose it.

In the end, anything else is possible at this point for the Orioles. They just have to do the little on the mound, at the plate, beat up on teams that they should and keep making the most of scoring opportunities.

Anthony Amobi blogs about the Orioles at Oriole Post. His observations about the O's appear as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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