The Orioles won their second consecutive game last night, which raises the age-old question of whether two in a row constitutes a streak.
What’s the minimum length for acceptable use of the term? Does it have to be three or more? Four?
The Orioles are 11 games above .500 at 69-58. They trail Oakland by two in the wild card race. They’re in the thick of the chase, and yet, they haven’t won more than five straight this season. And it happened only once, beginning July 14 and ending July 23 - interrupted by the All-Star break.
There have been two four-game winning streaks, in May and June.
The Orioles own a 23-14-4 series record this year. They can claim another one with a win Saturday or Sunday.
Maybe that’s what truly matters, taking two of three or three of four. Or is there something odd or disturbing about their inability to piece together a long streak?
“I have some personal thoughts about why that hasn’t happened more, but maybe we’ve got one in us,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Maybe we’re due. I like the consistency of our team, but I also know, does that mean that you have to have one of those in order to get to where we want to get? I hope not. But I look at it as maybe it’s something that’s ahead of us. Maybe our best days are ahead of us.
“If someone asked me to put my finger on it, it’s probably been the inconsistency of some phases, a phase of our game that hasn’t been as good as we need it to be.”
Showalter started out plural and went to singular. He didn’t elaborate. Hence, the term “personal thoughts.”
Anyone care to venture a guess?
Was he referring to the starting pitching? The late-inning relief? The lapses with runners in scoring position?
It’s certainly not the defense.