Playing good ball vs. Boston and New York

Here's a strange thought.

At 4-16, the 2010 Orioles look less overmatched by the Red Sox and Yankees than the 2009 Orioles did.

They went a combined 7-29 vs. New York and Boston last year and now are 2-2 vs. the big two in a stretch of 12 straight against them.

Perhaps it won't be long before those teams assert their usual and expected dominance over the Birds of Baltimore, but the Orioles have sure gone toe to toe with them the last four games.

They are 2-2 in this stretch and the O's pen gave away the game Friday at Boston with those walks in the 8th inning. Saturday, Brian Matusz led 3-1 after six before the bullpen gave up a pair of three-run homers in the seventh.

The O's have shown signs of life and character by coming back from that to beat Boston and NY these last two games.

At a time when they are being ridiculed on Sportscenter, blasted by the hometown fans and still missing some key pieces that are on the DL, they come up with these wins.

Despite the ugly record, they have not been overmatched, outplayed or out of their league in these four games.

Last night's save by Alfredo Simon was somewhat amazing in many respects. Less than a year ago, Simon underwent Tommy John surgery.

He has come back so quickly and is throwing 96 and 97. He said he would not be afraid out there and then proved it.

Was Dave Trembley gutsy, crazy or desperate when he put Simon out there in the ninth in his first Major League game in over a year?

Perhaps all of the above but it worked and Simon even kept his poise after a two-out error. To me, that was one impressive performance. Heck, he got A-Rod and Jeter out in the ninth.

How many O's relievers have done that in recent years in the ninth with the game on the line?

Who knew that Rhyne Hughes and Alfredo Simon would spark this team?

That's an improbable duo and the O's have put together two straight improbable wins.

Now we'll see if they can keep up with the big two over these next eight games.

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