If any of you predicted that the Orioles would be 3-0 while allowing just three runs,and Boston would be 0-3 while giving up 26, we need to talk.
I need some help with lottery tickets.
The Orioles put together an amazing weekend performance against Tampa with superior pitching, stellar defense and some timely hits.
While the club batted just .222 as a team during the weekend, the O’s went 8-for-19 with runners in scoring position. They got clutch hits to back the pitchers.
While there was a lot of talk all spring training about the club’s offense and young pitching, the fact that this team looks very solid on defense went somewhat unnoticed.
But during the three wins, each of the four infielders made some strong plays. Catcher Matt Wieters called a good game and had a key throw or two. Felix Pie gunned down a runner at the plate, and we all know what Nick Markakis did in the bottom of the ninth Saturday night.
Defense is often overlooked because, while we have all kinds of stats about offense and driving in runs, there are very few about preventing runs.
All spring we wondered if Chris Tillman would make the rotation and figured Zach Britton would not. Then both came up big versus Tampa.
I find it remarkable that Britton said his sinker wasn’t working yesterday and he basically abandoned the pitch. He pitched a gem of game without much access to the one key pitch that got him to the majors. Britton was pretty solid even in having to go to Plan B.
I don’t know if good chemistry leads to wins, or wins lead to building a good feeling in the clubhouse, but it looks like the Orioles have that right now.
Did the Orioles win because they are a confident team that believes in itself or will the winning create that confidant feeling?
The last time the Orioles were 3-0, in 1997, they won the American League East. The last time they opened 3-0 on the road was in 1970 and they won the World Series.
By the way, no need for anyone to write in telling the fans to calm down, that it’s just three games. We all know that. But after 13 years of losing, to see their team come together and have a weekend like that would have to excite perhaps even the most pessimistic among you.
The long season has begun and the Orioles are playing exciting, winning baseball. Was this just for one weekend, or is this possibly the start of something big?
We begin to find out more about that today around 3 p.m.
The home opener awaits.
You can follow me and send questions and comments to my Twitter account: @masnsteve.
Fewest runs allowed in Major League Baseball:
3 - Orioles
8 - Toronto, Atlanta, San Diego and Colorado
9 - Arizona