Are the Orioles teetering on the brink?

Like some of you, I am having a feeling that the Orioles are teetering on the brink a bit right now.

You have to wonder if the club hasn't hit a bump in the road that might turn into a longer tailspin now that the starting pitching has started to struggle and the team has had to make so many recent roster moves. Some of that just has to be catching up with this club.

In the last nine games, the Orioles have just two quality starts and a starting pitcher ERA of 7.25 in that stretch. Yet we should keep in mind that their two best starters on the season - Wei-Yin Chen and Jason Hammel - started just two of the nine games.

Also, those nine games have come against Boston, Texas, Tampa Bay and New York. Still, they are 4-5 in the nine games.

We should also remember that tonight the Orioles end a 15-game stretch against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Rays and they are 8-6 thus far. They will end this grueling run of every night top-notch competition with a winning record against some of the toughest teams in the American League.

The team has defensive issues, injuries and the starters have begun to struggle, yet they are 22-14 for a win percentage of .611 and are tied for first with Tampa Bay.

Going into this stretch of 15 games, I didn't forsee this team winning more games than they lose. Then again, I also didn't forsee a roster that included Bill Hall, Steve Tolleson, Dana Eveland, Luis Exposito and Xavier Avery.

No knock on any of those guys, and they have all helped in some way during the last two weeks, but I don't think Buck Showalter figured this would be his exact roster right now.

Yes, the Orioles have hit a rough patch and they've given up 17 runs in back-to-back games. Yet they are in first place, are eight games over .500 and will post a winning record during what will likely be the toughest stretch of the 2012 season.

I saw some comments on Twitter last night just ripping this team. Fans there, some of them anyway, were clearly jumping off the bandwagon pretty fast.

That didn't take long. Overreact much?

I know some readers who have been very quiet for most of this season are dying to say, "This is it, the bottom is falling out and I knew it all the time."

But is it?

What is your take?: Are the Orioles headed for a longer tailspin? Can they overcome some recent long and tough games and injuries to weather this stretch?

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