On July 27, the Orioles were beginning what looked like a very grueling stretch of the schedule with three home games against the red-hot A's followed by six on the road against the Yankees and Rays.
When the Orioles rallied twice to come from behind against the A's in the opener of that series, it was another impressive night for the Orioles. But it ended very badly with Oakland scoring six in the ninth off Jim Johnson to post a 14-9 win.
Not only did Johnson bounce back from that game, but so did the Orioles who are 5-3 since that loss. We keep seeing things go wrong at times for this club and it looks like a losing streak that could take them out of the playoff race is at hand. Then they respond to that with more wins.
How many times has that happened this year? How many more times will it happen?
Give up five in the first at Yankee Stadium? Score seven in the second. Face Jeremy Hellickson and David Price back-to-back right after being shut out? The O's won both those games vs. Tampa Bay.
The Orioles began this stretch against Oakland, New York and Tampa 1 1/2 games out of a wild-card berth. Now they are a game out. They actually got a half-game closer to the playoffs while facing three of the AL's best clubs.
They won back-to-back road series vs. the Yankees and Rays. They beat New York by scoring 19 runs with 39 hits in that series. They beat Tampa by allowing two runs over three games. They outhit one good hitting club and then outpitched a very good pitching staff.
Yes, the Orioles do rank 10th in the league in runs, ninth in team ERA and last in fielding. The roster keeps changing and there is seemingly never an end to the injuries. But they also rank first in extra-innings record and have the best AL record in one and two-run games.
This nine-game stretch did not take the Orioles out of the race. In fact, it showed me they probably have what it takes to stay in this thing to the very end.
It seems every day on this board, some fan or fans write in saying how this year has been fun but we all know this team is not good enough to make the playoffs. Well, I don't know that. I've seen too much over 108 games.
It is easy to identify that this team has shortcomings. But almost daily, they find a way to overcome them and win. They have won enough to stay in this race through 108 games which is two-thirds of the season.
Got a feeling they can continue this for 54 more.