For the Orioles, it is the case for the defense and it is a strong one. The Orioles have made just 11 errors all year, the fewest in the American League and behind only Arizona, with 10 for the fewest in baseball.
While an error total alone only tells part of the defensive story, the Orioles have made just two errors over their last 17 games and just four in their last 24 games.
Chris Davis said momentum in any game can turn on defense.
“I think it is big for any team trying to make the playoffs,” Davis said. “When you get to the playoff games and toward the end of the season, that is where you can win and lose games. That is one quick way to put the momentum in the other team’s dugout, give them a free out. It is something we take a lot of pride in.
“How many double plays have we turned this year? How many balls have we taken hits away from guys? Like I said, it’s a good way to put momentum in your dugout or the other teams’ dugout.”
The Orioles can put out a lineup any day that features five players that have won Gold Gloves in Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Nate McLouth, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.
“It is crazy when you think about it. The ability we have to have multiple Gold Glove winners. It gives not only the pitchers, but Buck a lot of confidence in us,” Davis said.
Right now, Hardy leads all AL shortstops in total chances, assists and putouts. Manny Machado leads third baseman in assists and total chances. Davis is tied for the lead at first in putouts.
Plus O’s catchers lead the league with a .579 percentage (11-of-19) throwing out runners. Minnesota is second at .450
Davis is feeling pretty good these days about his defensive game.
“A couple of weeks ago, starting in Anaheim, it really started to click for me. It has been huge for me to know I’ll be in the lineup every day at first base,” he said.
AL leaders, team fielding percentage:
.992 - Baltimore
.991 - Detroit
.990 - Seattle
.988 - Texas