Sunday, June 21, 2009
Yes, the Phillies have been slumping at home and were without some of their key players, including Ryan Howard with the flu, but wins are wins. With the Orioles having such a dismal road record this season, I'm still happy when the O's can win anything on the road. A sweep of team away from home is music to my ears. And even a slumping Phillies team is still dangerous, they are still the defending World Champions, and they have the hitters to make any young pitching staff tremble.
But the Orioles manage to pull off the three game sweep by coming up with clutch hits late in the games and not allowing Philly to run away with any lead. The O's are now on a 5 game winning streak and playing some good baseball right now. The man of the moment has to be Robert Andino. In the 20 minute of the game I was able to stay awake to watch, (I know I'm lame) he just made all the plays. It's going to be hard for Izturis to come back and just reclaim his spot. Andino is seizing his opportunity and making terrific plays and even hitting in clutch situations.
I feel like the team is enjoying the winning and is starting to remember how fun baseball can be. They are in much better spirits and its showing while they are playing. This team has been nothing but streaky this season and right now is no exception. But something has changed. The Orioles are no longer winning based solely on their slugging. Now they are preventing teams from scoring runs and are winning close games. And that's something to look at with enthusiasm and hope it continues.
While a .500 season is still a long way off, 49 games to be exact, every little sign of hope is something to be happy about. And if for the first time in years, the O's could have a better record the second half of the season, it's possible. I'm not ready to count them out yet.
Photo: #49 Jason Berken