O's: August and everything after
Obviously, I'm on board with whatever is going on with the Orioles. Buck Showalter is 15-10 and the team is guaranteed it's first winning month since June of 2008. That's not a coincidence.
I'm still scratching my head, however, trying to figure out what's going on with these pitchers. I doubt anyone would contend that Buck's arrival had much effect on Kevin Millwood, who has been all over the map the past two months, but he sure pitched great last night. I can see where the environment Showalter creates could have a positive effect on the young pitchers, but we're still talking about what I like to call his "intangible leadership quality." You can feel the difference, but you can't really put your finger on it.
Of course, the real test is ahead. The Orioles have played quite well this month -- particularly in relation to the last few years -- but their margin over .500 under Buck is exactly equal to their 5-0 record against the reeling Angels. I'm not taking anything away from the O's in that regard, because they are a major reason the Angels have been reeling, but they won't find many soft spots in the September schedule.
I'll be interested to see how Showalter balances the need to look at some of the September roster additions and the desire to keep winning and head toward 2011 with some renewed confidence on the part of both the players and the fans.
What about you? Do you care more about the Orioles avoiding 100 losses or their manager getting the best possible feel for the team's overall depth going into a critical offseason?
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