With Showalter hiring rumored, four-game sweep in Texas gives Orioles reason to smile

July 11, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Their bullpen stunk.

It seemed like two or three times per-game throughout the series, they would ground into a double play to douse the flames of an apparent rally.

They played poor defense.

And their starting pitching, talked about in glowing terms by the baseball experts, didn’t help much in the four games.

No, I’m not talking about the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m talking about the Texas Rangers.

Boy, were they bad.

And the Orioles, if only for a long-weekend in Texas, actually resembled a competitive baseball team for once in 2010.

It was a pleasure to see for sure, as the O’s rebounded from a 3-game pounding in Detroit to knock off the West Division leading Rangers not once, not twice, not three times…but FOUR straight times…in Arlington, no less.

And the Birds did it with everyone contributing.  The starting pitching was hot and cold – as it always is – but the bullpen was terrific and the last two starters, Tillman and Arrieta, were both terrific.  The offense came alive at the right time, boosted by a Friday night grand slam from Corey Patterson that will go down as the “hit that turned around the season” if the Orioles rebound and somehow make the playoffs in 2010*.

While it’s fair – and accurate – to note that this year’s edition of the Orioles is 11 games WORSE than last year’s team at the All-Star Break, this 4-game series win over Texas brings the team to 29-59 and sends them to the break on their highest of highs in an otherwise dismal, embarrassing season to date.

And if nothing else, they have a few days off to savor a streak of success that should remind them all how fun the game can be when you’re winning.

(*The Orioles aren’t going to make the playoffs this year.  I just wanted to see if you were actually reading along.)