Jeremy Guthrie’s impressive 8 1/3 innings pitched on Sunday, helped give the Orioles a 1-0 victory and the sweep over the Los Angeles Angels. Guthrie, who is now 8-13, only allowed four hits during the game on Sunday. The lone run was scored by Luke Scott, off of a Matt Wieters’ sacrifice fly in the 7th inning. Reliever Michael Gonzalez got Bobby Abreu to strike out. And Koji Uehara only needed one pitch for his 4th save of the season, as he got Torii Hunter to popped out.
The win gives Baltimore it’s first winning month in over 2 years. The 16-11 record the Birds have this month is their best since June 2008, when they went 15-12 that month.
In addition to getting the series sweep, the O’s also got the season sweep, as they won all six of their games against the Angels. That’s the first time that’s happened in nearly 50 years.
The pitching this weekend was phenomenal. And it makes you wonder where this team would be if they had this kind of pitching back in April. To be able to hold the defending AL West Champions to just one run in a series is great. And, that run came as a result of a bulk.
Other managers seem to have a quick trigger finger when it comes to pitching, pulling guys early, pitching around batters when it may not be necessary. But Buck Showalter is different. He holds the starters more accountable for their performance. If they are in a bind, he will let them pitch out of it. Showalter is allowing the pitching staff to build the confidence they need to believe that they can beat anybody.
Another thing people should realize that another job of a coach/manager, is to rally the troops when members of the team go down. The O’s completed this sweep without the services of star-players like Brian Roberts and Adam Jones (and without Julio Lugo today, after he got hit in the head by a pickoff throw from Angels’ Jererd Weaver).
This team is improving. And while it’s nearly the end of the season, one would have to be optimistic about next year’s ballclub. Now, I’m not predicting playoffs just yet. But if the O’s can win at least 16 games per month next season, that will give them a minimum of 96 wins for the year. And I, along with every Baltimore Orioles’ fan, will take that. Don’t give up on the Birds just yet, fans. The best is yet to come. A new winning spirit may inspire a top free agent to come and play in Baltimore. An actual winning record will guarantee it.