Minutes after playing a role in beating the Boston Red Sox and eliminating them from postseason contention on the last day of the season last September, Buck Showalter was already looking to see if his Baltimore Orioles could carry over their strong finish into this season.
On that September night, Showalter spoke Baltimore’s improvement saying “it’s inch by inch, claw by claw. We didn’t get where we were overnight, and we’ve got to keep that type of relentlessness and not be denied.”
Coming into the 2012, it was time to see if they were going to make that leap.
Showalter couldn’t have said it any better when he claimed “I don’t pay a lot of lip service about what we’re going to do and not do. Let’s see it.”
Well the O’s have definitely shown and proved all year long and last night added an important chapter to their magical season, clinching their first winning season after their 3-2, 14-inning victory over Tampa Bay.
For the first time since 1997, they’ve assured themselves nothing but a .500 record but they’re not stopping there now.
Showalter and the Orioles have bigger plans that would include a slate of games after the regular season ends October 4.
“We’d like to get a chair at the dance, you know?”
Here are some interesting numbers as the Orioles:
* 27-7 in one-run games and 22-13 in two-run games. * 13-2 in extra inning games. Their 13-game winning streak is the longest in the majors in 27 years and is tied with straight the 1995 Cleveland Indians, * the O’s are 7-1 in eight games that have lasted 12 innings or longer * the Orioles are 64-0 when leading after 7 innings * collectively Baltimore third basemen made a total of 24 errors, the worst fielding percentage (.914) in the majors from Opening Day up until Aug. 8. Since Manny Machado’s debut at the hot corner, he’s made only two errors, both throwing, while the team has made only 13 errors. Since Machado’s arrival, the team’s defense is second (.989) in the AL to KC’s (.990).