The Baltimore Orioles are playing to win, and they’re playing to prove everyone wrong.
The pundits (including us at Birds Watcher) expected the Orioles to be the worst team in the MLB, and they are proving they are far from it.
In an Instagram post, Dwight Smith Jr. shared his thoughts about the media’s poor expectations about the Orioles. Joe Trezza with MLB.com shared the post on Twitter:
“This is why you play the games kids,” Smith wrote. “and don’t listen to the outside nose.”
Entire post: pic.twitter.com/Iwf1zdjN7J
— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) August 12, 2020
With a team full of players who were DFA’d by other teams, it’s almost like the misfits have found their perfect place playing together. It is not an unusual thing for a player to excel on one team and not on another. One of the most recent and memorable is JD Martinez, who was released by the Houston Astros in 2014 and picked up two days later by the Tigers. He batted .251 and hit 24 home runs in three seasons with the Astros. Since leaving them, he’s won Silver Slugger awards, several All-Star invites, and a World Series.
By giving players like Smith, Rio Ruiz, Hanser Alberto, Pedro Severino, and Renato Nunez a landing spot, these former castoffs have done for one team what Martinez did for himself. They are winning and proving their former teams wrong. It’s as if they’re playing with a chip on their shoulders, and it’s working. It’s too bad the 2020 MLB season will not have an All-Star Game, because several Orioles players would be deserving of spots.
On Wednesday night against the Phillies – who have a team salary that is more than three times that of the Orioles, the O’s delivered in a one-run game. Three players, Chance Sisco, Ruiz, and Anthony Santander, went yard. And, Smith and Santander both hit doubles. Four of the Orioles are in the top five in doubles in the AL with Alberto leading the MLB with 9.
Every Orioles starting batter with the exception of Austin Hays (who had a game-winning in-the-park homer Tuesday night), had at least one hit against the Phillies pitchers. The Orioles pitching did not give up any home runs against the power-hitting lineup that features some of the highest paid players in the game.
There is something special happening the Birdland right now, and we fans are fortunate to be able to watch it happen.
The Orioles play the Phillies on Thursday at 4:05 PM, but they’ve already won the series. Thomas Eshelman faces the Cy-Young winning Jake Arrieta who was drafted by the Orioles back in 2007, then traded to the Cubs in 2013.
It sure would be sweet to see the Orioles win a fifth consecutive game.