In the nine games following Chris Davis's departure from a 5-0 loss to the Royals, the Orioles have gone 6-3. During that period:
- They played Markakis and Flaherty at 1B until they could get Steve Pearce back on the roster.
- Tommy Hunter saved 4 games, despite not having a clean inning
- Until last night's 2 home runs, Adam Jones looked like a poor imitation of himself at the plate, swinging at everything and rarely making good contact
- Matt Wieters had an MRI and visited Dr. Andrews
- JJ Hardy drove in 1 run and got 1 EBH
- Starting pitchers made only 4 quality starts in 9 games
Fortunately, Cruz and Markakis stepped up, and Machado returned to stabilize the infield (though he made 2 errors).
Given what they've gone through, probably not a lot of people would have predicted the O's would go 6-3 over these 9 games. In fact, anyone reading the OH who did not know their record in those games could be excused if they assumed that the O's had lost most of those 9 games, if not all.
Which begs the question, is it better to be lucky or good?
I don't know the answer, but I wonder how much Buck is a factor here. Not because he's some sort of strategic genius, but because of the confidence he gives his team. They seem to believe in themselves totally, no matter who is in or out of the lineup. With or without the talent in the field, they are getting the job done.
In a way, it's similar to the way the Yankees played beyond expectations last year, with their infield decimated. I gave Girardi a lot of credit for that, and I have to believe that Buck and his staff are doing a great job for this team right now.
Of course, they could drop the next 10 in a row, in which case this post will look totally stupid. That's why I wanted to take a couple of minutes now to recognize that this team has risen to the occasion since Chris Davis went down.
As fans, we are very lucky.
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board