Rogers: Orioles postseason hopes depend largely on defense

An interesting take from columnist Phil Rogers….

You knew the Orioles were in trouble a year ago, right?

During their great season in 2012, when they’d come from the pack to reach the playoffs and almost take down the Yankees, they had gone 29-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra-inning games. There was no way they could duplicate that much odds-defying success, was there?

Of course there wasn’t.

Last year, the Orioles were 20-31 in one-run games and 8-7 in extra-inning games, and their overall victory total dropped from 93 to 85. It would have dropped more except the Orioles did one thing extremely well.

Their pitchers and fielders worked together to allow only 31 unearned runs. That was 32 fewer than they had allowed in making the playoffs the year before and, notably, the fewest in the Major Leagues.

On the one hand, this is impressive, a nice feat for Buck Showalter and coaches Bobby Dickerson and Wayne Kirby, who worked with a group of fielders that included six Gold Glove finalists, including winners Adam JonesJ.J. Hardy and Manny Machado. On the other, it is a bit like that one-run game record in 2012 — a danger sign for the upcoming season.

Click here to read the rest of the column.

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