There was a time when this year’s Orioles were so bad that I actually researched next year’s No. 1 pick. But then they hired Buck Showalter and suddenly everything has changed.
Baltimore, which was 32-73 under Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel, is 31-22 since Showalter took over. Maybe it’s because the rotation turned things around (Brian Matusz’ August-September ERA is 2.25, Brad Bergesen’s is 2.78, Jeremy Guthrie’s is 3.51, Kevin Millwood’s is 3.66 and Jake Arrieta’s was 3.78). Maybe it’s because Brian Roberts returned from injury. Maybe it’s because Showalter has a rabbit foot up his ass. Who knows.
And, really, who cares? The 2010 O’s are still going to lose 90-something games. What’s interesting, though, is what their hot finish means for 2011.
So, since I am not cool, at all, I found every 21st century team that has lost 90 or more games despite posting a .500-or-better record in August, September and October. The results are kind of fascinating:
On average, a really bad team that finishes quite well improves by 15.3 games the following season. That’s a lot.
For the Orioles, that would mean winning ~80 games next season, or more than they’ve won in any season since 1997. I’d like that.