2. Bullpen has been rock solid

As of Monday, the Orioles are 28-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra innings. 
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Those marks simply would not have been possible without a shutdown back of the bullpen, which is just what the Orioles have. Setup man Pedro Strop has been struggling with control issues since August, but the core group of closer Jim Johnson (above, right) and relievers Luis Ayala and Darren O'Day has continued to be superb. Any October run requires lockdown pitching in late innings, and the Orioles have that in spades. If Strop can return to form, watch out.

( US Presswire / September 30, 2012 )

As of Monday, the Orioles are 28-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra innings.

Those marks simply would not have been possible without a shutdown back of the bullpen, which is just what the Orioles have. Setup man Pedro Strop has been struggling with control issues since August, but the core group of closer Jim Johnson (above, right) and relievers Luis Ayala and Darren O'Day has continued to be superb. Any October run requires lockdown pitching in late innings, and the Orioles have that in spades. If Strop can return to form, watch out.

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