A week and a half into the 2011 season, the Orioles have won six of nine games and sit alone atop the American League East. What more could we ask for? How about a little offense?
Buoyed by a Baltimore pitching staff that has surprisingly surrendered just 32 runs in nine games, the Orioles are in first place despite ranking in the bottom half of the league in a slew of offensive categories. The Orioles are 20th in runs scored (35), 29th in on-base percentage (.282) and 27th in batting average (.216). Vladimir Guerrero leads Orioles regulars with a .270 average.
This isn't quite what we expected from the Orioles, who rebuilt their offense in the offseason with the additions of Guerrero, Mark Reynolds, Derrek Lee and J.J. Hardy. But it's early. Besides, the Orioles are in first place at the moment, and there's no shame in losing two of three to the Texas Rangers, who are the reigning American League champions.
"I'd say it's good. We have a winning record, and we just played a really good ballclub," Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis told The Baltimore Sun after Sunday's 3-0 loss. "It's not like we got blown out. We played close games with the exception of one. But I think, overall, the first week we did pretty damn good."