By Kevin Cowherd
The Baltimore Sun
1:23 PM EDT, August 27, 2012
Here's a look at what some other media outlets are saying about the Orioles:
** Joe Lemire of SI.com notes the dramatic one-year turnaround in the Orioles fortunes and compares it to some other teams showing significant improvement this season:
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays Friday and Saturday before being rained out on Sunday, but those two wins gave Baltimore 69 wins in 2012 -- already matching its 2011 win total with 36 games left to play. With a .548 winning percentage thus far, the O's are on track to win 89 games this season and traded for Joe Saunders to help down the stretch.
Plenty of ink and bytes have already been dedicated to the remarkable improvements of several teams this year, but the turnarounds are so emphatic that four other teams have nearly joined the Orioles by matching last year's number of victories. Here are the five teams within five wins of their total from 2011. (One commonality among four of these five teams: improved bullpens.)
Orioles -- 69 2012 wins, 69 2011 wins
Reds -- 77 2012 wins, 79 2011 wins
Nationals -- 77 2012 wins, 80 2011 wins
Pirates -- 68 2012 wins, 72 2011 wins
Athletics -- 69 2012 wins, 74 2011 wins
** The Sports Xchange lauds the Orioles for finally getting a veteran starter after a month of trying:Baltimore traded for veteran lefty Joe Saunders, sending reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named to Arizona in the swap. Arizona will pay a portion of Saunders' $6 million contract.
Saunders -- a free agent at year's end -- joins Wei-Yen Chen as solid lefties atop a rotation that is awaiting Jason Hammel's return. The final two spots could go to lefty Zach Britton or righties Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Steve Johnson or Jake Arrieta -- all of whom have held spots in the starting staff this season.
The deal invades the Orioles' mighty bullpen, where Lindstrom had been a seventh-inning reliever for much of the year. He was considered a candidate to serve as Jim Johnson's set-up man, But Pedro Strop has grasped that role in a breakout season.
** ESPN.com lists the Orioles at No. 13 in its weekly power rankings, up one notch from last week, and highlights another O's trade for pitching that Baltimore fans hope isn't an omen:
Five years and four days ago, the Orioles traded a pitcher with a 103 ERA+ (Steve Trachsel) to the playoff-bound Cubs for Scott Moore, Rocky Cherry and Jake Renshaw. Trachsel proceeded to give up 16 runs in 17.1 innings pitched. On Sunday, the Orioles acquired a pitcher with a 102 ERA+ (Joe Saunders) for reliever Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named later.
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