The Orioles play the Milwaukee Brewers in their 51st game of the season tonight at Miller Park. Orioles right-hander Bud Norris is scheduled to pitch against Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo, and first pitch is set for 8:10 p.m.

How does this year's squad stack up through 50 games against successful Orioles teams of the past? With high expectations this season, we'll try to track how the club is performing periodically compared to previous years when they made the playoffs.

As long as the Orioles remain in playoff contention, we'll track their performance against history. If they fall out of the pennant chase, we'll look at their record in different ways.

With a 26-24 record, the Orioles are in third place in the American League East. They're 3 1/2 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays (31-22).

Here's how the Orioles fared in previous seasons when they made the playoffs.

Interesting game

The Orioles blanked the Cleveland Indians at Camden Yards, 3-0, behind the arm of right-hander Mike Mussina, who came one base runner away from a perfect game on May 30, 1997. Mussina pitched 8 1/3 spotless innings before surrendering a single to Cleveland catcher Sandy Alomar with one out in the ninth, and he struck out the final two batters for the complete game. Indians pitcher Charles Nagy tossed a gem, too, surrendering only one earned run. But two errors helped the Orioles add insurance runs in the third and sixth innings.

2012

Record: 29-21

Season finish: 93-69, lost in AL Division Series to New York Yankees

1997

Record: 35-15

Season finish: 98-64, lost in AL Championship Series to Cleveland Indians

1996

Record: 28-22

Season finish: 88-74, lost in ALCS to Yankees

1983

Record: 28-22

Season finish: 98-64, beat Philadelphia Phillies in World Series

1979

Record: 31-19

Season finish: 102-57, lost in World Series to Pittsburgh Pirates

1974

Record: 24-26

Season finish: 91-71, lost in ALCS to Oakland Athletics

1973

Record: 25-25

Season finish: 97-65, lost in ALCS to Athletics

1971

Record: 31-19

Season finish: 101-57, lost in World Series to Pirates

1970

Record: 34-16

Season finish: 108-54, beat Cincinnati Reds in World Series

1969

Record: 35-15

Season finish: 109-53, lost in World Series to New York Mets

1966

Record: 31-19

Season finish: 97-63, beat Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series