Before fans get too excited about the Orioles' 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night at Camden Yards, here's a dose of reality.

The Phillies are bad, really bad. For as much as Orioles manager Buck Showalter makes legitimate arguments about the flaws of the major league schedule, there will be nothing wrong about four games against the Phillies right now.


The Orioles are playing a team that has lost 17 of its past 20 games. And that doesn't take anything away from Wei-Yin Chen's eight shutout innings on Monday. The Orioles recognized that the Phillies were going to be aggressive and Chen fed them a heavy dose of offspeed pitches to keep them guessing early. That allowed Chen to get some quick outs and record another deep start.

"I simply follow [catcher Matt Wieters'] lead," Chen said through interpreter Louis Chao. "Today, early in the game, he called quite a few offspeed pitches. That was kind of different from my games before, but I tried to do it, and I'm happy that [I] was able to do that."

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg was quick to give Chen credit, but also pointed out his team's struggles.

"I mean, he looked good against us," Sandberg said. "We're just having trouble swinging the bats and getting some things going and had a tough road trip on that note. It looked like he threw the ball well, looked like he had a good, moving fastball. We didn't have a lot of history with him, so it looked like he really had the edge on us."

Having said that, the Orioles deserve credit for beating a bad team. That's what good teams do. The Orioles weren't able to beat a struggling Miami Marlins club last month; instead, they dropped two of three to a team in upheaval after abruptly replacing their manager with their general manager.

However, the Orioles are a much better team since then. That's a fact. Because of that, anything less than winning all four games against the Phillies should be considered a disappointment, especially given the way the American League East it going right now. The Orioles gained ground on both the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, but remained three games out of first because the Tampa Bay Rays won. The top four teams in the division are separated by three games.

The Orioles have won six of seven games that Matt Wieters has started. They've won all six in which Wieters started at catcher (he was the starting designated hitter in the other).

Wieters is still catching just every other day, so when can we expect Wieters to catch back-to-back games? Wieters said after Monday's game that he'd have to first begin a throwing program on those days off before being able to catch back-to-back days.

"No date yet," Wieters said. "Kind of see how it feels. We'll have to go through a slight progression of just picking up a ball and throwing some long toss on the day in between. It's something to where it's better to be playing every other day than push it too hard and have to take some time off, so I just want to be able to be around as much as I can and play as much as I can to be able to help this team."

Wednesday will be exactly one year since Wieters had Tommy John surgery last June 17.

"It feels good," Wieters said of his arm. "It's a major surgery that's done to it, so I'm going to have some different feelings than I had before the surgery. It feels good. It feels strong. I feel confident I can make every throw. I think the big thing now is being able to get that recovery on the day in between, still."

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