What’s changed about O’s? Pitchers throwing strikes.
Once upon a time Baltimore had a large and active fast-pitch softball league. Just about every business of note and several government agencies had a team. I got to play some games with one of them. I was a catcher.
The first game I caught, the first batter was a guy I knew. I set up inside because he was a guy whom you did not want to see get his arms extended.
Our pitcher called time and I went out to the mound. He said: “What do you think you’re doing?” I told him that I wanted to pitch the guy inside. He said: “Figure out his strike zone and put your glove right in the middle of it, then I can see inside, outside, high, low. I throw the ball; your job is to catch it! If I do throw the ball and hit your glove without you moving it, we’re probably in trouble!”
Last year, if the Orioles could have gotten enough pitching, they could have won lots more games, as they had the hitting. What made it all the more frustrating was the fact they had the arms.
So what recent change suddenly has them winning? It was likely an organization-wide order for all catchers to put their target in the middle of the strike zone.
Yes, it really is that simple.