May 22, 2012
Perhaps the biggest surprise -- and one of the biggest reasons behind the Orioles' early success -- is the downright dominant performance of the bullpen. Closer Jim Johnson is 15-for-15 in save opportunities and has given up only two runs on the season. And middle relievers Pedro Strop, Luis Ayala, Matt Lindstrom and Darren O'Day have built a nearly unbreakable bridge to Johnson, all registering ERAs under 2.00. Even the much-maligned Kevin Gregg has been terrific, having just allowed his first runs in May after a shaky April. It will be hard for this group to maintain this level of performance, but there's little doubt this group is very talented.