Watching the Baltimore Orioles win baseball games last year was a study in the illogic. They were poor at getting on base and scoring runs, only one pitcher threw enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, only one pitcher won more than nine games and none won more than 12, and they had more players strike out 100 times (seven) than any team in the history of baseball. Oh, and they burned through 52 players, many of whom were part of the Les Miserables-like cast of 75 that suited up for their Triple-A team, Norfolk.
Somehow, like one of those mentalist tricks where a spoon appears to bend untouched, the Orioles won a wild card spot with 93 wins.
How did they do that? It made sense if you let yourself believe that the O's won an inordinate amount of close games because of the depth in their bullpen and because they hit more home runs than all but one team in Baltimore history, with many of those homers late-game decisive bolts. A cynic, fully aware of the randomness of one-run outcomes, would suggest they were one of the luckiest teams in baseball history.